Baikal, located in south-eastern Siberia, is not an ordinary lake. It’s the world’s most ancient freshwater lake, originating 20-25 million years ago, with a depth of up to 1700 m. It contains more water than the Northern American great lakes combined and is marked as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Today we present to you an electronic music label founded by three Russian Buryat-Mongolians friends in 2013. Baikal Nomads is a Siberian record label focused mainly on downtempo beats and heavily influenced by ethnic folklore music from Siberia and Mongolia.
As electronic music artists, spiritual beings, and dancing pilgrims, we present you a truly unique Russian electronic music label, connecting like-minded people worldwide through their passion for music. This is Baikal Nomads.
The Fleming EMC: Badarchin is the very first ‘various artists’ compilation by Baikal Nomads; 27 international musicians participated to make this extensive album. We’re big fans of the diversity between the tracks and the artists, the artwork is also out this world!
Please tell us something about the origins of the name Badarchin, where you got the inspiration from for it, and what the connection is with Baikal Nomads?
zOnkh: Hey there, thanks for having us. We thought about the name of our first compilation for a long time and settled on the name: Badarchin. Translated, it means: vagrant llama, a pilgrim monk among the Mongol-speaking peoples.
Chingis: Yes, we thought about the name for a long time and our friend, designer Dmitry Galsan, an expert on Buryat-Mongolian history, helped us. Already after the release of the collection, we decided that this could develop into something more.
Dugkar: Music is a sound vibration that enters the brain without being processed by consciousness and causes unconscious reactions. Music acts as an object of concentration for the attention of a person, freeing the mind from thoughts. In the moment we observe music, our body responds with movements and our mind rests, and this is meditation, which more and more cleanses our mind, balances, and harmonises us. We called the people dissolving in such meditation dancing pilgrims.
The symbol of this movement was the Mongolian word “Badarchin” – a wandering monk. In our opinion, each person meditating in dance can be called Badarchin. So, we strive to increase the vibrations of people through our compilation, which comes out twice a year on the days of the summer and winter solstices.
The Fleming EMC: Baikal Nomands consists of three friends; Chingis Yakovlev, who’s the label founder, while Dugar Bayartuev & Boris Zonkhoev take care of the label management.
“When you dance, you close your eyes, you can hear music, you move, you turn off your mind, you clear your karma, you come closer to enlightenment.”
There seems to be a big spiritual connection between the three of you, but also with your music and the artists you feature.
What are the origins of this spiritual connection and how do you integrate this into your music?
Chingis: You know, I noticed that in my life (except for my family), for a long time the only people with me are those who share my musical preferences. Others disappear very quickly. I don’t know what it is, a spiritual connection, frequencies close to each other, or something else, but the fact remains.
7 years ago, Dugkar and I first came to Thailand, to Phangan Island, and this changed our perception forever. It was there that the idea of Baikal Nomads was born.
Dugkar: Music is what we feel with our souls. Music helps soul mates meet each other. And so, we met with Chingis and later with Boris. And now we bring together many thousands of people through our podcasts and releases.
The Fleming EMC: As electronic music connoisseurs, The Fleming’s team are big fans of your Baikal Mixtapes, which have now surpassed number 114. Podcasts and mixtapes are an important growth resource for electronic music brands.
Could you give our readers some tips on how to keep a mixtape versatile? What struggles did you encounter while growing your mixtapes online?
zOnkh: Each of our guests are individual in terms of their tastes and preferences in the world of music, so our mixtapes are very versatile.
At the very beginning, we were confronted only with the “non-format” of podcasts, those who wanted to publish their work. But over time, we took our place in the “downtempo” genre and the mixtape gained our personality.
Chingis: We are also now developing a second podcast called Road X, which will be more focused on 110-120 BPM deep / techno styles, with a focus on chill deep house and slow techno.
I think there can only be one piece of advice for everyone: do it, no matter what, contact the people you are interested in. Even if someone doesn’t answer, other wonderful people will answer, just don’t stop 🙂
Dugkar: My advice is to do regular releases of music that you enjoy yourself. Make friends from your musical niche and support each other. Be active in the comments, communicate with listeners, and try to publish track lists.
The Fleming EMC: We can identify a lot of cultural elements and influences in the releases from Baikal Nomads. There’s a great harmony in all your tracks that perfectly combines folk instruments and electronic sounds.
Has this been an important element in your music since the beginning, because of the local folklore music you grew up with in Russia and Mongolia?
zOnkh: Yes, the very theme of ethnic music and style is our spirit. From early childhood, the “theme” has surrounded us. The symbiosis of electronic sounds and folklore gives life to a new direction of ethnic downtempo.
Chingis: Yes, initially the fusion of ethnic / folklore motifs with electronic sound was our priority. We see a lot of sense in this; the merging of the past and the future, the combination of organic and technology, and as a result, a new vision, a new consciousness that can change something on our planet for the better. We are deeply convinced and believe in this.
Dugkar: The music of the peoples of the world, ancient as humanity itself, has lived hundreds and thousands of years, accumulating tremendous power. Under it, millions of our ancestors danced and enjoyed. What is stored for centuries should be reprinted in a modern format for us – the successors of the human path. Let the musical creativity of our ancestors transform the souls of modern people and fulfil the true role of art.
"The music of the peoples of the world, ancient as humanity itself, has lived hundreds and thousands of years, accumulating tremendous power. Under it, millions of our ancestors danced and enjoyed. What is stored for centuries should be reprinted in a modern format for us – the successors of the human path. Let the musical creativity of our ancestors transform the souls of modern people and fulfil the true role of art."