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Perfectly Deep Weekly: Your primary source for the finest deep electronic music on the Internet

Perfectly Deep Weekly #43:
Nastia, Woo York, Danny Skripp

 

Dear <<First Name>>
 

In this newsletter, I want to follow up on the recent theme in newsletter #38, where I put the magnifying glass on deep electronic music from Ukraine. Not surprisingly, there is much more to say than what I could squeeze into just one newsletter. So this week's theme is digging further into the flourishing soil of the Ukrainian deep electronic musical underground.

 

I hope you will enjoy this newsletter as much as I did putting it together.

 

Keep it deep,

 

Christian Villum
 


Nastia - Live at Strichka Festival, Closer Podcast #2 (2017)

Closer

Tags: #deeptechno #minimaltechno


Nastia is a much respected and sought-after Ukrainian minimal techno DJ known for high-energetic, hard-as-nails techno sets from festivals and clubs all over the planet. Check her out on Soundcloud and get your dancing shoes ready: You're in for a great, very intense time.

 

However, for this recommendation - and in tune with the theme of this newsletter, deep electronic music - I have chosen a set of hers that is a little more low-key than what you would typically expect. On this recording from Strichka Festival in Kyiv from 2017, she has curated 1.5 hours of extremely enjoyable deep, minimal and hypnotic techno that builds nicely over the set.

 

I particularly like the part that starts around the 30-minute mark. Here a series of tracks build up from a super minimal sound to a dubby, pounding vibe. It's terrific. The same goes for the part starting at around 50 minutes: This is where the set starts to peak.

 

You might also have come across Nastia on social media relating to the intense discussions about the Russian invasion. She has been calling out Russia's techno superstar number 1, Nina Kraviz, for not voicing her opposition to the war. Nastia's direct and reoccurring roars have caused a massive stir, with a long line of notable names from the electronic music industry weighing in, both for and against her demand. Check out, for instance, this latest chapter in the feud.

 

Soundcloud

 


Woo York - Chasing The Dream (2018)
Afterlife Recordings

Tags: #deeptechno #darkambient

This album blew my mind when it came out in 2018. According to my Spotify stats, it was in the top-3 of many albums I listened to that year. "Then why didn't you include it in the first newsletter dedicated to Ukrainian artists?" you might ask. Well, to be honest with you, I did not realize Woo York was from Ukraine - until doing research for this newsletter. You live, and you learn.

 

Made up of Andrew Vanzhula and Dennis Andriyanov, Woo York makes dark electronic music centered around deep minimal techno, ambient drones, and melancholic synth lines of cinematic proportions. For instance, I could see them score a film like Bladerunner (and they did, sort of: They have a track by that name on the EP 'Aliens Worlds' from 2017).

 

'Chasing the Deam' is their only album so far, but on the side, they are responsible for over 30 singles and EPs. Most recently, they came onto my radar again because they performed at the Chornobyl exclusion zone as part of Sounds of Chornobyl, a fundraiser for the survivors of the reactor meltdown and those facing the Russian invasion.

 

The album starts with 'Inception,' an instrumental track with a subtle synth theme and long pads. It sets the mood for the rest of the album. This mood is carried on by 'More Than a Feeling,' another one of the album's strongest tracks. It features melancholic synth motifs and graceful percussion, the latter of which is somewhat rare for the deep electronic music genres.

 

Later, on 'Burning With You,' we move into proper deep techno territory. The kickdrum plays tag with rumbling basslines and one of the duo's signature synth lines. 'Energy Pulse,' 'Kadastre,' and 'Equilibrium' keep us in this momentum at a higher pace without losing the deep feel and the dark mood.

 

Other tracks worth highlighting include 'Walk Along The Rainbow,' which is characterized by a breakbeat that serves to vary the sound of the album elegantly. And of course, the title track, 'Chasing The Dream,' is my favorite. The synth sounds like Ricardo Villalobos' seminal 'Dexter,' from his 2003 Alcachofa album, as referenced in newsletter #40. But more importantly, it manages to sound both uplifting and melancholic at the same time. Brilliant. It is also worth highlighting the shuffly kickdrum on the track, which usually is not my cup of tea. Here, however, it just works like a charm.

 

You'll notice that 'Chasing The Dream' is included twice on the album: The original, as described above, and as an instrumental, which sets the perfect ending to the album: No beats, just the melody. Beautiful.

 

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the album came out on Afterlife Recordings, the label headed by Italien duo Tale of Us. Here Woo York joins the ranks of other notable figures like Stephan Bodzin, Maceo Plex, Patrice Bäumel, and Recondite - to name a few.


Spotify  Apple Music  Deezer  Bandcamp  Youtube Music


Danny Skripp - The Origin (2017)
Wunderblock Records

Tags: #experimentaltechno #experimentalelectronica

Danny Skripp is another shining talent from Ukraine, based in the city of Kharkiv. Being an emerging artist, not too much information is available online, although he has already released over 10 EPs alongside this album.

 

Much more importantly, through my research, I found that Danny and his partner are in a dire situation. Skripp suffers from a severe health issue that currently keeps him in bed and in need of surgery. On top of that, his wife has been hit with anxiety and depression, coming from a combination of Skripp's condition and the war. They have no financial means to improve the situation.

 

Luckily, there is a way to help them: His label, Wunderblock - which is Russian, will funnel sales from this album directly to him and has also donated all their earnings from the most recent Bandcamp Friday. Read more about it here, or go directly to purchase the album here.

 

This album that Skripp has put together is a real gem. It starts deep and ambient on the track 'Push,' which features dark, thundering bass frequencies and, halfway through, mesmerizing hi-hats and super long synth pads.

 

'Now - Original Mix' introduces the first drum programming of the album, a shuffling beat to accompany the brooding basslines and bleak synth notes. Slow-burning and powerful.

However, the broodiness of that track is nothing compared to what we hear in 'Round - Original Mix' that comes next. Turn down the bass on this one to prevent your speaker bass units from vibrating themselves apart. Ultra-deep bass here; consider yourself warned.

 

Next, 'Circular - Original Mix' increases the tempo. An experimental techno track built around a drumbeat similar to the sound of a freight train. It creates an intensive, almost extreme sound that gradually increases momentum throughout the 8-minute track. If taken out of the album's context, I might have written it off as simply too unnerving, but here it just fits. Can a track be deep when also super loud and noisy? I guess so because this one is.

 

My highlight of the album is the title track 'The Origin,' in both the 'Original Mix' and 'Wunderblock NoEvolutionDub'. It has a grainy, dubby feel coming from some laid-back noise samples, which are then combined with an abstract kickdrum that works well. The dubby qualities are accented in the dub mix and slowly build over almost 7 minutes. Intense.

 

The album closes with a real belter: 'Today' in an 'Arcuation Dub', by Arcuation - an artist I did now know about but will follow from now on. In Arcuation's hands, the track becomes a massively reverberating wall of sound that immerses you entirely.

 

As mentioned, the label behind the album is called Wunderblock Records and is situated in Russia, more specifically, the capital city of Moscow. Known as a highly experimental techno label, it was founded in 2013 by Michael Teploff and Vladimir Kochenov, both of whom are highly productive electronic music artists themselves.


Spotify  Apple Music  Tidal  Bandcamp  Deezer  Youtube Music
 

PERFECTLY DEEP WEEKLY? REMIND ME AGAIN WHAT THIS IS?

 Perfectly Deep Weekly is a free newsletter that makes it easy to enjoy quality deep electronic music every week. It is curated by me, Christian Villum, an electronic music buff based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The idea is simple: I listen to the many releases that come out, pick the ones I like the best - and share them with you here.

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