Lysergic dance music from Vakula. Workhorse for plowing dance floors.
Lysergic dance music from Vakula. Workhorse for plowing dance floors.
It’s been a fair old while since we last heard from Tropical Jam, the sneaky re-edit imprint from Vakula and Aussie crate digger Daniel Lupica. Surprisingly, this is the duo’s first 10-inch missive of humid, floor-friendly revisions since the summer of 2018. They begin in a suitably sunny mood, offering up an on-point rearrangement of a cheery, sax-laden Afro-synth workout that sounds like it originated in the early 1980s. The A-side also boasts a second bubbly synth workout, possibly of a South African cut from the same period, where jaunty Clavinet lines and male/female vocals rise above a sparse but funky groove. Side B, meanwhile, contains a more Balearic-minded electronic cut rich in lo-fi drum machine beats, dreamy chords, chiming lead lines and glassy-eyed vocal snippets.
Ukraine’s arguably most interesting contemporary electronic music producer Mikhaylo Vityk, known as Vakula, returns to the Burek family. He came up with a new name, Rocco Siffredi, and a spaced out 3-tracker EP titled “Per Asper Ad Astra” for sublabel Barba Records.
This is a short recap of what our readers enjoyed most on Hipodrome, a top 3 of the most appreciated albums, compilations, mixes and other stuff.
The most appreciated album by our readers is ‘Metaphors’, the album from the Ukrainian master Vakula. ‘Metaphors’ is slightly different from some of his full-length excursions, focused as it is on the gently unfurling, head-in-the-clouds world of ambient music. Of course, much of the music is still gently rhythmic but the vibe remains thoroughly horizontal throughout.
Vakulism – here’s Vakula in the continuation of his metaphorical ideas embodied in a new alter ego and unifying combination of different genres which makes Vakula as always unique.
Immersive listening music from Vakula, created in the hidden depths of the Ukraine. ‘Metaphors’ is slightly different from some of his (admittedly eclectic) full-length excursions, focused as it is on the gently unfurling, head-in-the-clouds world of ambient music. Of course, much of the music is still gently rhythmic – check for example, the pulsating arpeggio lines and tumbling kalimba melodies of the strangely foreboding “Proem”, or the spaced-out, keyboard demo rhumba rhythms underpinning languid opener “Smooth Movement” – but the vibe remains thoroughly horizontal throughout. While the standard is high throughout, we’re particularly enjoying the two versions of “Tale of Eternal Thought”, with the weightless bliss of the “Different Version” standing out.
Ukrainian producer Vakula, whose name is linked to the early days of Arma, re-emerges with Techno Game. The double vinyl features seven confidently-carved tracks that reflect Vakula’s current exploration of techno landscapes. As the cover suggests, it is a game. The author does little to nothing to explain the rules, throwing the listener into an elegantly structured space that feels alarmingly material.
Having begun the year with a 12″ of dub techno and ambient tracks that all boasted titles beginning with A, Vakula has decided to move onto the letter B. Musically, the script is similar, with glistening and slowly-shifting opener “Bikote” sitting somewhere between dub techno and ambient techno. With its lilting, echo-laden chords, galactic reggae shuffle and flotation tank chords, “Bifurcus” is a deep space treat, while “Biofenosis” is an altogether bolder, cheerier and more forthright trip into dubbed-out house territory (with a dash of techno thrown in). For those seeking more horizontal fare, the ambient dub epic that is closer “Binarity” should safely ease you into the required position.
London/Lisbon label Release/Sustain start the year as they mean to go on. Presenting a 4 track various artists 12” titled “Nightfall & Other Stories”. Opening proceedings on A1 is Vakula, a regular at the Release/Sustain ‘Conclave’ parties and part of the RS family. His offering, “809”, is a percussive drum tool trip of a track, with sporadic raw percussion shooting shining across a positively minimalist backing. For A2, we see Italian stalwart of underground dance music Simoncino. Obscure sample work, and a repeating line ‘I can use a friend’, twist and turn over rugged, thumping, functional drums and bass. Furthering the quality of this standout 12” is Chicago house music pioneer Vincent Floyd. Rich in melody and familiar classic house sounds, Reggie’s soft jacking house sound bring a silky smooth, North American touch to a previously rugged, European 12 slab of wax.
Immersive Vakula vibes on his label Bandura.
Vakula has been a Dekmantel label member ever since the very early days. The Ukraine based producer now drops his album Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa on the label. ‘This album is about cycles, repetition and interaction’, says Vakula, whose Cyclicality between Procyon and Gomeisa is the third of a series of albums and reflects a dashing experimental record that evokes the endless and captivating potential of electronic music. It creates a mesmerizing journey through various music genres, exhibiting a singular sonic experience, whilst he works through a process of improvisation and refinement. Once again the mastermind proves to be capable of creating complex, yet diverse musical pieces beyond genres and trends. The result: an audio adaptation of his fascinating mind. ‘There are two parallel processes that come together in my work: me writing music and working on the sound I want to achieve, and the energy from outside that flows and transforms into thoughts, correlations, and actions.’ The track titles relate to the source of Vakula’s inspiration and connect the dots between his obsession for the vastness of our universe and electronic music. ”To wonder about the universe and to dig into mythology and scientific research discovering at least some of its secrets is what keeps me endlessly motivated as a producer.”
Four exceptional tracks, written by Ukrainian producer Vakula, form the Modulation EP — Arma label’s 11th release. Known for his classic and deep house productions, Vakula steps up his techno game and approaches 4×4 zone with insistence and thoroughness his work has been always associated with.
Dekmantel launches Selectors, a new intimate festival and a compilation series. The concept of Selectors focuses heavily on Dekmantel’s support for the art of DJ’ing, celebrating the extra-ordinary DJs that turned collecting and playing music into an art form. The festival will take place at the Garden Resort in Tisno and will host just 1500 people with amongst others Aroy Dee, Carlos Souffront, Helena Hauff, I-F, Traxx, Intergalactic Gary, Juju & Jordash and Motor City Drum Ensemble on the bill. The latter is also responsible for the first Selectors compilation.
Ukranian lo-fi genius Vakula is back and if audaciously tackling Steve Reich wasn’t enough, he’s taking on possibly his most ambitious project yet with “Dedicated to Jim Morrison”. The title says it all really, in this brazen tribute to the sixties rock legend. On the first side you’ve got “For Jim” with its bluesy, boozy, typically sixties rock, while “The Canyon Road” is definitely the track on here to really channel the sound of The Doors. Then the acoustic country twang of “Mississippi Delta” carries off a southern charm. On the flip you’ve got “The Human Abstract” which is one truly hazy affair and features some of William Blake’s’ spoken word poetry recited by friend Andrei Dubinin. “Airolg” sounds like, well, Van Morrison’s “Gloria” (once famously covered by The Doors) and “Tien Beach” features sublime tremoloed slide guitar, sounding like riding off into a sunset. This album is Vakula’s thoughts in time and out of season dedicated to Morrison, the poet, the musician, the soft mad child, the great man. ‘Enter again the sweet forest, enter the hot dream, come with us. Everything is broken up and dances’.
The third release on Points with a great deep tech/house package. Two originals by Dona and remixes by Patrice Scott and Vakula.
That Girl, produced by Innershades, opens with a repeated voice sample and a nostalgic pad, just to drop one minute later into one of the rawest hard hitting house tracks you’ll see around in a while. Hotflush’s Locked Groove gives the original track an acidic twist halved with his signature top-class deep house production skills. As if that isn’t enough, the B-side is followed by a simple-yet-effective remix from Ukraine’s very own Vakula who provides what seems a purely energetic techno cut right up to the point when the killer snare comes in.
The launch of Avenue 66, a new imprint from the ACID TEST camp. A dark acid laced house cut with vocals by Ebony Ugo backed with a remix by Ukrainian producer Vakula, who provides a dreamy lush remix and ”Auset”, a monster head trip made for dancefloors and headphones alike.
Deep Cosmic House from the one and only Vakula on his own Bandura label.
Ben Klock hypnotizes you with his signature style on Trus’me’s most popular club track to date ‘W.A.R Dub’. Ryan Elliott takes you on a similar journey, looping the fundamentals of Trus’me’s debut release ‘Nards’. Closely followed by an acid workout of huge proportions of another popular Trus’me hit “Need a Job’ by the ever shape shifting Vakula.