Kyiv’s electronic music scene is on the rise. The free spirit of DIY techno parties like Cxema - held at skateparks, abandoned hotels and office blocks – are starting to get international recognition. The era of massive drug-fuelled raves with second rate DJs from abroad are over – Kyiv’s emerging electronic music scene has home-grown underground heroes who are creating unique sounds and vibes. Kyiv’s already been labelled as the new Berlin and the new Detroit, and is rapidly making its own future. Here are ten electronic musicians from Kyiv you need to know.
Konstantin Lobanov is a former member of band BlackLazer – the first on the Ukrainian scene to make music on gaming consoles and perform it live. In his solo project, Lobanov experiments with drum machines and analogue synthesizers, making hypnotic, minimalist electro like a local Underground Resistance. From the bloody moon to folk mysticism - you can find an occult vibe here. Besides his solo project, Lobanov is one of the founders of Progressive Future label.
Enfant terrible of Kyiv’s underground, while also studying composition at the Kyiv Conservatoire – Nastia Vogan, with her electro-techno outfit Lollibou, makes sounds which reflects the many ways she feels the world: from sweet and sensitive to lethal and punky.
Timur Basha & Alex Savage
The two resident DJs at Closer club form a union that’s greater than the sum of their parts. Subtle minimalist house plays alongside ruthless broken rhythms. It’s a mystical journey into the unknown.
Casablanca’s music is a mixture of IDM with death metal vibes and noisy spiritual ambient. Broken drum patterns weave in and out, almost melodically, with synthesizers swooping in, casting an electronic spell over the listener.
Ilia has already experimented with genres from juke and hip-hop to house and techno. Now infatuated by electro, you can journey with him through the whole history of this genre in sets at underground club 56. Midnyte is inspired by bizarre things like climbers who remove garbage from Everest and weird 50s cartoons.
Sergei Sommer is the founder of an experimental musicians’ community called Peauty-fute; like a local Aphex Twin, his poetical broken rhythms turn your head inside out and allow you to enter a different state of mind. Sommer creates strange magic with synthesizers and drum machines – playing with your senses and sentiments, dissecting beats and sounds with a sharp scalpel. Sommer tracks may seem a chaotic jumble of sound, yet they are a calculated attempt to create a rhythmical structure which keeps changing.
With his totally unique style, Sasha Zlykh has became one of the most sought-after young DJs on the Kyiv underground scene in the last few years. Having recently started to produce his own music, he plays groovy house that’s the ideal soundtrack for happy slackers celebrating their careless life.
Mokri Dereva is the stage name of sound designer Yurii Tymoshenko. He combines techno patterns with complex rhythms and ambient pads into an unpredictable sound which is soft and sharp at the same time. Inspired by space stations, futuristic architecture and abstract art, Yurii performs live with groove boxes and synthesizers.
Mitya Ostudinov, also known as Hatroneli, is one of the most authentic Kyiv musicians, with his own psychedelic aesthetic inspired by nostalgia for late-Soviet Kyiv. These subtle synths and fragile experimental beats may break your heart as easily as iPhone screen.
Skan’s dark electro sound is created in one take, either culled from live performances or studio mixes. Both on stage and in the studio, Skan immerses himself in analogue equipment and real-time playing. With a keen understanding of the needs of the dance floor and the laws of classic electro and techno, Skan still manages to throw out the rule book. This is electronic music that goes way beyond the drag n’ drop world of digital composition. These sounds have serious teeth.