From Konotop to Melbourne, via Shelter Amsterdam.
Much like his richly atmospheric and often deeply contemplative studio masterstrokes, a Vakula DJ set is an experience in every sense of the word. A musical storyteller at his very core, the Ukrainian artist has spent the last decade sharing his vision with open minded dancers around the world, creating memorable moments with records ranging from pure techno, dub techno, deep house, jazz, funk, disco, psychedelic rock or whatever his limitless imagination dictates at that moment. With two new Vakula albums nearing release and an Australian tour currently underway, we’ve managed to secure a very special episode from the man himself. Recorded at Shelter Amsterdam just last month, we see him move from disco to Afro to techno, Italo, electro and soulful house with absolute ease, building into some moments of pure euphoria. Jump in and enjoy the ride with Vakula in full flight!
I see you’ve been keeping a pretty busy schedule playing in Europe regularly over the past few months.. what have been some of your favourite memories?
Hey hey, It is always difficult to talk about something highlighting the best. But I liked the last two parties in The Netherlands a lot. One of them was at the club Shelter in Amsterdam, where this mix was recorded.
I remember seeing a photo of your studio a while ago and trying to imagine your creative process with so much incredible gear at your disposal… in recent times it sounds as though you’ve been focussed on developing your skills with live instruments..? How have you enjoyed that process, and what instruments are you currently playing on your varying productions?
Yes it’s true. I have a lot of musical instruments including live drums, guitars, percussions, drum machines, samplers and a lot of synthesizers. I probably do not have any favorite instrument that I spend more time with. I like everything. I love the sound. Recently I bought Buchla System 200 perhaps at the moment I spend the most time on it to learn and understand the function of each module and I very much enjoy it. Musical instruments and their timbres provide a great field for development in different genres. It’s hard for me to imagine an idea made on one musical instrument for it sounds dry.
When the party is over I can not wait to get back to the studio.
As the title of your 2013 selected works LP suggests, many fans of your music would never have been to or experienced your hometown of Konotop, and you’ve spoken before about a kind of ‘wild realness’ that is yet to be fully discovered there… can you elaborate on this and how it continues to inspire your music today?
I am sure that every human in the soul has his own Konotop. I love my city despite possible shortcomings such as the lack of an airport and a distant location from the capital. When I create music, listening to it becomes complete if I can imagine the landscapes of my native city.
I hear you have a two new albums nearing release, including the Metaphors LP due out on your Leleka label… what can you tell us about these two records and when might we expect to hear them?
Yes, I finished two albums one of which is techno and will be published on the Moscow label Arma. It’s the first time I decided on the publication of techno under the name Vakula. I do not want to stop continuing to develop myself in different musical genres. The second album is called ‘Metaphors’, it will be published on my own label Leleka and yes, there will be more music for my soul as it combines many experiments in combination with Marimbas and synthesizers such as Buchla Easel etc.
What can you tell us about the mix?
This mix was recorded at the club Shelter in Amsterdam where I played next to San Soda and Tako. I think it very well describes and reflects me as a DJ and an artist. I think that you just have to listen to it for your body and soul and I hope this does not leave you indifferent.
I know you’re coming back to Australia to play a couple of shows this week, where can people catch you play?
Well this time I’m playing:
Friday 9 June – Adelaide, Sugar Nightclub, at the amazing Driller Armstrong party.
Saturday 10 June – Perth, Freedom Time for Ben and I’m super excited about this one.
Friday 16 June – Sydney – Peoples Club with my brother Karim
Saturday 17 June – Melbourne, Charades at The Bottom End with my brow Nergal
Looking forward to that!