Thursday, September 24, 2015

Active Minds: YAROSLAV KACHMARSKYI (Pincet, Motoblok, Ukraine)

Active Minds is a series of irregular interviews with sound and art activists from all over the globe. The first interview is with Ukrainian devotee whom I met this spring in Ternopil city. He organizes annual festival, performs himself, runs a label and promotes music and arts in general in his town.
In the end of November Agharta booking is organizing his first tour over Baltics. Shows are already planned in Riga - at Rasols (27.11) and Vilnius at Minimal Mondays (30.11), more to follow.
So let's get acquanted with him. 

For the beginning please introduce yourself, your activities. As far as I know you’re the founder of label/promo Pincet, organizer of annual experimental/electronic music festival Hamselyt, promoting shows in different venues in Ternopil city and playing music as Motoblok. Even this is quite a lot, but maybe something else?

I’m always in lots of activities, cause life without them is so boring. Beside Pincet with its experimental/electronic side, I’m a part of Shmir Soundsystem, a DJ duo which plays reggae, dub and hip-hop. Reggae/dub is like a bright side of me, and techno/noise is a dark side:)

Also, making events is a part of my job, I’m an art-manager in local club Koza. Two-three times a week we have rock, stoner, indie, synthpop, folk concerts.

About a year ago I’ve started making art exhibitions in local gallery.

How and why have you started organizing events?

The first event I’ve made was a psytrance party in 2006. For that time I was under influence of goa/psytrance and it’s aesthetics. Later I changed direction to techno and experimental music events - and it’s still going this way. The reason of organizing party was my own need to attend something. DIY! Now the reasons are still the same. Plus, the process of making event is also a part of fun.

Personally I’m fond of a part of your activity after visiting Hamselyt festival this year. This event was really special to me. The big advantage was that the concerts and parties were held in unusual places like shooting-range at school or old Soviet style looking club in kind of industrial area. Tell us how do you choose the places and in general what is the concept of the festival.

I think that events are not just music, it’s a part of parallel reality with it’s own atmosphere. So, if it’s possible, I’m trying to make party in some interesting venue. It can be abandoned night club, puppet theater or castle casemates. At the same time, local non-pop activities are usually held in two-three venues, so it’s always a good option for visitor to go somewhere else.

As I understand Hamselyt is the only such a festival in the Western part of Ukraine and it gets interest from the whole country, right? How big is the local audience and the percentage of the audience that comes from the other cities.
How this festival has grown since the beginning and how do you see it in the long perspective.
Yep, Hamselyt is the only one here. Everything started four years ago. It’s always three days festival. On the first and second years at the beginning we made regular electronic dance event (with techno, dubstep, dnb) to gain money for the rest of the festival. Later things changed and experimental side start paying off itself.

So if the first one was one dance party, one experimental concert and one poerty/electronic session, so this year it was two parties (both dance/experimental), two concerts and one visual art exhibition. Also festival became international with 3foNIA (Poland) and Arma Agharta (Lithuania).

For now, I guess about 60% of visitors are from other cities. It’s a good option go Ternopil for a weekend, listen to good music, hang around near the lake and spent not so much money like in a bigger city.
In the future we are planning to make more concerts and less parties during the festival and to involve more artists from abroad.

Most of the artists of the festival are not local, but from Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk or Odessa, right? What’s your attitude towards Kiev, the centre of all events. Do you feel like staying and promoting things in Ternopil is patriotic and you’re not gonna trade it for Kiev?

Right, big cities have strong scene but...
There can be too much pathos in my words, but one of my aims is to create horizontal connection between regions. Before each festival I spend few days observing new names on the scene from different regions. On the output I still got same cities like Kyiv and Odessa, but sometimes there is success. For example this year guys from Ivano-Frankivsk (city like Ternopil) joined Hamselyt.

Nowadays, after revolution, there are much talks about decentralization in Ukraine. I believe that it should be realized not just in government and administration sphere, but in culture too. Regions should not just look to the capital, they have to develop their own advantages and cooperate with each other. There should be outstanding events in province.

Is there a lack of interesting experimental/electronic artists in Western Ukraine? What names of the artists from your area you would recommend?
Tell us about the local, Ternopil city music scene. Are there any other promoters, artists, labels or is it just you? ;)

Unfortunately there is a lack. Accidentally some guys appear and then disappear – no regular events, no released music.

In Lviv there is a proper techno project – Svarog. Also they have few jazz/free/improv performers.

For ambient lovers – xaoRa from Ivano-Frankivsk.

Here, in Ternopil, we've got three experimental/electronic acts. One of them is ZSUF – veterans of noise/industrial scene. The band is running for at least 15 years with 70 albums in discography. They make furious shows with weird costumes and light effects. They are grown up guys with families, jobs and not so active as before, but still once in few month they do something incredible.

Subprodukt – bunch of guys without no permanent band members. They are improvising with DIY devices, retro computers, some old game consoles. Their performance is a noise mess, but it sounds really good.

Yury Zavadsky - avantgarde poet, works with performance and sound poetry. Sometimes he perform with musicians like ZSUF.
Motoblok is your solo project. It’s pure electronic stuff, right? How would you describe your sound?

I've started Motoblok few years ago after discontinuing Electrostatic Death, previous project where I took part. My music is industrial and techno influenced. I like when it sounds dirty. For production and performance I use computer and few DIY-synths.

Your promo / label Pincet. What kind of music do you promote? Is it more active as a label or events?

Pincet was started as netlabel (there was such term in 00's). The internet was young, there were no soundcloud or other streaming services. So we've released 8 albums with mostly ukrainian-made electronic music. IDM, trip hop, ambient, dub – stuff like that. Some of them still sound good:)
But currently Pincet is more active with events. Making parties makes much more fun then uploading mp3s to web or editing Wordpress code:)
Beside we've got a Pincet Session series, where we publish live records (noise, improv, and podcast with DJ mixes.
I really want to resurrect the label, but don't have enough time and will for that now. But I'm sure that future records will be on physical media. Tapes, CDs or vinyl accumulate much more magic then mp3:)

In this difficult time of war with Russia do you see any consolidation in the field of social life: more people come to the events, they care more, they feel more united?

Ukraine was occupied by Moscow for 70 years. After that we've got independence but were still wearing chains – political, economical and cultural. Revolution and war made us ruin those chains, we don't need Russian trends or advices anymore. Cultural sphere has stopped watching Moscow for directives – it's time to make our own. So Ukrainians are much more focused on their own scene.
Also these events made cities like Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa more pro-ukrainian.

How do you see Ukrainian music In the context of European music? What are the strong parts and what are the weak? What do you think is necessary for the evolution of Ukrainian music?
Stronger parts are techno, folk, stoner, metal, hardcore punk, contemporary classics. The representatives of those scene are often booked abroad.

For example I’d like to mention Stanislav Tolkachev, Woo York, Vakula, Myztical, Dakhabrakha, Zapaska, Sasha Boole, Stoned Jesus, Somali Yacht Club, Drudkh, Zavoloka, Kotra, Alla Zagaikevych, Edward Sol.
The weak sides are promo, labels, management and laziness. We’ve got huge amount of talented artists but there are no managers who can promote their art to the world. Artists in general can do that by themselves, there should be some business oriented people. There are just a few labels which can release music in a proper way.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.