Cxemcast 047 – Nikolaienko

01. Pavel Milyakov - Mondpfad
02. Nicola Ratti - W12
03. Lee Gamble - Nueme
04. Farben / James DIN A4 - Kader Dolls
05. АЭМ Ритм-Каскад - Вспоминафония (Flaty)
06. Moodymann - The Set Up
07. Theo Parrish - Dirt Rhodes
08. Dices / AEM Rhythm Cascade - Like A Dream
09. Jan Jelinek - Tendency
10. Matrix - Flora
11. Farben - Parada
12. Tied & Tickled Trio - TTT (remix by Gustavo Lamas)
13. Maurizio - Untitled (M7)
14. Infinity - Thought Process
15. Ital - Ice Drift (Stalker Mix)
16. Wulffius - In The Pines' Crowns
17. Walt J - Walt J (Reborn)
18. Robert Hood - The Pace
19. Surgeon / James Ruskin - Untitled (Sound Pressure)
20. Jeff Mills - Untitled (Very)
21. Adam Beyer / Thomas Krome - Untitled (Nutcrusch)
22. Stanislav Tolkachev - Оптические Иллюзии


When was the first time for you to think of starting your own label and what difficulties did you face?

In 2011 I realized that other labels see no potential in my demos, so I decided that the niche is free. Having my label set up, I’ve invited like-minded musicians to join. I didn’t have difficulties, it was really interesting. The process was inspiring despite the fact that the first release appeared to be a complete failure and had to be pressed again.

Did you realize what kind of music you want to see on Muscut from the very beginning?

Debut release was planned as a test to get the idea how it works from the inside in a general perspective: will this actually work out at all, will this bring some audience and any demand for our product. Thus, there was no musical concept or direction at that moment. The understanding came along with the second release.

What is the label’s main focus now?

Presenting out-of-time music. There is no other criteria. The idea is to release music that is free of trends or being modern; the less sign of the time it has the better. If I can’t get when it was released – it’s perfect. However, I don´t want to be dishonest: there is a bit of retrospective approach to the selection. It was my preference at first, but eventually, I’ve realized that this music fits the label concept as well.

The flow of music has been too intense for the last decade to be properly digested. People are not able to fully appreciate new trends while constantly getting into newer ones, partly due to fast technological progress. However, there is still a potential left behind. That is the reason for fashion being cyclical: to go back and dig up some treasures. Music is no different. It is not about repeating or reliving something, it is more about adding some stuff, stopping everyone saying “Hey! There are much more things you can do with it”.

What does the word ‘Muscut’ mean?

It stands for ‘Music’ and ‘Cutting’. It also gets back to the newspeak of the beginning of the last century, with its fashion to make up new words by merging abbreviations. (e.g. "communera", which stands for communist era).

In the review of your latest album, The Wire compares it to the works of BBC Radiophonic Workshop and music of that time. What do you think about this?

In fact, The Wire described its initial concept and listed some artists from my mood board for creating the album, which was a great pleasure. The thing that surprised me was mentioning J Dilla, or more precisely, post-Dilla.


So, the album is a homage to the music of that time?

Yes, you could say so. It is kind of a tribute to the pioneers of the electronic music.

Do you use instruments of that particular time?

Not really, I use various instruments from different periods of time. My main instruments are tape recorders, delays, loopers, sound processors, synthesizers (including digital ones) and computer to make some final montage.

Your new collaborative record Indirect meets Nikolaienko - Ode To The Sea is coming out soon. Tell me a bit about the process of its recording.

In the end of 2014, I contacted guys and offered to make a record together. We took some sketches from both sides as a basis. Some tracks were recorded live, some were jammed around, others were tracked out in parts. Production duties were held by Gena (Potreba) and me. He was responsible for the content, the sound part was on me. There are also Anton Ostrometskii on drums, Lesha Volosunov on guitar, Emil Asadov on bass and Ania Brighataya on vocals. We’ve traveled to each other a lot during the recording process. A big part of work was conducted distantly: Gena was sending me MIDI tracks and I was sending him audio back. It could have been done in a couple of months, but because of distance and workload, it took a year and a half. Anyway, all of us are satisfied with the result. Ode to the Sea is to be released on November 18.

Besides making music and running a label, you also organize experimental music events. How are Kyiv people taking them?

Last spring I made a series of three events in Closer called Muscut Live. The guests were my musician friends who I was willing to bring to Ukraine – Andrew Pekler, Nicola Ratti and Mads Emil Nielsen. The plan was the same as with the first release on the label – to test the reaction of the audience. Sadly, dance events and parties gather more people than gigs, making it harder to pay back the expenses. It depends, of course. For example, Andrew Pekler’s gig had 80 tickets sold; according to him, this is twice the number of people he would gather on his solo gig in Berlin. Maybe next spring I’ll throw some more events.

You’ve been on tour in Europe, how was your music received by audience there?

You can’t tour that much with music like mine because it is not mainstream. It happens, though. Last summer I’ve managed to get on micro tour and play in Zurich and Milan, which was just amazing. In Zurich, I was warming up one of my favorite artists, Space Lady. In Milan, I had a solo gig. Both audiences were great, being 10-15 years older than ours averagely, I guess.

The mix sneaks out your more ‘dancy’ side. What do you value the most in the dance music?

For the mix, I’ve used my absolute favorites from different times. Honestly, I’ve never liked the term “dance music”. I use it myself because the mankind hasn’t come with a better word yet. There is music with quite an obvious pulsation, which can also be abstract. Jan Jalinek once said in his interview with Andrei Gorohov: “What can be more abstract than 4 beats in a bar?”

What are Muscut’s plans for the nearest future?

If everything works out as planned – there is some stuff for 2017.

Interviewed by Bohdan Konakov.