We have the pleasure of speaking with Russian Tastemaker and one of the Epizode festival founders Artem Kharchenko to discuss his latest project TYOMA.
Introduce yourself for this who don’t know. When and why did you start in dance music, what turned you on to it?
I started making music in 1998 with Impulse Tracker. A friend of mine showed me this program, and as I was always connected with music because of my father – it catches me from the first seconds. In 1999 I started playing as a dj, because it was the easiest way to play your own music to the audience! 🙂
How hard was it to buy gear, records and get to parties in Russia – did you have good access?
You know – right now it’s 2017 – so if compare this with the time when I started in 1998, when it was almost impossible to find good hardware and downloading from the net was like 30 minutes for low quality mp3 – it’s super easy. You have all the world through the internet. And of course for the moment we have great vinyl and equipment stores etc.
Regarding parties – I think the Russian scene is growing every year, we have great venues and promo groups which are really famous in the world, like Arma17 for example.
What is your style, what are your aims in the studio?
You know – it’s not about style in the studio. I just put my internal feelings and ideas, which I cant say with words to my synths and gear. For this moment – it’s cinematic electronica, maybe in two years later I decide to go back to dnb 🙂 I don’t know. For me – it’s not only making music in a studio, or preparing live, or acting on a stage – it’s all the process I can’t live without.
Almost 5 years ago I decided to sell all my digital synths and start collecting analog hardware. I really love to buy some used stuff, because it has a history inside. All these make my studio time more complicated on one side, but more interesting for me in terms of creation.
And as a DJ, what’s your style, what’s your aim, what mixing techniques do you use, long and slow or fast and hard?
Another one question about style 🙂 It’s really hard to talk about “style” these years! Everything is mixed! But I will try to divide all my gigs to three main styles:
First, and main one techno with some groovy drums, mixed with some chicago-house records
Second – experimental downtempo electronica with bits of some old jazz records
and last but not least “back to the roots” sets with my friends when we playing dnb sets 🙂
Regarding mixing techniques – depends on tracks for sure, but 90% of my set usually is vinyl only and the rest is my unreleased tracks, tracks from my label and promos from my friends.
So – 2хTechnics + Xone 92 should be for sure at my gig 🙂
Tells us about your new release on Life On Mars. What inspired it?
Original «Haze» was recorded last summer, then we made video collaboration with young Moscow graffity-artist Sasha RTS – it was a video for «Haze» and every frame was drawn by hand, then scanned and synced with music. I was so into the process and decided to ask my friends to make some remixes, but then I got Matthew Herbert as a remixer and we decide to prepare another release with just remixes. It should be the right moment to release – and I choose a week before Sonar as a release date. Was a right one – I listened «Haze» played with different remixes a few times by myself at Off week 🙂
How does this alias differ to your others? What did you start it?
You know, TYOMA is a short name from Artem, from my real name. It was a period when I understand that I have few tracks, which is 100% sounding how I want. So I decide that this music deserves my real name, the name everyone calling me from a childhood.
On the other hand – I don’t rule out the possibility to release something with my older projects R-Tem or Kooqla.
What gear do you use in the studio? Hardware or software? Why?
As mentioned before – mostly hardware, and mostly analog. The heart of the studio is Mac Pro with Apogee Symphony going out to Neve 8816 summing mixer. I have a lot of analog compressors and eq’s, but my favourite one for the moment is Culture Valture Phoenix. For the FX chain I love to use Eventide H3500, Strymon Big Sky and Roland Space Echo 501.
I use a lot of tape saturation with my Nagra reel-to-reel when recording my synth’s. Can’t choose my favourite one – but if someone asked my to choose one for desert island – it will be Juno 6
On software side – I mostly use Logic to arrange and Protools to mix. UAD plugins are my favourite ones to shape the sound bring some digital feel into the track.
You played OFF Week last week – how did you like Barcelona the city? Any tips for anyone for Barca as a whole?
To be honest I hate it as the city at Off week :)) So many tourists and usually too hot. But with our traditional Rotary Cocktail showcase you’re not thinking about such small problems as you have a lot of friends around you, drinking Sangria and discussing our plans for the rest of the year.
The main tip I want to share – please, don’t use the cabs! Walk! You will see so many beautiful places, buildings and will meet a lot of great people there. Also – it’s healthy – you will need it a lot after the parties 🙂
What else have you got coming up this year/are you working on?
After festivals in the summer I’m planning to release the second TYOMA LP with two new singles before. And as TYOMA is not just a music project – we’re preparing new live program with some interesting technical surprises.
What are you going to do immediately after this interview?
Immediately? Going to get my Mono/Poly from maintenance. Really miss it!