As it’s deep Autumn now, trees have lost their leaves, days are dark, grey and foggy, I feel compelled to continue my series of articles about Dub Techno scene in various countries of the world, because there is no better soundtrack than this music for this type of weather. So far I have overviewed Lithuania and Belarus. Check out those if you haven’t done so. But this time my focus is Ukraine.
In these series I’m trying to look at artists and labels that are still active and are likely to release new stuff. Unfortunately it’s a difficult task when it comes to Ukraine. The most significant label Energostatic Records is not operating any more, and the founder of it, Maryan Kitsenko, who’s probably also the most significant dub techno producer in the country, is not producing music any more as well. Sad, but on the other hand he left quite a legacy, and it is definitely worth your attention. However there are some guys who are active, that you can follow and support in the future and motivate them to keep going.
I think it makes sense to begin this overview from the already mentioned Energostatic Records. Founded in 2010 by Maryan Kitsenko from Kiev. I personally would give a gold medal to Maryan for releasing a Lithuanian producer Stellardrone, who later became a beloved space-ambient producer all over the world. But speaking of other artists who have releases on this label I would mention Textural Being, Echo Delta, Vėjopatis, Thomas Carmody and there’s many more. Seriously, just go to their bandcamp that is still online and you will have loads of good stuff to explore for days – https://energostatic.bandcamp.com/music.
I talked to Maryan him self, and asked what he could mention as the most significant releases of the label, and of course he mentioned Stellardrone right away, but also he mentioned Textural Being and his album “En Ce Moment“. He said: “It set the benchmark for the coming years when searching for new artists and material.” However, Textural Being is not from Ukraine, so I won’t discuss this artist further at this moment. Maryan also went further to say: “We had great pleasure to release music by many great artists: DeepWoods, DT-90, Mark Ward, Le Code, to name a few. I tried to build a community of artists, so a special shout-out to Kalgan aka 110ml, Jaymuhsin aka Aurastore, and Enformig“.
Among releases by many different artists from all over the world you will find a decent amount of productions by Maryan him self. He has also released a bunch of stuff under a few different monikers. They include Atmeo and Marc Atmost. I’m going to share some releases by him below.
Another Ukrainian artist who has also released stuff on Energostatic is Enformig. His music is not just dub techno, he has also produced some more energetic underground techno. Unfortunately this man has passed away recently. He was battling cancer for five years. But he will stay in our memories for a long time, as he released some great stuff before leaving this world.
Maryan Kitsenko has shared some fond memories of working with this artist: “…all those amazing times of collaboration, late night messaging and sharing the joy of music and creativity. When Enformig passed away, I guess the last bits of hope and reason to keep the label had dried up. The label was already not working at the time, but that solidified everything.”
Let’s move on. Finally I’ll take a look at something that’s still in operation. I want to begin with another label from Ukraine called mystictrax.
Mystictrax is apparently a sub-label of a vinyl label Noneside, which is not a dub-techno label, but atmospheric, minimalist and lo-fi enough for a dub-techno fan to appreciate. These guys seem to be very underground and secretive. As you can see in their logo, they claim to be from Chernobyl, they operate in a closed scientific laboratory, and they release music since 2619 (are they from the future?). Take that with a sense of humor of course. Their first release was put out in 2019, as you could’ve guessed. Having said all that, I have to also mention that only two or three of their releases can really be categorized as dub techno so far, but it was such an interesting discovery for me that I decided they’re worth a mention in this article. They have a release by a Ukrainian dub techno artist Zub.
Let’s talk a little bit about him now. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a lot of info on him online except that he’s from Lviv. It seems like Ukrainian artists don’t have a big social media presence, but maybe they are using social networks that are more popular in the east, like vkontakte or telegram. Anyway he has released a single called “Thistle” on a Belarussian label Spclnch run by Thomas Carmody, a three track EP called “Guests” on a Lithuanian imprint Greyscale run by Grad_u, also a couple of EP’s on an Italian label Gos Music Studio. And finally, there’s a bit longer EP on the already mentioned Ukrainian label mystictrax. I personally think that he’s doing a great job, so check out some of his stuff below.
Further I’d like to take a look at Unberg. Very little info about him online, but he’s from Ukraine, and he makes some great music. He has released an EP on Apnea label and I strongly recommend checking out his bandcamp page: https://unberg.bandcamp.com/
Next on my list is Methodub. It’s George Vasiliadi from Odessa. Not much information about him onine as well. Seems like he doesn’t release on bandcamp, but you may enjoy his music on SoundCloud, Spotify, Beatport and many other platforms.
There’s also a producer known as Subforms, from Dnipro. It was a duo at first, by musicians Yevgeny Konovalov and Dmitry Oleynik, later a solo project by Yevgeny. You can’t really put him in a box of dub-techno, there’s a variety of styles in his productions. But Subforms music always tends to be deep, ambient and minimalist. Sadly, he hasn’t released anything new in the last 5 years, as far as I know. But his discography is quite rich.
Unfortunately I cannot provide you with a link where you could find all of his stuff in one place, except maybe his Spotify profile. Also only a few releases are on bandcamp. If you’re interested you may have to do your own research with the help of Discogs maybe, and also there’s some stuff on his SoundCloud. He has also released an album on Cold Tear Records back in 2011, called “Fragments“. Which to me is our label’s classic, and in my personal opinion, maybe his best work.
And that’s pretty much it for artists and labels from Ukraine that I wanted to talk about. But even though these series are dedicated to artists and labels only, I think it would be a mistake not to mention M-Eject, who has released some dub techno music, but his primary occupation, if I’m not mistaken, is DJ’ing.
Some of his mixes have accumulated over 100k or nearly 100k views on YouTube, and that’s why I think he did a great service for the dub techno music. I’ll share one of his mixes below, and will say, see you later! I’m already excited to pick a different country and start researching!
Written by Evaldas Azbukauskas