Cxemcast 061 – Vladimir Gnatenko
Back in the day, you used to play synthwave and witch house. What did you like in those genres?
I was 14 years old, lived in Lutsk city. This music seemed to mean something special to me back then. I started writing electronic music when my father gave me a Roland FR-3x electric accordion after I graduated from children’s musical school. At that time I discovered MIDI.
Do you relate your transition to electro and trance music with your move to Kyiv? Please elaborate on your aesthetic transformation.
I'm not trying to write electro or trance consciously. I’m just fond of this kind of music at this time, so the compositions that come out of me can be also described like that.
Funny thing, the first party where I received a musical shock was Cxema. After that, I’ve spent several months trying to understand music I hadn’t heard before.
What music made you become a musician? What did you listen to when you realized you are one?
I'm not really sure I can answer that. The first musicians who led me to this were Joy Division and Suicide.
You came to Kyiv to study, but dropped out of college and made yourself at home at the Otel’ club. What was the first time you went there?
Haha, after I got out of the train at Kyiv railway station and checked in, I went to explore the city. I met my friend, then we met his other friends, and they offered to visit Otel '. After that night, I began going there every week and eventually met Eugene Kostenko (co-owner of the space) one morning. From that time onwards, every morning after the parties we jammed, and our friendship grew as well. And then I realized what my gut feeling was really about.
Have you already considered yourself a musician at that time?
No, I became a musician when I really started living for music.
You brought PTU from the трип label to Otel’ last year. Should we wait for another party? Or parties don’t resonate with you anymore?
They resonate with me for sure, but I haven’t yet healed my wounds after Deconstruct. As soon as financial conditions allow us to hold a concert party, we will definitely make it happen!
You manage to imitate the sounds of fauna in your compositions very convincingly. Does it reflect your inner nature?
Yes, and of flora too. I am deeply in love with all the living things except people.
Did you have different creative periods? How do you distinguish between them?
Of course, there are a lot of them. A nomadic way of life leads to lots of necessary and unnecessary contacts and circumstances, and they are reflected in my music. It won’t make much sense if I list all my creative periods. Currently I am writing music a lot at LSS guys’ place in Lutsk. Thanks to them my creative death did not occur, because I can still spend time with music after work.
In Bulbul passages you can hear intonations of preaching and excuses. Who’s talking to whom?
Bulbul bird to figs.
Why aren’t there any releases of your project Sebra? The 20ft Sebra live is just great!
I created Sebra to jam — and I don’t edit the recordings. That’s a kind of synergy, me and instruments.
Which synthesizer / drum machine are you?
I don’t feel like any particular synthesizer or drum machine, but wavetable synthesis really resonates with me.
Imagine a world without music. What would you do?
Instead of making music I would paint.
What was your most absurd money job?
Stage director on a TV show. I’d better not mention its name.
What does the word „music“ mean to you?
Music is a friend to whom you can entrust the most compelling experiences and thoughts, knowing that they will never betray you.
Interviewed by Sasha Polyakov.