Cxemcast 094 – M. Tkachenko
Interviewed by Amina Ahmed.

Cxemcast 094 – M. Tkachenko
Interviewed by Amina Ahmed.

How has your life changed since the full-scale invasion? Did you evacuate somewhere?


It's hard for me now to imagine myself without the war and its consequences. There was life before, and now there is life after. Every day and everything that surrounds me is connected to the war. Even when everything seems to be calm, it becomes confusing and quite suspicious because the rockets or drones might not strike Kyiv for a week, but in the east, the shelling continues every minute. Of course, we still agree on something and make plans with loved ones and friends, but, in general, we live one day at a time.

When the full-scale invasion began, I went to Lviv. When I came to my senses a little, I felt that I wasn’t in my place. Then my friend Alex Savage wrote to me and offered to join them at Khan (a Kyiv café with Vietnamese cuisine, ed) to volunteer in the kitchen. Kyiv is my home; I feel more confident here. I always know where to go and what to do, so there were enough reasons to return.


Did the war affect your musical tastes in any way?


I have never limited myself to genres, but lately, I’ve been listening especially a lot to Ukrainian folklore, for which I am very grateful to my friend Volodymyr Benedychuk's channel, ‘The Records of Ukrainian Folklore’. I also discovered Maria Burmaka's album ‘Oi Ne Kvitny, Vesno’ (‘Oh, don’t blossom, spring’, ed) and listened a lot to Vezha Khmar (Tower of the Clouds, ed) and Igor Tsymbrovsky. In electronic dance music, everything is unchanged. The main thing is to stay away from the Russian influences, the only exception is Buttechno (Pavel Milyakov), who since the first day of the full-scale invasion openly supports the Ukrainian people and has a clear position regarding the war in Ukraine.

Due to the war, many people are forced to change their habits: we spend more time alone, and the usual entertainment is often unavailable. Have you got a new hobby or something?


I think in the last six months, there was more physical activity: I went on two hikes in the Carpathians and often engaged in bicycle training. In addition to DJing, I work as a graphic designer. In my spare time, I do various visual studies and listen to music. In 2020, I founded Path Mode, a project dedicated to audiovisual practices. Right now, it's mostly a series of mixtapes and event posters, with the occasional record artworks for my friends' labels, including Wicked Bass and Amanita Gems. There is a desire to develop Path Mode as a label and do more projects related to music and events.


How do you deal with stress?


I watch military chronicles, for example, 'Battle for Kyiv. Right Bank', and various interviews with Ukrainian military personnel. The last thing I watched was ‘Bohdan Krotevych, the call sign Taurus’. In addition to the fact that it is an interesting and useful experience that the guys share, this kind of content helps me stay in reality and better understand the events that are happening. Then it is not so scary to experience them. I also try to spend more time outside and meet friends.

I know you play at parties from time to time. In your opinion, why are such events necessary in wartime?


To be honest, I didn't think I would return to DJing. It seemed to me that I had lost my sensitivity: I couldn’t hear the tracks, couldn’t feel them. When I played for the first time, I did not understand what was happening at all, I probably acted on inertia. But I believe that parties are a part of the culture and they are as necessary as cinemas, theatres, galleries, etc. And "parties" have actually changed; they take place during the day, they end before the curfew begins, and are often aimed at raising funds for the Armed Forces or humanitarian needs. At the first summer events, people were mostly depressed, tense, and confused, but later it got noticeably better. Music undoubtedly has a recreational effect, which is so necessary for a person. In addition, the sense of community that arises at such events is important. Even if you come alone to listen to a DJ, you will still feel a sense of unity with others.

What is the difference between events in Lviv and Kyiv, for example? Do you feel the difference in how the citizens of these cities experience the war?


In my opinion, everyone's experiences are more or less the same. But of course, if we compare it with Kyiv, there were fewer missile strikes in Lviv and it had a positive effect on the atmosphere of the city and the mood of the people. The events are also not very different, although in Kyiv the parties are larger and fuller, and there are also more artists, both local and invited.


Tell us about the most interesting artists from your mix.


Of course, it’s Borys, my close friend and guru; Darren Allen, a DJ and producer from Northern Ireland; Andy Garcia, DJ and producer from Detroit. I always take their records with me. I would also like to draw attention to my close friends, Vlad Sharapa and the artist Ihor Okuniev from the Livyi Bereh volunteer organisation, who are currently engaged in the restoration of houses. With their help, you can support people from Ukraine.

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