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Plato Newsroom #17

New Belarusian releases by VVaxplay, Blue Tape, Abstract Museum & Guilty Simpson, Sense, Akiyan, Sveta Ben & Galya Chikiss.


Greetings! Welcome to episode 17 of Newsroom – the Belarusian music news podcast brought to you by the Radio Plato team. My name is KorneJ and we continue exploring the gems of the Belarusian scene.

In this episode:

  • debut album by VVaxplay;
  • collab of the Belarusian beatmaker Abstract Museum and Detroit rapper Guilty SImpson;
  • next chapter in Blue Tape label's series of compilations;
  • Maładziečna label Sense celebrates five years with a new compilation;
  • Akiyan's waves of atmospheric breakbeat in the track "Phantom";
  • New single by Sveta Ben' and Galia Chikis reminds us that every person is a bunch of sparkles.
<br> <iframe width="wide" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1778908911&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true"></iframe><div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/radioplato" title="Radio Plato" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Radio Plato</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/radioplato/plato-newsroom-17" title="Plato Newsroom - #17 w/ VVaxplay, Blue Tape, Abstract Museum &amp; Guilty Simpson, Sense, Akiyan, Sveta Ben &amp; Galya Chikiss" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Plato Newsroom - #17 w/ VVaxplay, Blue Tape, Abstract Museum &amp; Guilty Simpson, Sense, Akiyan, Sveta Ben &amp; Galya Chikiss</a></div> <br><h2>Dusty millennial indie vibe in VVaxplay's debut album "Dust & Haze"</h2>

We're kicking off with VVaxplay. The band is made up of seasoned musicians Ana Zhdanova also known for her solo work and Stas Murashko, known for playing with The Toobes, Soyuz and Valentin Strykalo. The two met up in Warsaw in early 2023 and here we are a year later checking out their debut full-length album "Dust & Haze". More details about the release from the musicians behind it:

Ana: "It's hard to say what exactly the album is about, as it's such a tangle of ideas, references and stories. The themes of the album make up a cloud or a bubble with its own atmosphere that represents our own sound that we were trying to find. We agreed that it could be described as imperfect, dusty,”music for nostalgic millennials.”

Stas: "We have divided responsibilities while working on it. I was in charge of the instrumentation and Anya put it all together, edited, mixed and mastered the whole thing. The album is the product of us two entirely. At first, we decided to outsource the mixing, but eventually realized that's not right for us and we had to do it ourselves. You can say that part was also Anya's great accomplishment, that she had been heading towards for a while now.”

<iframe style="border: 0; width: wide; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1717427028/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://vvaxplay.bandcamp.com/album/dust-and-haze">Dust and Haze by VVaxplay</a></iframe> <h2>Tape 03: Pacific compilation – a fresh new shade of blue in Blue Tape label's catalogue</h2>

Next up is the label we have covered a few times before in Newsroom. And for good reason. These guys are the supreme purveyors of fresh urban beats via their compilations. Today we are featuring their third installment titled "Pacific". Julia Koffie, who you may know as the host of WZRD show on our virtual airwaves, tells us more about the featured artists, working with newcomers and choosing the color scheme.

– Just like before, we're featuring producers from all over the world. They are mtkn from Japan, FlyJay and DJ Kasir from Germany, the Sumino duo from St. Petersburg, as well as Chriz Javey and Gl0ckSamurai from the US and Loukii from Minsk. The tracks are mostly club-oriented edits and remixes in such styles as house, UK garage and jersey club but also hip hop and future beats on the more chill side.

The colors theme is dictated by our label name: all the various shades of blue. All our releases are free to download and stream on bandcamp and soundcloud. We do this to support the artists we like, to promote them and to expose the newcomers by featuring them among the more established names.

<iframe width="100%" height="450" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/1761965118&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true"></iframe><div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/bluetapefam" title="Blue Tape" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Blue Tape</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/bluetapefam/sets/tape-03-pacific" title="Tape 03: Pacific" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Tape 03: Pacific</a></div> <h2>Debut single from Abstract Museum – a collaboration with Guilty Simpson from Detroit</h2>

Our favorite thing about Belarusian scene is discovering new names, especially when their debuts are as fire as this one! Abstract Museum's first release is the perfect example. He has released a tracks with Guilty Simpson on the mic, known for working with J Dilla back in the day. The track called "Unforgettable" is the first single from Abstract Museum's upcoming album. Here's more details from the man behind the project:

– I have been making music since 2015. I have released two smaller instrumental releases in the past, but this collab is definitely a high point for me so far. "Unforgettable" is the first single from the upcoming album, which I started working on in 2018, and the final masters were ready by 2023.

It was a great experience working with Guilty Simpson, he's a real pro. When I sent him the beats to lay down the vocals to, he basically did everything in one take, I never had to comp or edit anything afterwards. The album is also featuring two other rappers from Detroit and DJ Maxgreat from Minsk. I'm putting out one more single in April, and the album is coming in May.

<iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1764191892&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true"></iframe><div style="font-size: 10px; color: #cccccc;line-break: anywhere;word-break: normal;overflow: hidden;white-space: nowrap;text-overflow: ellipsis; font-family: Interstate,Lucida Grande,Lucida Sans Unicode,Lucida Sans,Garuda,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;font-weight: 100;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/abstractmuseum" title="Abstract Museum" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Abstract Museum</a> · <a href="https://soundcloud.com/abstractmuseum/abstract-museum-guilty-simpson-unforgettable" title="Unforgettable" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Unforgettable</a></div> <h2>Sense Label celebrates its fifth anniversary with the multi-genre compilation</h2>

Next up is the more dancefloor-oriented part of the program. Sense label from Maładziečna has been featured by us before as well. The label turns five and celebrates it with the eponymous compilation. Serg Drobysheuski, the label-runner of Sense tells us more about the release and the label and its curation process.

– This compilation took about three months to put together. Ten tracks in total in such styles as IDM, electronica, psy, hard electro, minimal house, melodic house and techno. The artists are tion​/Alack from Japan, Estarlik from Spain, and our Belarusian musicians Granplus, Garry Gagagarryn, Penaplast, Pekla, Lamalmalol, Daru, nWave, Imprum, Vaqm і Mrud.

I do most of the artist research myself. We sometimes get emails with demos and then discuss the suggestions with people involved with the label. Besides myself those are other musicians, designers and friends of the label. We basically work as a team helping each other out. I usually have a six month plan, but if somebody's release falls behind, we may shuffle them around.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3514511804/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://senselabel.bandcamp.com/album/slc005-sense-compilation-5th-years-anniversary">SLC005_Sense Compilation 5th Years Anniversary by Sense label</a></iframe> <h2>Phantom electronics by Akiyan</h2>

A dose of atmospheric beats for this episode is provided by the Minsk project Akiyan. We have previously featured their breakbeat remix of Šuma's "Kupalinka". This time we're checking out an original tracks called "Phantom".

– The initial demo was made in 2022, back when I lived in Poland. The plan was to make a something dark and aggressive. The base of the composition was the synth arpeggio. I then added some drums, bass and a vocal loop, which seemed both dark, yet somehow uplifting. Later on, stumbled upon this demo in late 2023 and decided to update it, as I have honed my style in the meantime and wanted to dust off some old material. I made a more dynamic drum part, changed the bass and the synth arrangements and that became the "Phantom" that you can hear now.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=969099692/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://ezhevika.bandcamp.com/track/phantom">Phantom by Akiyan</a></iframe> <h2>Sveta Ben' and Galya Chikiss remind us in their new single that every person is bunch of sprakles</h2>

The two artists have been collaborating for years, and we love their single "Mirrorball" and the "Priyom!" ablum. But today we're checking their latest single "Sgustok blestok". I honestly thought that this was the tireless creatives' anthem, but Sveta shone a light on her intent and message. Let's hear what she had to say about it:

– The song was composed a few years ago. I wanted to write a song to support the people have experienced violence. It's quick and easy for a person to forget how to shine after having lived through something horrible. Every once in a while one needs a reminder. It's easy to convince someone they are no good and can't do anything good. That's basically what abusers, rapists, police and bad people in general do to their victims. It's important to remind everyone about their inner light. Some people cherish it and shine from inside and some try to put it out by joining the dark side. But it's always there, even if it's almost unnoticeably small. It never hurts to be be reminded of it.

I composed this song on a ukulele, and Galya made a really beautiful synth pop hit arrangment, I think. Really beautiful, sparkling shiny arrangement.

I wish everyone to keep shining-sparkling and don't forget that even when we're down in the dumps and worse off that we'd like, our inner light is still with us!

<iframe style="border: 0; width: wide; height: 208px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2917429605/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://svetaben.bandcamp.com/album/bunch-of-sparkles">Сгусток блёсток / Bunch of Sparkles by Sveta Ben and Galya Chikiss</a></iframe><br> \* * *

That's it for today. This was the Newsroom podcast — the music news show by the Radio Plato team, where we gather info about the news of the Belarusian electronic music scene. The podcast is brought to you by our team: Reemotto, Stwone, Helga, Krik, Schmoltz, Nadya Ya, Stereobeaver and KorneJ. Cover art by chernova.ya.

If you're a Belarusian making music, share it with us on social networks and we'll share it with the world in our next episodes. Subscribe to the podcast on streaming platforms, support us on Patreon, or simply Paypal us a donation – this helps us do more cool stuff. This was Plato's Newsroom. Fight for your right to party and see you soon!

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