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Plato Newsroom #18

A bunch of fresh Belarusian releases by Tune Crashers & Deech, Psilovangton, Aum!, Oleg Bychkov & Naidee, Aslamin and Shemit.


Greetings! You are listening to the 18th episode of the Newsroom project, a Radio Plato show about fresh releases by Belarusians. Your host todays is Alik Khamiak a.k.a. Schmoltz. Let's go!

In today's episode:

  • electro/breaks collaboration by Tune Crashers & Deech;
  • an original take on synthwave by Psilovangton;
  • a gothic folk tale from the bowels of the Horadnia underground by Aum!;
  • an outstanding modern jazz album by Oleg Bychkov and Naidee for the fans of the jazz evenings in Accidental Point;
  • progressive tribal dance rhythms by Aslamin;
  • lo-fi sampledelica by Shemit.
<br><iframe width="100%" height="300" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/1860817110&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-18" title="Plato Newsroom - #18 w/ Deech &amp; Tune Crashers, Psilovangton, Aum!, Oleg Bychkov &amp; Naidee, Aslamin, Shemit" target="_blank" style="color: #cccccc; text-decoration: none;">Plato Newsroom - #18 w/ Deech &amp; Tune Crashers, Psilovangton, Aum!, Oleg Bychkov &amp; Naidee, Aslamin, Shemit</a></div><br><h2>Deech talks about his collaboration with Tune Crashers and his inspirations and creative tools he uses in production</h2>

First up is a collaboration by Deech and Tune Crashers. A melodic electro breakbeat track just in time for the summer outdoor raves. Here's more details about this collab, his creative process and favorite tools from Dima Deech:

– I've had a draft of this track, originally in the style of uk garage, for about three years before meeting Tune Crashers. I sent him my demo, which he reshaped into an electro track and just generally lifted the energy and quality of the initial idea.

Nothing has much changed (in my creative process) since the early days. Still making bangers, but now on licensed software. Plus I amassed a bit of analogue gear. A Moog, a Prophet, a drummachine. I also recently started an edit series, called Pro Evolution Edits, check them out on my Bandcamp. I would say I'm having a creative journey without a final destination. Just having fun making music. One of my greatest sources of inspiration for me, without a doubt, is listening to great music. I would have listened to Machinedrum's "Room(s)" and have it impact me so much – especially his processing of samples with those filters, delays and so on – that every once in a while I get a flashback to his sound and get inspired to sit down and do something of my own in that vein. Or I would sometimes start by recreating a beat from an old favorite track of mine.

As far as my favorite tools, I used to use the Synapse Legend vst synthesizer on almost every track, but I sadly do not own it anymore. I have replaced it by a very cool free synth called Podolski. I use Soundtoys fx plugins – they're great. And I would also highly recommend the Vision 4X spectrum analyzer for music production. Other than that, the stock Ableton plugins are great.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=3661594313/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://deech.bandcamp.com/track/vinho-verde">Vinho Verde by Deech, Tune Crashers</a></iframe><h2>Retrofuturistic instrumental synthwave by Bieraście musician Psilovangton</h2>

Psilovangton is the creative moniker of Aliaksandr Trychyk from Bieraście. He has been producing retrofuturistic instrumental synthwave for a few years now. We're featuring a track from his latest album “What Remains Of Your Dreams?” released in April. This is Aliaksandr's sixth album, but frankly I have just discovered his music, so I was curious to hear about his journey.

– I began making chiptune music on my smartphone back in 2016. It's a good genre to wrap your head around notes and harmony, as I have no formal musical training. I keep developing my musical glossary listening to a very wide range of different music styles all the time. I had to put in the ground work to make something of my own on that foundation. Chiptune was great for that, but evetually I had to face the fact that this genre is somewhat limited and it's time for me to move on. So I moved from smartphone apps to FL Studio. I started making synthwave and kept making demos for myself for a long time, eventually started publishing singles on Soundcloud. Then, I self-released a few EP's but I would consider my debut LP to be the official start of my musical career. I didn't know how to go about promoting it, so I didn't. I did not exactly fit into the established genres as my music diverged from the classic synthwave sound. But, fortunately, in 2022 after the release of the second LP, I found like-minded people who called this genre datawave, and that made me feel that I can experiment even more with my music.

I am constantly in the creative process, I just can't live without it. I have lots of demos for the next albums already. As far as creative strategies, I constantly look for ways to glitch the synthesizers, as I consider synth glitches the hallmark of my sound. But I go to great lengths to balance emotion and electronic experiments in my music. The latest album has a lot of sound experiments, a lot of synth glitches, and the next album will have even more!

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1194935906/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://psilovangton.bandcamp.com/album/what-remains-of-your-dreams">What Remains Of Your Dreams? by PSILOVANGTON</a></iframe><h2>A gothic folk tale from the bowels of the Horadnia underground by Aum!</h2>

Next up is Aum! from Horadnia. Their "Baroque" album has been released in February. Aum! is a project created by Illa Piačynin, a notable figure of the Horadnia underground music scene, a member of such iconic local rock bands of the past as Pogost, Lasty Kusto and many others. It is not his solo project, however. A noteable part of the album is the vocalist under the alias Ariel and her hypnotic lullaby-like singing. The music of this album combines baroque harmonies, a wide range of styles and musical instruments of different eras. The result of this combination transports the listener to an alternative reality, a steampunk fairytale lost in time, somewhere around our part of the globe. It's fair to argue that the greatest asset of an album like that is the atmosphere it creates. Ok, if you really need those genre descriptors, let's go with dark folk, post-industrial and psychedelia. Is that off the mark? Let's hear the author speak to that.

– This album took several years to complete. Most of the tracks had been released as singles with accompanying music videos on Bogomolova Golova YouTube channel. Nonetheless, the album is not a mere collection of tracks, but rather a conceptual work. The main theme of the album is the cyclical nature of life. Most of the songs are based on folk incantations. We worked them into the context of our more or less contemporary music, stylistically ranging from dark folk to synth pop. As a result, our work is essentially retro-futuristic, as it reveals the modern world in the light of archaic consciousness. Why "Baroque"? Let's put it this way: intricate arrangements entwine a magical rune of laconic and minimalistic material like a mandala made of lace arabesques.

Our work was noticed by the publishers of the anti-label Meticulous Midgets. By the way, they have their own online radio that added our songs to their playlist. They have also helped with the digital distribution, so now our work is accessible to a much wider audience via numerous streaming platforms. Right now we are preapring a forthcoming full-length album in collaboration with the Belarusian-Vietnamese project Autonomicon.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1681841597/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://aumart.bandcamp.com/album/baroque">Baroque by Aum!</a></iframe><h2>An outstanding modern jazz album by Oleg Bychkov and Naidee</h2>

And now for something completely different. A jazz album. "Riddle" has been recorded with Oleg Bychkov's quartet featuring vocalist and lyricist Nadezhda Voitekhovich a.k.a. Naidee back in 2022 and released the following year. I hope covering a previous year's release in the program about new releases is not a fireable offense, as, in my defence, I have to note that unfortunately this album seems to have gone under the radar so far. Well, let's fix that!

Jazz is, of course, a multifaceted phenomenon. So what exactly are we dealing with on this record? This is a sophisticated jazz fusion for fans of Kamasi Washington or Robert Glasper. In other words it's very modern, dynamic and groovy, with neosoul harmonies supported by a very tight, at times almost prog-rock, rhythm section. The bandleader Oleg Bychkov shares more details about the journey of a professional jazz musician and the creation of this album:

– My musical journey began at six years old when I first touched my father's musical keyboard. My mother is a music theorist and my father is a choir director, who is also into digital arrangement. I also showed early interest in that, so I enrolled into the The Republican Gymnasium-college under the Belarusian State Academy of Music. I went to the choir department, which I graduated with honors from, and then I decided I wanted to do something a bit different. The college offered exclusively academic education, which meant classical music only, while I wanted to venture into contemporary music, especially jazz. So then I enrolled to the University of Culture as a bass guitarist. I love this instrument. I graduated from it four years later and nowadays I continue my music journey, perfecting my skills as a producer and bandleader.

As for "Riddle", it was a one-time project. I composed music for it while still studying at the university, as did all of my co-collaborators, although we were not all in the same academic year. Our drummer Dmitri Lobik was in his third year, Nadezhda Voitekhovich and Nikita Mlechko were in their second year. So at the time, it was impossible to predict whether we would keep playing our own music together.

Initially, I was the main music author, as I arranged all the instrument parts in Cubase. Once that was done, I wanted to find another creative individual, no less creative than myself, that would contribute his/her own vision and ideas. It took a while, but eventually I found Nadezhda, who is effectively my co-author on this album. She also recorded the vocals and backup vocals for it.

On the other hand, one can call this album a collaborative work, as each of the musicians contributed their vision to the compositions. We've shared numerous suggestions to make a pause here, alter the form there, or to make a variation or to cut a part. So, yes, it is actually a collaborative effort.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 472px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1468608210/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://olegbychcovmusic.bandcamp.com/album/riddle-2022-2">Riddle (2022) by Oleg Bychkov &amp; Naidee</a></iframe><h2>Progressive tribal dance rhythms by Aslamin</h2>

Let's head back to the dancefloor. Aliaksei Aslamin brings the steady stream of bangers. We decided to go with "Reflections", released on the UK label Non Stop Rhythm. And, of course, we sat down with Aliaksei for chat about his music, his favorite tools and plans.

– Hi there, my name is Aslamin. Some of you may know me as a juke/footwork producer. I used to be a member of the Bassota community, so I am known for producing the type of music that we used to play at those parties back in the day: bass, juke, footwork. Then I made a turn towards the 4-to-the-floor varieties of dance music: house, trance, and all sorts of their subgenres inspired by the 90's and early 2000's. I am making more dancefloor-oriented tracks now, by contrast to my earlier output, which was rather music for the headphones.

I have been very inspired lately by the vst version of the vintage Casio CZ-1 synthesizer, it's simply mindblowing. A virtual 303 clone called ABL 3 is another staple of my production. I tend to use a lot of modulations of filters, delays etc in my production and the great option for that is the Tantra vst plugin. Highly recommended.

My next release is scheduled in a couple of months on a Mexican label Next Gen. It's a four-tracker of dancefloor-heavy house music. Or underground house, to be more precise. Stay tuned!

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 208px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2548714235/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://nonstoprhythm.bandcamp.com/album/choices">Choices by Aslamin</a></iframe><h2>Lo-fi sampledelica by Shemit</h2>

And, last but not the least, a very interesting little release. A mini-album by Siarhei Shmellius from Navapolatsak, who releases music as Shemit. The five-track EP is made entirely on a Pocket Operator, a tiny sampler that looks more like a calculator than a musical instrument. Very portable yet very capable. We'll hear proof of that in a second, but first, let's meet Siarhei:

– I started playing music in cover bands around 2014, on guitar and cajon. We went to Turkey to make some money playing in five-star hotels. Upon return, I started making music for stock audio marketplaces. After the war started, Audiojungle restricted access to Belarusians, so I couldn't keep doing it. That's when I focused more on making my own music. That's how it started, and I'm still experimenting with different styles looking for my own sound.

One of my interests is making foley, field recordings and sound design with more synthesizer type sounds for computer games etc.

I bought it (Pocket Operator) about a year ago and fell in love immediately. I always have it on me and make sounds wherever inspiration strikes. I love its akai-like sound. At one point I had all this material made on it that was coming together as a concept. A short eight-minute story.

It's a personal story about how I managed to get through a tough psychological state. The story with a happy ending.

I do my best to use my own original sounds. I have been collecting a library of sounds for a while now, since I got a digital recorder. I rarely ever use any third-party sound libraries. Homegrown through and through, as they say.

<iframe style="border: 0; width: 100%; height: 307px;" src="https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1542491228/size=large/bgcol=333333/linkcol=ffffff/artwork=small/transparent=true/" seamless><a href="https://shemit.bandcamp.com/album/microscopy-made-on-pocket-operator">Microscopy(Made on Pocket Operator) by Shemit</a></iframe><br> \* * *

That's it for today. This was Newsroom, the radio show about Belarusians who make sounds by the Radio Plato team: Reemotto, Stwone, Helga, Krik, Schmoltz, Nadya Ya, Stereobeaver and KorneJ and graphic desiger 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. Don't forget to support your local artists by buying their music on Bandcamp and, of course, by coming to their live shows. See you next time! Radio Plato loves you!

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