Sunchase reveals The Truth
Alexander Pavlenko may not be name people are too familiar with, but Sunchase most certainly is. The 22:22 boss and D&B technician is turning his attentions to Med School, with a release forthcoming showcasing Sunchase’s more minimal and calmer side.
Pavlenko has managed to keep his label and music consistent despite his Ukraine going through extreme turbulent times. With the electronic music scene falling victim to the turmoil in the country, especially economic, his and the work of many Ukrainians to keep the D&B, house and techno scene alive has to be credited. Keeping a positive philosophy through his words and music it is clear the situation surrounding him isn’t phasing his motivation. The music of Sunchase and many other native producers is key to the success of the progressive underground electronic scene within the country, especially drum and bass.
His forthcoming EP – The Truth, is a demonstration of Sunchase’s versatility across the electronic spectrum, taking a more minimal and stripped back approach to the 170 sound. You’d have no idea this was produced amidst a war-hit country and be forgiven for thinking it was a completely different producer – such is the depth of Sunchase’s vision.
The Truth, the opening title track sets the tone with radiant synths and a warm bass line; to ease the listener in. Whilst in contrast, track two; Thing featuring Electrosoul System, normal service is somewhat resumed with textbook electro/techno infusions but over a stripped stepping beat pattern. Kolo features the distinguishable influence of Blu Mar Ten as they achieve energy through softer keys and intricate percussion, rolling into the last track on the EP, Think Of. A track reminiscent of early Calibre, with the kind of soft liquid influences that rolls back the years, making the debut feel firmly at home on Med School.
In light of this exciting new release, we thought we’d chat to the versatile Ukrainian on his music; his label and the impact living in a war-hit country can have on a producer.
Hello Alex! How’s life in 2015
Hello guys. Start of the year has been good so far in terms of music. The Truth EP is coming on Med School really soon and I’m really happy and motivated with this release. Also got loads of work with producing techno and mixing and mastering tracks mostly for techno heads here in Kiev. At the other side we have a war on the east side of Ukraine, pretty bad and unclear war with loads of deaths, propaganda etc, but I’ll leave this topic for now.
As you said, you’re from Ukraine; what’s the music scene like out there?
It’s like everywhere, we have our local pop singers, bands etc. There are some world class artists though, like Okean Elzi. They are very big here. And I think they are pretty well known in the USA and EU.
As for Kiev, I think techno is growing. Local techno parties with no headliners or something attract around 300-500 people.
We have really good techno, house producers like Vakula, Stas Tolkachev, Etapp Kyle, Woo York and other good people. So it’s all good with techno scene (in Kiev mostly)
Anyhow war did have its impact on the scene. D&B parties with headliners are a rare thing now. Just a few big parties like Therapy Sessions or something do the job, locally it’s not in the best shape. But still from the production side it’s all good and growing! We’ve got The Erised, Hidden Element, Derrick & Tonika, NickBee, I Wannabe, Physical illusion, Sunny Crimea and many, many more 😉 So still we can find inspiration.
You’ve mentioned the war has been tough. Have the recent events affected your attitude towards music and music production?
Well yes. It was really hard year. Lots of people know about our revolution situation last year. And now our economy is almost dead. Prices for everything are growing. Currency rates are crazy. For example it was 11 grivnas for 1 euro, now it’s 23 for 1. So if you want to make a party with UK or EU headliner it’s twice expensive as it was before. So we don’t do parties now. Same for the people who want to fly for vacation or buy some hardware etc etc. So it’s tough situation for many people now.
Hoping for all the best for you and Ukraine in the future! What inspired you to get into D&B in the first place?
The sound, dark vibe, breakbeats and bass of course. It was something fresh, and the sounds were unheard of before. Futuristic music, and it still is.
Your forthcoming EP on Med School sounds fantastic! It’s calmer to some of your heavier previous releases. Is this the direction you’re moving in?
Don’t think it is too different from previous, but yes, I’m moving that way.
Talk me through the wonderful ‘Kolo’ with Blu Mar Ten… how did the collab come about?
We booked Chris for our first 22:22 party in Kiev. So we had an extra day to work on some beats in the studio. Then Chris left Ukraine, and I finished this track in Kiev. Kolo is circle in Ukrainian language btw.
You’re known for crisp drum sounds and clinical percussion. Do you build your drum parts first? Can you talk me through your production process?
Well its all about an experience of 16+ years of music production I think 🙂 Usually I start with drums, kicks, snares, claps whatever. Then percussions. I mix all in Cubase and I love the sound of this DAW and I use UAD EQ plugins for percussions. Like Neve 1073 and Neve 1081 mostly.
Word is that you’ve got a second album coming out; can you give us any more details?
To be honest I just don’t know when and where it will come out. So it’s pretty early to talk about that.
Your label, 22:22 is making serious movements right now! The latest release has got some unique sounds. Are they fellow countrymen and what’s the meaning behind the label name?
Fellow countrymen, yes 🙂 Just one track from 5 is from UK crew Thrones.
And Hidden Element, Fade, Oray and Surie are guys from Ukraine. 22:22, it’s just a time. Sometimes you check your watch and you see 22:22. Was pretty usual thing here. So we called our team and label 22:22.
I think we’ve all experienced that! D&B is thriving in Eastern Europe, loads of artists coming out over there and it’s great to see them getting recognition in the UK. Any rising talents to look out for?
Ye as I said before our production factory is growing. So keep your eyes on The Erised, Hidden Element, Surie and I Wahannabe.
We definitely will. Look 10 years into the future, where do you hope to be as an artist and a label boss?
Pretty far away plans. I think I just will be doing more music. Will collect more gear and hope to play more tennis. That’s what I love most, and will be doing this till the end of my life.
Haha we’ll be seeing you at Wimbledon soon no doubt! What have you got planned for Sunchase and 22:22 in 2015?
Some solo and collaboration works with Detail , Hidden Element, Cepasa and I Wannabe. Going to release some of my deep works.
Also collection tracks for UA VA LP.
Where’s your favourite place in the whole world to play?
Hm, tbh I just don’t know. It just should be a place with nice promoters and the crowd, plus good soundsystem. That’s all I need 🙂
What does Alexander Pavlenko get up to outside of Sunchase?
You mean techno house side or just my personal one? 🙂
I still don’t know what to do with the house project. Maybe there will be some plates out, who knows. I’m concentrating now more on techno production with another alias. About to make a live set for that project, but that’s still in progress so more info soon.
As for personal, I think I need some rest. So going snowboarding soon.
Any final words?
Don’t worry, be happy!
Head to Red Eye to pre-order Sunchase’s Truth EP