yuka is a wanderer. she is a shaman. she’s a designer and an artist. she’s a collector. she’s a crate digger. she’s a songbird catcher. she’s a dancer, a guitar player and an inventor. she’s a traveler. she is so many things — but most of all, yuka is a music maker.
born in 1974 in the industrial beachside town of bratsk in eastern siberia, yuka’s home offered red earth and harsh climates; a fact that she doesn’t romanticize, even today. the town’s remote location in the depths of the taiga, as well as the severity of the soviet regime, meant that she relied on imagination, imagery and music to fuel her creativity.
let diego “pior” martin tell you something about the birds and the bees. playing live as birdsmakingmachine, he gets intimate with his gear; leaning in close, hips swaying, feet pounding on the stage, twisting knobs with a certain kind of sensuality reserved for the release, the ecstasy that comes with performance. he dances wildly on stage, completely giving in to the sounds he’s created, cracking faces that are a mix of concentration and climax, entirely lost in the music.
by the time pior sits down with me at the convent st agusti in barcelona, he has been working for hours already, setting up the stage at club nitsa. during mutek spain, he lends his time to the team as a stage hand and production assistant, expertly balancing his self-proclaimed handyman status with his work as birdsmakingmachine. a music project that began as an anonymous artist collective, pior represents the crew when playing live — an embodiment that pior takes very seriously. music, as far as he’s concerned, is not just for the birds, so to speak. he would later tell me that he feels like his most true self when he’s on stage, playing music, a fact that his live set at mutek spain made clear. in person, though, it’s not all that austere: pior laughs loud, taking care to note that our talk was the most fun he’d had in an interview in ages. herewith, pior and i talk barcelona, the power of anonymity, and the magic of performance.
“letters is a reflection on being in my mid-20s, with all good and bad that that entails,” allyson tells me of her new EP. it’s funny. everything that we create, build and project at this time in our lives might just be exactly that. the remarkable thing is that letters somehow captures those emotions and sets them to music – predictable though it may sound, the record is anything but. “it was inspired by a time in my life where i had the emotional maturity to know what’s good for me, but i was still young enough to have these impractical strings attached to those feelings of ‘what if’ or ‘maybe’ – which i think we all do at some point or another.” the same words have probably crossed your mind – i know i’ve written them here in some form or another – and that’s exactly why you’ll love letters.