harmonic navigation / an interview with yuka

yuka

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.

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featuring / alka rex

alkarex.2jpg

“to be honest, we hate interviews,” eddie krilov and sasha kaline, new york-by-way-of-saint-petersburg producers known by their stage name, alka rex, laugh wholeheartedly. it’s around 1 pm on a grey sunday, and the three of us have been chatting over skype for a half hour before the pair confess that interviews make them uncomfortable. not that you could tell. after  more than a decade of friendship, and almost as much time spent as creative partners, sasha and eddie are so at ease with one another that they’re finishing each other’s thoughts. even before i ask my first question, both are telling me about when they met – in seattle, almost 20 years ago – and how well they work together. i scramble to get the my voice recorder turned on in time to ask them if, after all this time, they’re sick of each other yet: “not yet,” they both chuckle at once.

sasha, you must be so excited to be coming to montreal for the hushlamb party next weekend!

sasha kaline: yes! i’m super excited. it seems like the party is going to be amazing. the venue looks great, and of course, the crew is very special.

eddie, we’re all so gutted that you’re not able to make it down for the event. sasha, you’ll be representing alka rex solo at the hushlamb event – will you be doing anything differently to prepare given that eddie won’t be coming with you?

SK:  we’ve been working on the set together. it’s going to be a DJ set but it will incorporate our own music as well – some new, some old. i’ll be playing on my computer, so it will allow me to play mix and match a bit, and incorporate different bits of tracks to create something unheard of. eddie is more of a vinyl lover, though.

eddie krilov: when i play, i play only vinyl. it preserves the original sound, the original format. i try to support the vinyl industry as much as i can. even when we do our own releases, i strongly recommend that the label does both a physical and a digital release, otherwise it seems lost. you have this physical object to touch and feel and put on the wall. you see the artwork, too. it’s more special.

SK: he’s a vinyl junkie! you should see his collection! [laughs]

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