ADSR mix 023: Khlev

Dec. 26. 2017


For the 23rd instalment of the ADSR mix series, we reached out to Belarusian DJ / producer- Daniil Sutko aka Khlev. A founding member of the Minsk based arts collective, YINYANG, and a life-long music lover, Khlev crafts deep, emotive house music full of rich vocals and cascading keys. Whether he's field recording on the beach or recording his classic upright piano in his studio, Khlev fits creativity into his everyday life in the burgeoning Minsk electronic scene.       

So how was it growing up in Minsk?  What got you started with electronic music?

I was born in Belarus. But In the year 2000, me and my parents moved to Moscow. In 2008, when I was already an adult, I returned to Minsk and entered University. Since then I have been living in Minsk.
I got interested in electronic music at about the age of 20. I listened to different music and tried my hand as a performer in different styles (punk, hard core, hip hop), but over time my ear was beginning to demand more refined music, so I plunged into the world of electronics. 

And how about the current state of electronic music in Minsk?  
Belarus it not the most developed country in terms of contemporary art. We have a lot of ruins of the Soviet Union, in architecture and society. But in recent years the Minsk scene has started to gain momentum. There are young artists and society's interest for electronic music is growing. There are new art spaces, in spite of the relatively high risk in this business. So this makes us happy!


You are the cofounder of music blog and label - YINYANG.  Talk to us about the ethos of the collective and what you guys have planned for 2018?  
YINYANG was founded by me and two friends - Khlev, Thomas Carmody, and Pavel Artsyushin.  We've been friends since childhood and at the age of 13 we organized a punk band, wrote songs, sometimes played shows, that was really cool and trash! Closer to 18 we were enthusiastic about rap music, several years of writing hip-hop and gradually arrived in electronic music. At that time we wanted to do something more than just to write music, so we came up with YINYANG and began to develop it. We make all the decisions together. Next we were joined by 2 photographers who have started to highlight interesting events on our blog with their photos. By 2018 we hope to have a lot of interesting artists, interviews, and music.  

What kind of events do you guys generally organize?
We generally don't organize parties although we organized a few small local events before. Instead we try to cover the most interesting, in our view, events in  Minsk through photo and video reports. In General, we try to make our contribution to the Belarusian culture.

You released an EP “Birds” back in July, featuring 3 tracks of techno, ambient and minimal soundscapes. It sounded like a lot of piano was featured on the album as well. Perhaps you can take us through the album a bit. Is playing live instruments something important to you?
You are right, I have a passion for the sound of classical piano. I find it a magical and most enjoyable tool. I use this piano often, and in the 'Birds' EP' you can hear it a lot.  Among dozens of projects on my laptop, these three tracks stood out and fit together well for a release.  

As a producer, where do you take most of your inspiration from?
Of course, my main inspiration comes from other artists. I believe that it is like a closed circuit. Ever since childhood, I watched music videos, listened to music and one thought came into my head : "Damn, I want to do that!!!"

Do you prefer to use hardware or software instruments? What is your basic workflow for putting together a track?
I use a mix of software, hardware and instruments. I have a controller and a drum machine, and I love using field recordings I captured. In the studio I have a real piano, but I haven't had time to release much music with it yet. It's hard to describe my creative process, each track is a little bit different. The beginning of the track is the most pleasant moment, but to finish it, this is still a real job.

Take us through the mix you have for us.  
In fact, my mix is a walk through my creativity, melodic deep house. My vision of straight drums and melodies, lots of vocals. All tracks 2015 - 2017. By the way, you will hear one unreleased track from my friend and great producer- Thomas Carmody.

Parting words?   
I wish you all the success in the future! Be grateful and creative everyday.  

1. Adele - Skyfall (Khlev Remix)
2. Khlev - Tonight
3. Khlev - You don’t see me
4. Khlev - Blown away
5. Khlev - Number 8
6. Khlev - Immersion
7. Coral Casino - Baby (Khlev Remix)
8. Thomas Carmody - Shakalaka
9. Khlev - Maybe Noll
10. Khlev - Sec min hr day week month year

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