Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

Vladimir Ivkovic “I’m not Paradise Garage or David Mancuzo”

In the musical world, Vladimir Ivkovic’s name is closely associated with Offen and Desolat labels, sophisticated musical taste, and famous Saturday parties at the Düsseldorf club “Salon des Amateurs.” Here, within the walls of the Salon, he has sharpened his masterful ability to combine the music that transcends the dance floor.

Vladimir is a kind of a hermit among selectors. He keeps himself apart from the digger hysteria, doesn’t chase rare LPs, and doesn’t like bragging about his finds to friends. Peaceful, composed, honest are the impressions you get of Vladimir Ivkovic. He doesn’t strive to prove anything to anyone, he just shares music that makes you cry.

When did you move to Dusseldorf?

          It’s hard to say. I left Belgrade when I was 18. At first, I ended up in England, then in Germany, where I studied and lived while finishing university. Somewhere around that time Salon des Amateur opened, and basically, it became a Saturday night affair with Detlef (Tolouse Low Trax) for many years.

That was around the same time Yugoslavia started falling apart as a country. Did your move have anything to do with the political situation there?

          Yugoslavia was not behind a Western curtain, it was not behind an Eastern curtain, it was somewhere in the middle, a kind of block free state, so with a Yugoslavian passport, you were able to travel wherever you wanted. It was 1992 when it broke up and then, at some point, Montenegro decided to get separated from Serbia. I was born in Belgrade which was the capital of Yugoslavia and is now the capital of Serbia, but there is no republic of Belgrade, so somehow I was forced to have 2 passports from countries I was not born in. At some point, I gained the right to have German citizenship, a German passport. And that’s how I became German, maybe 10-11 years ago, which was an absurd situation. I gave up citizenship of a country that is not mine, while my country disappeared 10 years ago. The borders are different now, you know the cities are there, the former Yugoslavian republics are there. It is like Atlantis. You kind of know where to find it but you don’t really.

I heard you’ve started playing when you were 11 years old, is that true?

          Yeah, I was 11. A very good friend of my parents had his own discotheque and I would go there so often, like every holiday I would visit it, listen to records, watch videos and just be surrounded by this amount of music, it was amazing. I don't know how it is for kids now, but you know listening to the first New Order single on a big sound system was amazing, and back then there were segments of music like dance music and then music for slow dancing for people in love. And that guy put a pile of 7 inches and let me take care of the slow segment. So I remember this visual memory - first 7 inch on this pile was Prince - When Doves Cry. I knew from a home that music has a certain power, but to see people dancing to these uptempo songs... It was very important to see what music can create. Thanks, Prince.

Did your parents take part in your musical upbringing?

          My parents were quite young when I was born, they were 20-21. A lot of Yugoslavian new wave records were made by their friends. They were considered underground, but you don’t really operate in those terms when you’re 10-11. I mean maybe it sounds awkward, but I’m not like Paradise Garage, I’m not a David Mancuso kind of guy, I grew up with different music, I didn’t listen to any Motown or funk or soul when I was young. I went to concerts with my parents or with my uncle, and all that just shapes who you are. Back then, there was lots of Yugoslavian rock music and my parents were bringing home the Factory records, and Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire. It’s important what you hear, what are you surrounded by, but it’s not music - it’s books, it’s a circle of friends. Maybe, I was born at a very nice time. We could read Dostoevsky and all that stuff, Hemingway and all the American trash. It was this 80s generation that was raised with different influences.

When did you move to Dusseldorf?

          It’s hard to say. I left Belgrade when I was 18. At first, I ended up in England, then in Germany, where I studied and lived while finishing university. Somewhere around that time Salon des Amateur opened, and basically, it became a Saturday night affair with Detlef (Tolouse Low Trax) for many years.

That was around the same time Yugoslavia started falling apart as a country. Did your move have anything to do with the political situation there?

          Yugoslavia was not behind a Western curtain, it was not behind an Eastern curtain, it was somewhere in the middle, a kind of block free state, so with a Yugoslavian passport, you were able to travel wherever you wanted. It was 1992 when it broke up and then, at some point, Montenegro decided to get separated from Serbia. I was born in Belgrade which was the capital of Yugoslavia and is now the capital of Serbia, but there is no republic of Belgrade, so somehow I was forced to have 2 passports from countries I was not born in. At some point, I gained the right to have German citizenship, a German passport. And that’s how I became German, maybe 10-11 years ago, which was an absurd situation. I gave up citizenship of a country that is not mine, while my country disappeared 10 years ago. The borders are different now, you know the cities are there, the former Yugoslavian republics are there. It is like Atlantis. You kind of know where to find it but you don’t really.

I heard you’ve started playing when you were 11 years old, is that true?

          Yeah, I was 11. A very good friend of my parents had his own discotheque and I would go there so often, like every holiday I would visit it, listen to records, watch videos and just be surrounded by this amount of music, it was amazing. I don't know how it is for kids now, but you know listening to the first New Order single on a big sound system was amazing, and back then there were segments of music like dance music and then music for slow dancing for people in love. And that guy put a pile of 7 inches and let me take care of the slow segment. So I remember this visual memory - first 7 inch on this pile was Prince - When Doves Cry. I knew from a home that music has a certain power, but to see people dancing to these uptempo songs... It was very important to see what music can create. Thanks, Prince.

Did your parents take part in your musical upbringing?

          My parents were quite young when I was born, they were 20-21. A lot of Yugoslavian new wave records were made by their friends. They were considered underground, but you don’t really operate in those terms when you’re 10-11. I mean maybe it sounds awkward, but I’m not like Paradise Garage, I’m not a David Mancuso kind of guy, I grew up with different music, I didn’t listen to any Motown or funk or soul when I was young. I went to concerts with my parents or with my uncle, and all that just shapes who you are. Back then, there was lots of Yugoslavian rock music and my parents were bringing home the Factory records, and Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire. It’s important what you hear, what are you surrounded by, but it’s not music - it’s books, it’s a circle of friends. Maybe, I was born at a very nice time. We could read Dostoevsky and all that stuff, Hemingway and all the American trash. It was this 80s generation that was raised with different influences.

Let’s talk about your first days in Dusseldorf as a DJ.

          I was playing before the Salon des Amateurs. I was traveling through Europe with records that no one wanted to hear. You know, when you get on people’s nerves, and they are getting on your nerves, it was a total waste of time. It was a time when dance music got separated into either house or techno. And at that moment Salon opened. It was like an accelerator, Detlef invited me to play with him, and at first, I thought that I don’t want to play in a place with windows, where people go at 10-11 at night to have a drink, and you don’t want to annoy them. But it turned out that Salon had several waves of guests and at 1 in the morning it turned into a proper discotheque or a club. The drunks were out and other people came in and it was amazing. Back then, you could smoke at the Salon so it was really a proper meeting place. You know people would have a drink or a smoke and stay there. The owner wasn’t interested in making people drink and you had a beautiful group of people playing music, working behind the bar... Lena Willikens was working the door, at that time, and it simply felt like you belong here. You could play whatever you wanted and you could listen to plenty of amazing music that Detlef was playing. So I felt like “why would I travel somewhere when people can come to us?” 

It was the place where you could do whatever you want, without trying to please anyone. And it stayed like that for a very long time, at least every time Detlef, Lena and I were there. It was this open invitation for people to join you for an unpredictable night trip, but you were not there to entertain them. That perspective was very formative, not playing functional music, just making people dance.

Have you ever seen a place like Salon?

          Sometimes, I think that a place like Salon should exist everywhere at any time, but I don’t think it exists. I think it’s that mixture of the size of the Düsseldorf, being far enough from Berlin, a mix of people that were there and the way we treated each other. It’s a deep friendship not really based on music. Each person’s story at the Salon is being reflected through the music. The crew that works behind the bars is also very important, for years you didn’t have anyone who is a jobber at the Salon, you know everyone by name, you share the night with them, which is important for me. It's like entering a spaceship where you are one with your music and the guy behind the bar. I don’t like word “magic” but it’s this fantastic combination of all the people involved at certain points in time. And, of course, I can imagine if it exists somewhere else, but I haven't seen it yet. I am very happy to be surrounded by people who are making amazing music, you see their development over… it’s been 14 years now? In 14 years you see the music change, how trends change, how people change. Every year the students at Art Academy (of Düsseldorf) change. You see new faces, similar patterns of behavior, and you think “Oh, I’ve seen this before”.

Besides your performances, you also run Offen. What’s the concept behind it and how do you make decisions about what to release next?

          It’s like the music come and either it makes you cry, in a way or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t someone else can release it. It’s some kind of anti-label. It’s a label that does not follow the classic rules, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It’s just totally artistic thing. Like a very romantic encounter with music that you receive. Offen is not a label made “in the now.” Of course, if there is someone now who loves it, who buys it, it’s amazing and I know that I’m not alone. 

But it’s basically made for the future, you know, if someone takes us up in 200 years and they find those records, it’s just our apology for the radioactive environment they have to grow up with. It is a proof that we could do a little bit more with our brains and with our soul than just destroying everything. That is actually the idea behind the Rex Ilusivii music. The music that saved my life.

Why have decided to release it on Offen?

          Suba (Mitar Subotić) was someone who was brought up with lots of people we knew like we were the family. At some point, I think in 2013, there were some Slovenian punks who released some kind of compilations of the Yugoslavian tape scene and there was that Suba track that got me curious. I thought if Slovenian punks had this track they would probably have the rest of the music I used to hear when I was younger. It took me some time to find his mother and then mother said “yeah we have some music saved, you better talk to the guy from the radio who can digital all that” and I found him and he replied me.

          Long story short, I bought a ticket to Novi-Sad and met his mother. She said there probably are some tracks left, and directed me to this guy from the radio, who could help digitize the Suba’s tapes. He was like “What are you looking for? Music with beats, music without beats, music for theatres, art shows.” They had like 30-40 hours of music. For 6-7 months I couldn’t listen to anything other than the music from this archive. It’s amazing music! It’s a mystic reference to European electronic musical heritage and it was made in the middle of Europe and never released. You basically play the concert of Ray Ilusivii from 1983, the guy was 21 at that time, and he just made you cry. So I thought it would be nice to share it with someone else. Me and Lena (Willikens) were in Sao Paulo recently to play Selectors stage at Dekmantel. I thought I can try to gather all the people who worked with him for almost 10 years and they all came! Hopefully, there is a documentary happening because I managed to tell Suba’s story to the filmmakers from Brazil. They stayed in Brazil for 3 weeks, so maybe it’s a beginning of a wonderful documentary, that is going to be released next year. It’s just about curating this opportunity, because I think every encounter, everything you do in life leaves traces, obvious or not. Getting all these people together and listening to Suba’s records that was something that didn’t seem to be random.

Let’s talk about your first days in Dusseldorf as a DJ.

          I was playing before the Salon des Amateurs. I was traveling through Europe with records that no one wanted to hear. You know, when you get on people’s nerves, and they are getting on your nerves, it was a total waste of time. It was a time when dance music got separated into either house or techno. And at that moment Salon opened. It was like an accelerator, Detlef invited me to play with him, and at first, I thought that I don’t want to play in a place with windows, where people go at 10-11 at night to have a drink, and you don’t want to annoy them. But it turned out that Salon had several waves of guests and at 1 in the morning it turned into a proper discotheque or a club. The drunks were out and other people came in and it was amazing. Back then, you could smoke at the Salon so it was really a proper meeting place. You know people would have a drink or a smoke and stay there. The owner wasn’t interested in making people drink and you had a beautiful group of people playing music, working behind the bar... Lena Willikens was working the door, at that time, and it simply felt like you belong here. You could play whatever you wanted and you could listen to plenty of amazing music that Detlef was playing. So I felt like “why would I travel somewhere when people can come to us?” 

It was the place where you could do whatever you want, without trying to please anyone. And it stayed like that for a very long time, at least every time Detlef, Lena and I were there. It was this open invitation for people to join you for an unpredictable night trip, but you were not there to entertain them. That perspective was very formative, not playing functional music, just making people dance.

Have you ever seen a place like Salon?

          Sometimes, I think that a place like Salon should exist everywhere at any time, but I don’t think it exists. I think it’s that mixture of the size of the Düsseldorf, being far enough from Berlin, a mix of people that were there and the way we treated each other. It’s a deep friendship not really based on music. Each person’s story at the Salon is being reflected through the music. The crew that works behind the bars is also very important, for years you didn’t have anyone who is a jobber at the Salon, you know everyone by name, you share the night with them, which is important for me. It's like entering a spaceship where you are one with your music and the guy behind the bar. I don’t like word “magic” but it’s this fantastic combination of all the people involved at certain points in time. And, of course, I can imagine if it exists somewhere else, but I haven't seen it yet. I am very happy to be surrounded by people who are making amazing music, you see their development over… it’s been 14 years now? In 14 years you see the music change, how trends change, how people change. Every year the students at Art Academy (of Düsseldorf) change. You see new faces, similar patterns of behavior, and you think “Oh, I’ve seen this before”.

Besides your performances, you also run Offen. What’s the concept behind it and how do you make decisions about what to release next?

          It’s like the music come and either it makes you cry, in a way or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t someone else can release it. It’s some kind of anti-label. It’s a label that does not follow the classic rules, I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It’s just totally artistic thing. Like a very romantic encounter with music that you receive. Offen is not a label made “in the now.” Of course, if there is someone now who loves it, who buys it, it’s amazing and I know that I’m not alone. 

But it’s basically made for the future, you know, if someone takes us up in 200 years and they find those records, it’s just our apology for the radioactive environment they have to grow up with. It is a proof that we could do a little bit more with our brains and with our soul than just destroying everything. That is actually the idea behind the Rex Ilusivii music. The music that saved my life.

Why have decided to release it on Offen?

          Suba (Mitar Subotić) was someone who was brought up with lots of people we knew like we were the family. At some point, I think in 2013, there were some Slovenian punks who released some kind of compilations of the Yugoslavian tape scene and there was that Suba track that got me curious. I thought if Slovenian punks had this track they would probably have the rest of the music I used to hear when I was younger. It took me some time to find his mother and then mother said “yeah we have some music saved, you better talk to the guy from the radio who can digital all that” and I found him and he replied me.

          Long story short, I bought a ticket to Novi-Sad and met his mother. She said there probably are some tracks left, and directed me to this guy from the radio, who could help digitize the Suba’s tapes. He was like “What are you looking for? Music with beats, music without beats, music for theatres, art shows.” They had like 30-40 hours of music. For 6-7 months I couldn’t listen to anything other than the music from this archive. It’s amazing music! It’s a mystic reference to European electronic musical heritage and it was made in the middle of Europe and never released. You basically play the concert of Ray Ilusivii from 1983, the guy was 21 at that time, and he just made you cry. So I thought it would be nice to share it with someone else. Me and Lena (Willikens) were in Sao Paulo recently to play Selectors stage at Dekmantel. I thought I can try to gather all the people who worked with him for almost 10 years and they all came! Hopefully, there is a documentary happening because I managed to tell Suba’s story to the filmmakers from Brazil. They stayed in Brazil for 3 weeks, so maybe it’s a beginning of a wonderful documentary, that is going to be released next year. It’s just about curating this opportunity, because I think every encounter, everything you do in life leaves traces, obvious or not. Getting all these people together and listening to Suba’s records that was something that didn’t seem to be random.

You’ve said Offen is anti-label. What do you mean?

          I don’t know if you are familiar with anti-university, it’s existed in the late 60s in London and it actually failed because no one was interested. Their approach was that there is so much going wrong in modern education - the system teaches you how to work, how to be a proper society member, a proper tool. It’s still the same today, by the way. So, students at anti-university have written books, music, and so on. Offen is also open to different stuff, it doesn't have to be music at all. It can be a cartoon or a love letter to someone. You know the label doesn’t follow anyone's expectations.

I can’t miss the recently reissued record by Ukrainian artist Ihor Tsymbrovsky. The record that came out on Offen presented his music to many people who’ve never heard of him before. Do you feel your important role in it?

          No, no way. It’s like a wrong attitude. I try to share some of my knowledge, some of my experience. The whole album is on Youtube, but no one has actually tried to find him and to find the master tapes, remaster them and maybe make it sound the way it was intended to. They had like 100 hundred dollars and a day in the studio to record that album (“Come, Angel” or “Прийди Янголе”). It took me some time to find it and I wrote to Krossfingers guys and their friends and people I know in Poland and Ukraine if someone had a tape. In a few months, I paid quite a lot for that tape and I was listening to it and one summer night I basically thought that it’s almost a crime to enjoy it by myself. 

I was listening to it and one summer night I basically thought that it’s almost a crime to enjoy it by myself.

          So I decided to try and see if there is a master recording of their studio session and yeah, the story is crazy! 2 weeks later, Ihor send me a photo with the tape and then someone else came into the story, the owner of the club in Ukraine who was a producer of that tape. He said that the tape that Ihor had was not the right one, there were 5 minutes missing. The proper long version was somewhere in Poland, so it took some weeks to find the guy, then it took some weeks to send the master files because he didn’t know how to record them and send. Then it was all there and it just had to happen - I really wanted to release that “Come, Angel” track and then asked them to pick some tracks for the B-side.

What was his first reaction when you got in touch with him?

          I don't know. He might have thought: “Who is this freak? What does he want? Why did he send me the picture of the tape?” Maybe you could ask him at the Strichka festival if he’s going to appear. I heard that he only played live 2-3 times in some squat places in Berlin. So it’s probably not for him. I mean, it happened in 1995, you don't want to remember what you did in 1995, and then someone was asking if he had the original recordings. I’m glad that he trusted me and gave me the recordings, so the record could happen. Later Offen got requests from some festivals, and it seems that Ihor refuses to play old music because he is somewhere else at the moment, and that’s good.

You’ve said Offen is anti-label. What do you mean?

          I don’t know if you are familiar with anti-university, it’s existed in the late 60s in London and it actually failed because no one was interested. Their approach was that there is so much going wrong in modern education - the system teaches you how to work, how to be a proper society member, a proper tool. It’s still the same today, by the way. So, students at anti-university have written books, music, and so on. Offen is also open to different stuff, it doesn't have to be music at all. It can be a cartoon or a love letter to someone. You know the label doesn’t follow anyone's expectations.

I can’t miss the recently reissued record by Ukrainian artist Ihor Tsymbrovsky. The record that came out on Offen presented his music to many people who’ve never heard of him before. Do you feel your important role in it?

          No, no way. It’s like a wrong attitude. I try to share some of my knowledge, some of my experience. The whole album is on Youtube, but no one has actually tried to find him and to find the master tapes, remaster them and maybe make it sound the way it was intended to. They had like 100 hundred dollars and a day in the studio to record that album (“Come, Angel” or “Прийди Янголе”). It took me some time to find it and I wrote to Krossfingers guys and their friends and people I know in Poland and Ukraine if someone had a tape. In a few months, I paid quite a lot for that tape and I was listening to it and one summer night I basically thought that it’s almost a crime to enjoy it by myself. 

I was listening to it and one summer night I basically thought that it’s almost a crime to enjoy it by myself.

          So I decided to try and see if there is a master recording of their studio session and yeah, the story is crazy! 2 weeks later, Ihor send me a photo with the tape and then someone else came into the story, the owner of the club in Ukraine who was a producer of that tape. He said that the tape that Ihor had was not the right one, there were 5 minutes missing. The proper long version was somewhere in Poland, so it took some weeks to find the guy, then it took some weeks to send the master files because he didn’t know how to record them and send. Then it was all there and it just had to happen - I really wanted to release that “Come, Angel” track and then asked them to pick some tracks for the B-side.

What was his first reaction when you got in touch with him?

          I don't know. He might have thought: “Who is this freak? What does he want? Why did he send me the picture of the tape?” Maybe you could ask him at the Strichka festival if he’s going to appear. I heard that he only played live 2-3 times in some squat places in Berlin. So it’s probably not for him. I mean, it happened in 1995, you don't want to remember what you did in 1995, and then someone was asking if he had the original recordings. I’m glad that he trusted me and gave me the recordings, so the record could happen. Later Offen got requests from some festivals, and it seems that Ihor refuses to play old music because he is somewhere else at the moment, and that’s good.

It’s sad because in Ukraine no one knows about such music, this heritage.

          It’s funny. I heard “Come, Angel” track for the first time and it reminded me of Coil, not understanding anything. Then the translation came and I was thinking: “is it real what he is singing about?” It’s angel blood, it’s actually a very sexual thing and for me, it sounded like prayer back then. But for those who don’t open the record and don’t read the lyrics, it still has this very pastoral feeling to it. That moment of surprise was very interesting. I’m glad that it all happened because I have no idea why people don't know about it. Perhaps, they don't know about it because it was released in Poland on a tape label. So why should people know it? But it's good they know about it now. It's never too late.

          You know after Ihor, I started to get really into Ukrainian independent music of the 80s. It's insane music, someone should release that. I’m just a bit tired. Something crazy happened after the borders were opened. Perhaps the next Offen release will be Ukrainian music from 85-86.

And what is releasing next?

          I was talking to Tako from Music From Memory to release an album of extraordinary ambience. I’m trying to find original documents, like photos and magazine articles. “Dreambirds” would be the name of the thing. I remember there was a newspaper article back in 1988, about a bunch of kids and their ecological project. They basically recorded that original version of “Dreambirds.” They were hanging speakers on trees in different cities and playing the music through them, hinting on what we are going if every single tree is cut. SI remember this from 1988 and I somehow strongly believe that someone must have this newspaper clipping still. If I manage to find those things, the next release will be the Music From Memory, if not, we'll see, maybe it will be Offen.

What are your non-musical hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

          I read a lot, I’m also a happy exhausted father of 2 kids. So I haven’t had spare weekends for years. But the most precious thing you have in life is this bio system, where all your knowledge and experience are stored for 300-400 years. So all these stories that we have - the Rex Ilusivii stuff, Ihor or Offen, Soundcloud, traveling - it’s all kind of left behind in this bio system. Most of my time I run Desolat record label, I read a lot and I do not sleep much. But it’s the only way to do all of that. So although I’m constantly tired, there is always something to do.

It’s sad because in Ukraine no one knows about such music, this heritage.

          It’s funny. I heard “Come, Angel” track for the first time and it reminded me of Coil, not understanding anything. Then the translation came and I was thinking: “is it real what he is singing about?” It’s angel blood, it’s actually a very sexual thing and for me, it sounded like prayer back then. But for those who don’t open the record and don’t read the lyrics, it still has this very pastoral feeling to it. That moment of surprise was very interesting. I’m glad that it all happened because I have no idea why people don't know about it. Perhaps, they don't know about it because it was released in Poland on a tape label. So why should people know it? But it's good they know about it now. It's never too late.

          You know after Ihor, I started to get really into Ukrainian independent music of the 80s. It's insane music, someone should release that. I’m just a bit tired. Something crazy happened after the borders were opened. Perhaps the next Offen release will be Ukrainian music from 85-86.

And what is releasing next?

          I was talking to Tako from Music From Memory to release an album of extraordinary ambience. I’m trying to find original documents, like photos and magazine articles. “Dreambirds” would be the name of the thing. I remember there was a newspaper article back in 1988, about a bunch of kids and their ecological project. They basically recorded that original version of “Dreambirds.” They were hanging speakers on trees in different cities and playing the music through them, hinting on what we are going if every single tree is cut. SI remember this from 1988 and I somehow strongly believe that someone must have this newspaper clipping still. If I manage to find those things, the next release will be the Music From Memory, if not, we'll see, maybe it will be Offen.

What are your non-musical hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?

          I read a lot, I’m also a happy exhausted father of 2 kids. So I haven’t had spare weekends for years. But the most precious thing you have in life is this bio system, where all your knowledge and experience are stored for 300-400 years. So all these stories that we have - the Rex Ilusivii stuff, Ihor or Offen, Soundcloud, traveling - it’s all kind of left behind in this bio system. Most of my time I run Desolat record label, I read a lot and I do not sleep much. But it’s the only way to do all of that. So although I’m constantly tired, there is always something to do.

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Text: Tanya Voytko

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