Andrey Kiritchenko is an experimental electronic musician, as well as
the owner of Ukranian label Nexsound. For years he's been composing
and releasing hours of experimental music using his own unique
methods. He has also collaborated with many of the electronic music
scene's premier artists. I interviewed him through email in
mid-February, and here are the results of the conversation. His
responses have been somewhat paraphrased due to translation issues.
I: How did you get started in music?
AK: It's like I've been infected by it since my childhood -
genes. My grandfather has a fabulous voice and was a soloist in the
chorus, my father used to have a pop-rock band where he was a guitar
player and singer, and my mother finished music school in accordion... So
since I was 15 years old I was writing lyrics and music for a rock band
where I sung and played guitar. Later on I used to be a drummer in
another teenage art-rock band, and so on...
I: When did you become involved in the experimental electronic
spectrum of things? How? Why?
AK: Since 1995 I always wanted to make electronic music, and then
my dream came true - it's like slowly shifting to this kind of
music. How? When I started to play with Vermona analog modular
synthesizers. Why? I like everything bizarre - poetry, paintings,
films, music, etc.
I: When did people first start paying attention to the sounds you
AK: When I made a page on mp3.com.
I: When and how did you start up Nexsound?
AK: When I decided to make 25 cassettes of my NEX project to sell via
some online shops - that was the start. Then I thought it would be
good to give an opportunity to Ukrainian artists to be heard, and started
releasing limited editions on 5" and 3" CDRs. And now it's only
CDs and MP3s.
I: How do you think your recordings under your own name compare to
those as Sidhartha and Nihil Est Excellence? What are the differences, and
what is the reason for using different names?
AK: I started Sidhartha to write under own name in 2000, and Nihil Est
eXcellence is a project that used to be a three person band and deals with
very conceptual sound design and sound sources. However, I no longer use
I: What is your goal as a musician?
AK: I have no goal - just to make it a way of life. Or maybe no,
I do have a goal - I'd like to reach the highest level of musical
professionalism - when everything you hear in your mind could be made into
I: How do you envisage your music being listened to? What emotions
and feelings do you try to provoke?
AK: Sometimes, when I hear something very awesome by another musician,
I feel goosebumps on my body, or I feel as if I've been connected to faint
electricity. I want people to feel the same about my music.
I: What are your major influences? What's in your stereo right now?
AK: Japanese Improv music, free-jazz, 20th century avant composers like
P.Boulez, experimental glitch, drone, minimal electronics, and so on.
I: As the head honcho behind Nexsound, are you satisfied with the
music you've released?
AK: Yes, absolutely. I choose myself what to release. To be
honest when re-releasing Muslimgauze I would pick something different, but
there was no chance to do so.
I: The Moglass's recent Telegraph Poles album was really
terrific - what is your connection with them?
AK: They have been my good friends for a long time. Yuri from Moglass
helps me with the "conceptual" part of the label. He often asks
me for critiques of his music, and criticizes my own stuff. Every once in
a while we meet with each other, drink wine and beer, smoke pipes, and
talk about music.
I: What is the best part of running a label? What types of music are
you open to releasing? Is labelwork as luxurious as it seems?
AK: Well, no. There are problems with distribution these days -
nobody's really interested in
selling this kind of music, then the quality of package and CDs ... it's a
pain to explain what you want to the CD factory. Very often I have
this feeling that I'm about to stop the damn thing - it sucks a lot of
energy out of me and provokes rage and irritation when something goes
wrong. But, on the other hand, when you receive good comments,
reviews, thanks, and of course sometimes money for a new CD - it is worth
I: Who does Nexsound sell to, predominantly?
AK: Europe (mostly to Germany), USA, Canada, just a little bit to
Australia, then Russia, and even less to the Ukraine.
I: Do you get many demos? Have you ever gotten any particularly
interesting or funny ones?
AK: Here goes my advice - don't run a label; otherwise, you will
receive awful demos like I do. Once I received a CD of what could be
called post-industrial music, nothing special, but there was a video with
a man blowing his head up with explosives, and another one with
macro-shooting of defecating man...
I: What makes a good live performance?
AK: I like when people improvise during their live performances.
The best one I've seen and could remember is Abstract Monarchy Quartet.
I: Can you tell me about some of the collaborations you've done with
AK: A collaboration with Kim Cascone and Kotra on the Fourfold Symmetry
split album (on Nexsound), a collaboration with Francisco Lopez that is
not yet finished (will hopefully be done this summer) dealing with field
recordings, one with the owner of Soulworm Records (Marcin Lojek) with
old-school ambient from him and microsound from my side, and one with
Jonas Lindgren and the owner of the Zeromoon label dealing with real
acoustic instruments, field recordings, and microsound. As well,
there are upcoming collaborations with Jason Kahn (the owner of cut.fm)
with contact microphone operation, and with Brian Lavelle with my voice
being digitally treated. Also, there is a plan to release a spoken
word project I wrote music for called "Maple, Sunflower and
Crystals" online on Nexsound.
I: How did you get in touch with all of the remixers on your
"Bees & Honey" album?
AK: I just asked the people I know if they wanted to remix the pieces,
because "Bees and Honey" was too short to release on 5" CD!
I: How do you think it stacks up to your previous albums?
AK: For each of my works I try to create something different.
I: What was the process like in creating "Bees &
Honey"? What equipment did you use, and what were your techniques?
There were lots of interesting sounds on there, I'm quite curious as to
how they were created.
AK: I use contact microphones on objects and body, and usual
microphones and a minidisc recorder for field recordings.
Program-wise, I use Steinberg's Nuendo and Native Instruments' Reaktor.
I combine acoustic sounds, digitally treated or not, with pure digital
I: What is your favourite colour?
AK: Dark blue and grey.
The Nexsound website is www.nexsound.org.
Andrey's solo website is www.nexsound.org/ak.html.
Read an Indieville review
of "Bees & Honey". Read an Indieville
review of The Moglass's album.