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Feature: ARTBAT [Interview + Premiere]

20 min read

Hello Artur & Batish, thanks for joining us today, tell us where you are at the moment and what are your plans for the week?
Hola, and thanks for having us. Always a pleasure :-) We’re actually on our way to Doha in Qatar. Tonight we going to end the year alongside Olivier Giacamotto at O’Hara (W Hotel). We played there already once and it was lots of fun.

Do either of you have musical backgrounds and do either of you play any instruments?
Both of us have always been interested in music. Dance music was always part of our life.

What were your first experiences with electronic music? How did you get introduced to it?
Both of us were interested in being a DJ at very early stages in our life, so we started with some lessons. Dance music culture wasn’t as big in Ukraine as it is now.

What music from your youth had the biggest effect on where you are today? Are there certain tracks or albums which profoundly influenced you?
Not really. But for sure the Diynamic Music sound was always our biggest inspiration.

Tell us about Kiev, have you lived there your whole life? and how has living there shaped your sound and career? And how is the scene now?
Artur: Yes,  I was born here.

Batish: I was born in Latvia, but then moved quite soon to Ukraine.

The scene is growing every day. People are really educated and interested in electronic dance music. We are really happy with the direction of the scene.

Kiev or Ukraine didn’t really shape our sound, but obviously we met here and that’s how everything started one day. We always loved what Diynamic was doing. It shaped our sound and way of producing essentially.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within the ARTBAT dynamic?
Most importantly, we always have fun working on new tracks, but of course sometimes you are stuck. Those moments happen in every good relationship :-). And if we can’t come up with a new idea, melody or miss a element, we just have a pause. A little break usually helps to clear your head. Walking in the park can help wonders sometimes.

But generally there is no scheme that we are using. Patience is key.

Your productions resonate on different levels, compositionally they are compelling to listen and dance to but design wise they are also quite pristine, is it difficult finding a balance between the two? And what do you want your music to convey to the listener?
When we started working together we just wanted to make something new for the industry. We wanted to try to share our vision with people. Also one goal for sure was to put our home Ukraine more and more on the music map. From release to release, from gig to gig - we see that people around the world enjoy our music. This gives us the biggest inspiration and energy. Our musical career is now growing by the month and we love the direction of it. Most of all we have the possibility of sharing our music, style and vision globally. We want to make people around the world dance, enjoy life and see them smile on the dancefloor.

Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so elaborate please.
We always divide our work in the studio. Sometimes one of us makes the rhythm, while the other is searching for new ideas and melodies. On another day it’s the other way around. It’s all about teamwork. We have fun together and that’s the best for the creative process.

If you had to pinpoint a track from your discography that really gave you a push in your career what would it be and why?
Artur: Our first ever released track “Mandrake” was crucial. Supported and played by Richie Hawtin every set for over a year. The fact made our minds go crazy. Mandrake also got picked up by Maceo Plex and other cool artists at a very early stage.

Batish: It was special and kind of a signal for us. It’s the biggest motivation and inspiration you can receive as a new artist. We understood that our stuff can give vibes to the world and any crowd. The hype around Mandrake made us go forward to create new music and share with the world

We haven’t been changed much since. We’re just more dedicated and made this our living.

I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is this something which is true in ARTBAT? Where does inspiration come from?
Inspiration is anywhere really. What gives us most inspiration is to see how happy we make people on the dancefloor. The feedback and love we receiving is incredible. On travels we always try to visit authentic spots. All this gives us energy and inspirtation.

We’re thrilled to host the premiere for  ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ which is one of the tracks from your upcoming Diynamic EP. It’s a collaboration with Dino Lenny, tell us about the production process behind that one.
We were searching for a third track to make up the Ep and so we hit up Dino Lenny who had already written some amazing vocals and parts so sent across. We immediately felt it and worked all together in the studio on a few bits and pieces we thought could help it, then decided to do the collaboration and sent it to Diynamic and Solomun loved it right away! We get on quite well with Dino

You’ve worked with Dino before, what makes him such an ideal artist to collaborate with?
He’s simply a talent. His vocals are out of this world. A real talented producer and vocalist. Sand In Your Shoes + Don’t Bring Me Down, you can hear are real special tracks.

You seem to have found a comfortable home on both Diynamic and Fryhide, what criteria does a label have to fulfill for you to release your music on it?
To be honest, it was always our dream to release on Diynamic Music. From Day 1. It comes closest to our vision and sound. But also fryhide feels like home for us. HOSH is a great guy and gave us the opportunity to showcase our talent on label. We are very grateful. It just has to feel like home and family. Its very important to get the respect that you deserve.

Have you ever considered starting your own label?
Of course this is something we are thinking about since a long time. For now we are happy to release bangers. But who knows - the earlier or later we might come up with our own imprint.

You guys have played at some amazing events over the label few years. Is there one club or festival which holds the strongest memories for you?
If we have to name one which is really difficult we would choose Fusion Festival near Berlin in Germany. One of the most authentic festival you can play. The crowd is super open minded and celebrate every single drop. A fantastic atmosphere. Really outstanding.

You have not done many remixes in the last two years and it’s obviously not from a lack requests, what do you look for when deciding on a remix project?
There’s no schema. It just has to feel right. Most remixes we did in the past were for close friends. We might have some more for 2019, but right now we are focusing on Originals.

When might we see an Artbat album? Is it something you’re thinking about?
A LP is nothing we think of at moment. Maybe some day.

Politics of the scene is something that generally annoys us, it would be nice if good music could just stand on its own but nowadays there seems to be so many other factors which affect perception, social media being one. What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?
It’s a tough scene. If it would be easy anyone could do it, right?. Especially nowadays a good marketing and PR is your abc. Very important to have the right strategy. Old days are past - we personally think it was much more difficult to create a name a few years back where social media wasn’t given. All the breakthrough artists from then and still on top of the game by now.

What are you guys working on at the moment? Anything you can tell us about? What’s up coming from the ARTBAT studio in 2019?
We have been working on a real dope collaboration with our friend Matador. We can quite confidentially say there’s new ARTBAT music every other month. Some real exciting projects coming up very soon. Touring wise - we are taking a recovery break in January and in February we back with our very first US Tour. Gonna be fire.

ARTBAT 'Upperground' EP is out on 4th of January on Diynamic Music! Get it here: Download

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