How can I present this project to you without discovering a multitude of details, each of which is more interesting than the previous one?
The more information I obtain, the more my mission to summarize it, becomes complicated!
So, I will start with part of my conclusion, in order to try and give you the most realistic image possible.
Years Of Denial is an electronic project which travels between different, yet intermingled styles, that are in constant evolution and which takes its breath in the course of gatherings, exchanges and the often furtive and uncapturable moments between artists.
A sonic titan with a foot in each world, the path to the ephemeral one being his undoubted favourite. And to capture it, you will have to enter into the frail and temporary beauty of their live performances.
Indeed, the majority of Jerôme Tcherneyan‘s productions will never see the light of day as physical releases. The majority of his work in relation to this project can only be captured, for the moment, live.
The path of Jerôme Tcherneyan, musician-producer and DJ, is rich in multiple experiments and relationships.
Since the end of the Eighties, he has been involved in several projects as a drummer whilst studying jazz and Brazilian percussion between 1992 and 1996.
During this period, Jerôme is inspired by dark new wave sounds and, to my surprise, he also appreciates projects such as Public Enemy, Scorn or Techno Animal.
Therefore, a real triangle between the various styles and influences is already taking shape.
But as if that wasn’t enough, towards the end of the Nineties he lays down his drums sticks, at least partially, and throws himself into the electronic experience.
In 2000 Jerôme, moves to London from his country of origin France, to join the Franco-English ghost rock group, Piano Magic.
He will take part in an impressive number of productions with this group between 2001 and today.
At this time, as his encounters grow, his skills are recognized by artists such as Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance), Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins/This Mortal Coil), Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah (African Head Charge), Alan Sparhawk (Low), Damo Suzuki (Edge), Mark Fry and Oliver Ho with whom he collaborates. Then, his name appears in a multitude of projects, and his aptitude to switch from one style to another develops further.
In 2001, he releases a first solo production under the pseudonym, Risky Music with the single ‘Paradox‘ (split single with Tirachina) — unfortunately not available on the Net.
In 2005 he creates and develops “Flesh”, a series of events in London during which he invites artists such as Andy Stott /Claro Intelecto/Edict-Select/James Ruskin/Kirk Degiorgio/Mark Broom/Oliver Ho/Sigha/Steve Bicknell.
It is at this time and during these innumerable evenings that Jerôme will experiment and develop his own electronic productions.
At this point we have to highlight two very important encounters that relate to the present project.
Oliver Ho, known not only for his excellent dj sets, but also for his many projects that include Broken English Club, Raudive, Zov Zov and many others, certainly plays a major role in Jerôme’s current artistic evolution.
‘Blood Debts‘, the debut Years Of Denial EP is released in December 2016 by Death & Leisure, Oliver Ho’s own label. A project with resonances of industrial – EBM – techno – breaks – experimental – rhythmic noise. However, I will return to this later..
But the encounter which, in my view, describes with elegance and character the particularity of the current project, took place during the summer of 2016 when Jerôme appeared at an event organized by Kaos London and played on the same line-up as Barkosina Contradictions.
Barkosina is an artist who discovered her true form of artistic expression through theatrical performances in 2012, when she started her studies in this field at university in London. But this young artist arrives in London with an already rich, uncommon and extremely diverse artistic knowledge. From a very young age, she is in permanent contact with various forms of artistic expressions. And If my feeling received through the few lines which I could exchange with her is right, Barkosina is a young woman with a strong character and with uncommon determination, who chooses art as a means of expression, reflection, perhaps of revendication and not for any existential motive.
Nevertheless, the world of music isn’t unknown to her. She grew up under the communist system in place in the Czech Republic in a close relationship with the underground scene. I will leave it up to you to imagine how this situation evolved!
She is interested in the political movements which lurk behind certain styles of music such as, for example, the free rave or punk movements which, for her, are created for a specific reason.
A poetic scream of disagreement and feelings in relation to the way our society works.
During her studies, Barkosina discovers a studio in the University grounds and she moderates a radio show for 3 years. Through this, she discovers artists such as Muslimgauze, Demdike Stare, Mick Harris and Spacemen 3. But her activity as a DJ starts in earnest when she gets a sound card and starts making her own mixes for Kaos London.
Her theatrical activities, however, remain principal. Her meeting with Jerôme allows her to develop and enhance her performances with the added sonic quality he offers.
They decide to work together on this project and, after performing together a few times, it becomes clear to both artists that they can achieve more together.
Jerôme then suggests that they develop the Years Of Denial project by combining her poetry with his music.
Barkosina and Jerôme have very different, yet complimentary skills. I think that what creates the power and the characteristics of this project, is the complete absence of a search for an aim to achieve.
They are both more interested in the process of creation and the experiments, rather than the result itself.
And this absence of searching for any direction gives them complete freedom, which in turn allows them to create a style, certainly not from design, that is unknown to our ears.
There is, therefore, a large amount of improvisation in their live shows. Some unique moments that will be shared only with the public. Moments which, they also understand, are difficult to capture, which in turn makes them wonderful.
I think that both artists attach great importance to the truth and spontaneity of the moment. Just like on the track ‘We Operate On Each Other‘ on the just released 12” release by Death & Leisure (split 12” with Maenad Veyl), Barkosina performed only one vocal take for this track! (I was lucky to be able to listen to this EP before its release).
Capturing a moment in time is what Jerôme already did in 2013, which in turn lead to the entire Years Of Denial project.
Now, let us lift the veil on ‘Blood Debts‘ and a confusion that people who have been following the activities of Years Of Denial could have since the release of this EP.
For us, this release is recent. But, no matter how hard we try and follow an artist’s movements, the reality is often very different!
3 years separate a moment captured in a London studio and the physical apparition of this superb EP.
In 2013 Jerôme captures Maja Petrovna‘s voice during a furtive improvisation in the capital cities ARK OF NOISE studios. The idea of working with her voice is appealing to him.
He uses it as starting point and the atmosphere that we know takes shape around Jerôme’s compositions.
But the tracks chosen by Death & Leisure will take some time (3 years!), before being presented to us.
Meanwhile, Jerôme develops his style and meets new people. When he starts a series of live shows in London and in France with Barkosina at the beginning of 2017, his project sounds completely different.
Seen from the viewpoint of a distant admirer, this comes across as somewhat confusing. Sharing this information therefore seemed important.
What Years Of Denial presents today is the result of a long apprenticeship that explores new horizons through “accidents” that happen as if by magic. Live, it will be nothing like anything you have heard before.
Jerôme will take you on a stable and structured rhythmic but with a subtle narrative and escapism. His ability to switch from one style to another and to blend the music styles is now at its peak!
Barkosina will be your guide. And by serving the music, her presence will suggest a direction without ever imposing it upon you.
This duet has something mythical that is difficult to define in words alone.
This live podcast, depicts a noise – drone – ambient -illbient – experimental universe, but the duet adapt their performances according to where they will be performed.
From churches to clubs, they are completely able to transform their performances towards a much more dance – techno – break – noise atmosphere.
I could only recommend that you to listen some more via YouTube, .to give you an idea of their “dance” atmosphere:
Some additional words concerning physical projects from Years Of Denial in the immediate future and to follow on from the recent release of their ‘Confess‘ EP,
In collaboration with Alexey Volkov and released by Kheima Records last September (a label created by Kaos London).
A track with EBM – techno – dark wave consonances, which from my point of view lets us hear the friendship that has evolved between Jerôme and Oliver Ho.
The duet currently continues to collaborate with this label, and with this artist, to offer us some upcoming releases.
And I have been told that a collaboration between Jerome and Oliver Ho is also in progress. This is something I am really looking forward to!
It’s difficult to have a precise idea of what is happening in the London scen based only on the physical releases which reveal to us only a very small percentage of the underground evolution.
Then, if these two nocturnal butterflies fly over your region someday, I can only advise that you let yourself be engulfed in an atmosphere normally reserved for a privileged few in London.
Barkosina: “Once you are able to handle failure, you realise you can do more than you think.‘I am more interested in process and research, a place where you might fail or destroy what you have created in order to find a new form. For me the concept of failure is more repelling than the ultimate perfection of art. Human being is not perfect nor the life itself.“
Jérôme: “I don’t know where we are going to.. but here we are..”
To be continued…
Photo credits: Stephane Malenfant
Yasmine Van Houten