Mytrip is one most outstanding electronic acts from the Bulgarian scene. He is about to appear on the 18th November idm/electronica event by WRONGPAD & Kapelomusic. Before this, he was kind enough to answer to our interview and talk about Mytrip, Amek Collective & the Bulgarian electronic scene among many others…
Hi Angel. Please introduce Mytrip to Last Day Deaf readers…
Hello, thanks for giving me the chance to introduce Mytrip to your readers just a few days before I play Athens for the first time. I’ve been working under this name since 2005, but I perceive 2007 as the real birth of the project. That’s when I started playing live. I’m coming from hardcore and metal, I’ve played in quite a few bands here in Sofia and this actually changed a lot my idea about Mytrip and ambient in general. What started as a very raw dark ambient project is now more physical, aggressive and still very atmospheric. I put a few records as Mytrip throughout the years, but what still interests me the most is hearing and performing the music live and in different spaces. It starts as a very personal creative process but it’s meant as a shared process of cleansing.
Your latest release ‘Circle Of Loss’ is an endless claustrophobic drone of unique beauty…. Tell us a few words about this release. What lies beneath those distinctive soundscapes?
Thanks for the kind words. I’ve had the idea of ‘
for at least 3-4 years. I traveled to my hometown Sliven and took a long walk to the neighborhood where I used to live until I was 12 years old. I sat on a bench among the cold concrete blocks that used to be the homes of my friends, my parents and grandparents. I looked around and I could still recognize where my pals lived or the terrace where my late grandmother would call me for dinner from. Even though I had all these memories I no longer belonged to this place. I felt literally surrounded by loss. We spend our lives creating connections, building relationships, but in the end loss is the only thing that actually remains ours. I spent just a few minutes there. That’s why the EP is just two tracks short. It’s not about nostalgia, but about acceptance.
How would you describe your music? Your influences?
My music as Mytrip is a harsher and more aggressive take on ambient. I’m equally influenced by black metal, video game music, minimalism and contemporary electronic sound. I love tape and vinyl culture and have a strong DIY mentality which I guess means hardcore punk have also played a role in what I do, no matter how far ambient might seem from that. So I guess there’s a bit more than just music to it as well.
On November 18th you will be performing live at MODU, in the WRONGPAD (& Kapelomusic) event. What are you going to present to the Greek audience?
November 18th will be very special. Exactly a year from this date I first performed my latest LP ‘Filament‘ live. Besides doing a few collaborative shows, I spent 2017 touring to present the album by playing it in its entirety. It took me to Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, Serbia, Ukraine, Greece and Belgium and its path has now come to an end. Vinyls are almost gone as well ha-ha. So, it seems Athens will be the last city that will see a full performance of the record. It’s an important moment for me, since I believe ‘Filament‘ is the strongest work I’ve put out so far.
Would you like to talk about Amek Collective, your label? How do you get along running a label apart from being an artist?
Amek Collective was started by my friend Martin Lukanov (gokkun) in 2018. He’s been living in Asia for a few years now but I still perceive it as something we do together. I jumped after a few shows he booked with his then partner and before we realize it we started thinking about releasing music. Amek did grow up as a label in the past two years, but we never stopped booking shows as well. This year two foreign artists joined the roster. These are FEBRA from Romania and now Greece’s Conjecture. I guess every small publisher will say this, but we still need to be somehow connected with a certain artist to put our efforts in releasing and promoting their work. Not that we don’t get demos, sometimes very interesting ones as well. But it still has to carry something more, not just good music. We also have to make sure the interest to our releases matches the demand so we don’t put out too little or too much. With 20 releases in 3, 4 years I think we almost got this right. All this said, that’s why we always try to use the word collective, not that much a label, because the runs are small, the music is obscure but it works and with our 10 year anniversary coming in 2018 people, keep an eye on Amek Collective.
And the Bulgarian scene, especially the electronic one? What about it? Labels, artists and venues that you mostly admire?
The scene here is not that small actually in terms of artists. Many people are doing their own takes on electronic music. What we need is more dedication from the listeners and more labels. It’s cool to play or book shows, but people need to see there’s actual artistic output. This means believing enough in your music to put it out on a physical medium and teach your listener this costs money. Everything else is kind of temporary for me. One day you might be playing IDM, the other one techno, but if there’s no bigger context (a release) or a body of work to justify your musical searches… It looks to me as if you’re just sticking to the fad of the day. That doesn’t build a scene.
Some of my personal favorites and top homies I recommend your readers to check are Evitceles (with a brand new and sold out EP on Opal Tapes), Ivan Shopov (a man of many projects from beautiful ambient to electronic folk jazz fusion), Cyberian (the person behind the dope WTF Is Swag tape label), KANZ & SUB (upcoming live techno duo). Big ups go to crews like БЕТОН and TExN, who keep the underground alive and are not afraid to expose their audience to more experimental sound.
As to the venues I’d really like to see them being more supportive. Until they get more involved they’ll just be a place which people rent and then leave. Which means they’ll always remain replaceable. A ray of light are places like Fabrika Avtonomia or Underground Gallery, which are both abandoned and transformed factories with autonomous element in their management. However, they need a lot more support from the local audience to endure the battle with fancier spots.
Regarding your visuals, are they important as a whole? Would you consider Mytrip an audiovisual project? At least for the live experience?
I wouldn’t say Mytrip is an A/V project as music is my main focus. However, my latest LP ‘Filament‘ became what it is, because of the interaction between audio and visuals. Silvana Ilieva is the artist who created not only the artwork for the record but a massive body of video work to accompany the live performances. She really created a world for my music to exist in. This said, I will definitely stick to this approach, because we’re given so many senses, why keep them passive when going to ambient shows?
Plans for 2018? Any collaboration? Tour? New album?
I already have a few records lined up for 2018. One will be a collaborative release with Romanian instrumental band Valerinne. Early 2017 we were both invited to participate in Black Rhino Music Residency where we had two days to write, record and produce a track together. It was all shot on film as well. We managed to come up with this beast of a track, 13-minutes long and going from ambient to very loud noise/post-rock. Black Rhino Music gave us the chance to create something unique and we wanted to elaborate a bit more on it and release it. I think that’s happening first. After that there’s a split LP that will come on Amek in May. I have the next Mytrip album in my head from even before ‘Filament‘ was born but it might need a bit more time to blossom.
Last words belong to you…
Thanks for this interview. I hope to see all of you in Athens οn November 18th. There definitely needs to be more exchange between electronic music from Bulgaria and Greece.
Photo credits: Karsten Richter (1st one), Pink Tsonk (2nd one)