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Interview & Premiere: Kirik, Imbue - All Right [Memory Remains]

Kirik

Memory Remains boss Kirik joins forces with Miami’s Imbue for their collaborative ‘On Distance’ EP, comprised of four original cuts and hitting shelves in January 2024. Buy it on vinyl here: http://tinyurl.com/39zmwh26


(Kirill) Kirik is a producer and DJ coming out of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson who, over the years, has been steadily unveiling his take on contemporary house via the likes of EWax and his own numerous imprints Uzvar, Colors Of Crocus and Memory Remains, where he returns here. This time, Kirik pairs up with the Miami-based trio Imbue, who add their dynamic instrumentation to the project through guitars, piano and synthesizer improvisation.


Check out our exclusive premiere of ‘All Right’ from the release below and an immersive interview with Memory Remains frontman Kirik himself. 



Hello Kirill, how is life? We’ve been listening to your new EP, On Distance, on your label, Memory Remains, lately. Could you please tell us about this EP, how it came together, and how it sounds for those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing it yet?


I have been listening to jazz, funk, and disco for a long time, and this summer, I wanted to create something in a similar genre but with a dance twist, incorporating elements of house music. I sat down to write this EP, and everything was ready, but there was a feeling that something was missing. Since I’m friends with the guys from Miami Imbue, I suggested they enhance and complement my work with guitar parts, pads, and additional sound layers, and here is what we came up with. I believe it’s one of the best releases that will be out in Memory Remains.


Can you tell us about your roots in electronic music and where you’re from? It appears you’re running multiple labels, so could you tell us a little about those also? 


I was born and raised in Ukraine, specifically south of Kherson. That’s where I began my musical journey. Since I played professional football, music was initially just a hobby for me (I wrote for myself). I didn’t start as a DJ; I began writing music back in 2002 purely as a hobby. In 2007, I started learning to play (also at home, for personal enjoyment). My uncle helped me buy equipment when one of the local clubs was upgrading. My uncle knew the owner, so we purchased the mixer from the club. I honed my skills with this equipment. By the way, during the quarantine in 2020, I used it for my streams (you can check out my YouTube).


In 2008, I released my first track under the name Kirill Kirik, but nothing serious happened until 2013. Due to my involvement in various professional teams, I couldn’t perform abroad (I had a contract with a team). After receiving an offer from Paris, I made the final decision to retire from professional sports and fully dedicated myself to music. That’s when my tours began, and one of my labels, called Football Player, was established. In total, under my leadership, there are nine labels, including Razom, Uzvar, Memory Remains, Colors Of Crocus (Crocus), Yellow Wax, LODE, Bullion, Sweaty Bull, and Football Player.


Your music seems to incorporate a variety of influences; it’s House music at its core, while fragments of soul, jazz, disco, psychedelic rock and more can be heard throughout. Can you tell us about some of your musical influences while growing up and maybe share a few records that have been significantly influential on your life?


In my childhood, my father often took me to the market, where I helped him with the merchandise. In return, towards the end of the day, I would receive my “salary” in the form of buying an audio cassette from one of the kiosks at the same market. This was around 1991-1993; I’m not sure what was popular in the world and Europe, but during that period, I was listening to rock, specifically Nirvana, Metallica, Iron Maiden, W.A.S.P., and DIO. A bit later, around 1994-1995, hip-hop and rap started gaining popularity, and we had compilations like “American Discotheque”, and the late ’90s brought Prodigy and Chemical Brothers. When I entered college in 2001-2002, I started getting into electronic music, and I could discover new releases on recorded CDs brought from Kazantip. It was something special – DJ mixes recorded on CDs. During this period, I began experimenting and creating my own music using software like Ejay.



The musicality displayed across the whole project is extremely dynamic; how do you record? Are you working with a lot of organic or live instruments, or do you program a lot of your grooves? 


I write all my works in Ableton, where I assemble everything. I rarely record live instruments, but if the task requires it, I do so. Otherwise, my work mainly involves working with samples.


What do you use to produce your music? Are there any go-to pieces of equipment that are your starting point when making a piece of music, or anything you own that is your prized piece of kit in the lab? 


In my work, I often use recordings from a voice recorder. Wherever I go, if I’m recording the environment, it always works well as a background in tracks. Primarily, I take one-shot samples and edit them. The most crucial aspect of all this is the sound quality. If the sound quality isn’t great, it’s challenging to extract a superb sound. Additionally, I use virtual instruments, but in collaborations with others, they sometimes contribute live guitars, for example. It depends on the task at hand.


After this new EP, ‘On Distance,’ hits the shelves, what is next for you? Are there any other releases in the pipeline or important shows planned for the coming winter days that you’re able to share with us?


Yes, for the winter, I had planned the release of the “Vinyl Football Player,” and it’s already available for sale. Also, there’s a single with my Italian friend Varx, which will be released on Memory Remains on January 29th. In February, there will be a repress of a couple of records from Memory, specifically MR002 and MR013. These are the plans for the winter.


Lastly, can you share with us a record that’s been kicking up a storm on the dance floors you’ve been playing recently, one of those tracks that shifts the mood of the mood of the whole room?


These are unreleased tracks from my friends. I received them as promo copies, and I’m not sure if I can disclose the track names, but I can mention the artists’ names. These tracks are from ADEZ, YOUniverse (IT), Beltran, ACA (YU).


Kirik


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