Amek nl_13: Dark Orphism
New Cyberian full-length, an interview with Zhe Pechorin and first signs of a social happenings revival
Spring has finally arrived in Bulgaria and it’s become harder and harder to stay at home and focus on work. However, a plenty of Amek news have been piling up in the past month so, here we are reporting to you, the most dedicated of our followers.
Cyberian “Dark Orphism”
After his acclaimed 2018 debut full-length “Limerence”, Stefan Bachvarov returns to Amek for his first vinyl release as Cyberian. “Dark Orphism” is a meeting point between Bachvarov’s usual drifting electronic melancholia, his obsession with textured and detailed percussion, and his interests in paganism, nature, and the occult. Spanning over eight compact tracks, the album is moody and brooding, while somehow always remaining focused and direct. More beat-oriented and certainly noisier than its predecessor, “Dark Orphism” is an immense leap forward in the ever-evolving Cyberian sound.
Find Dark Orphism on vinyl (ltd. to 222) and digital here.
Ангел Симитчиев & Станимир Панайотов “Аксиома и печал”
"Аксиома & Печал" is a musical interpretation of Stanimir Panayotov’s poetry collection of the same name, originally published by Metheor in 2020. The album combines gritty post-industrial soundscapes by Angel Simitchiev and spoken word by Boyan Manchev, Ivan Shentov, Raina Markova, Mladen Alexiev and Stanimir Panayotov himself.
Find Аксиома и печал on tape (ltd. to 39) here. There is no digital version of the album.
Ангел Симитчиев & Филип Панчев & Станимир Панайотов “Аксиома и печал”
Though the music from Аксиома и печал is not available on Bandcamp, you can experience its sonic world as visualised by Filip Panchev.
Anarchist Mountains Trio “Conspiracy Means Breathing Together”
Samer Najari made a beautiful video for “Conspiracy Means Breathing Together” from the Anarchist Mountains Trio full-length album for Amek.
In early April, Balkankon monthly, hosted by our friend Linear Output on Komponenti Radio, did a full-on Amek label focus show. Listen to it here.
Anarchist Mountains Trio’s “Conspiracy Means Breathing Together” was featured on Drew Mcdowall’s mix for Noods Radio, while Angel Simitchiev & Linus Schrab’s “A Smoke That Will Never Clear” was featured on Lighght’s mix for DJMag.
We are stoked to announce that after about a year of nothing, there are a few events we are going to participate at in May.
On 9th, Angel is going to participate at a panel discussing the future of DIY music during the pandemic. The event will be held in our favorite Sofia space, Fabrika Avtonomia. RSPV here.
On 15th, Angel is going to do a rare live DJ set at the promo gig of Nocktern’s upcoming album, Scavengers. RSVP here.
Anđelina Mićić (known as Zhe Pechorin) is an electronic music artist with as diverse interests as the countries and cities she has called home throughout the years. In mid-February 2021 she spent a snowy week in Sofia and between wandering the city and briefly jamming together in a cigarette smoke-filled room in Stoimen Stoyanov’s former studio, we managed to have a chat with her over multiple cups of tea. We’re now sharing some bits of this conversation about Zhe Pechorin’s musical roots, ever-evolving taste, and her latest album.
Angel: When did you start making music?
Anđelina: Maybe around 2014, It's an interesting story. My friends were making hip-hop and R&B and we were hanging out in their studio. I was mostly into literature and other things. One night, my dog bit my leg and I got a really bad infection. After that, I was unable to walk for a few months and had to stay in the house. I had already seen everything I've needed to see from my friends making music, and realized “I have FruityLoops, let's see what it can do.” It took me around 3-4 hours to make my first track. I laid drums and added some effects, and made it. It didn’t seem that terrible for me back then, of course, now I think it's pretty bad, but at that time I was playing like a child without any planning. I remember at that time I wasn't really thinking in the direction of being a music producer or even what that means to me. I was just playing.
A year after that, a friend who's doing the Live Soundtrack events in Belgrade invited me to play. The concept is music producers play live alongside experimental silent films. It was 2016 and it was the first time I was presenting myself in front of others. It went well and I thought "Oh, this music really means something to me."
Martin: And what made you choose that project name?
Anđelina: It's a mixture between my nickname Zhe and a name from a central character in Lermontov's novel "A Hero of Our Time". When I was reading the novel, I strongly resonated with the character. First track was made during that time and I took it as a pseudonym, without much thinking.
Angel: Yeah, you're using this play element you told us about earlier.
Martin: That's what stuck with me from our previous conversation about your work for An Embrace. You said that everything started with a jam, so it's still a bit like a play, not something planned.
Anđelina: Yes, I enjoy this play element because when you want to create some piece of music, you sometimes hear something in your head. But even though, you can't produce exactly what you heard. So everything's somehow by chance, you need to give the opportunity for it to create itself. And the more relaxed you are and in that playing mood, then things will just happen. If you calculate or try too much, then it's gone…
When you think too much, you expect. And realize that you've been expecting something only for yourself, it's not resonating too much with others. And it's funny, because I've met most people who are close to me because of music. And how it all started... I can't imagine myself now without that part of me.
Angel: What happened with the dog?
Anđelina: We had to put it down... He was pretty old. We wanted to do an operation because he had a tumor. One night he came to my bed. I woke up and saw him, just tearing my leg. The doctors said it wasn't the dog we know any longer and the best thing would be to put him asleep as soon as possible. After that all the infection came, but it was needed I guess.
Angel: It's strange how something so shocking can lead some of the best things you can have in your life.
Anđelina: Can you imagine that? It's absolutely crazy!
Angel: Why did you pick electronic music? Knowing that you can sing... properly.
Anđelina: Actually, the first thing I did in music was singing. I liked it but when I saw what I could do with electronic sound, it really grabbed my attention. With time, I was just exploring and found myself here. Even now, I don't think I'm done, my taste is still being shaped. There's more to find and experience.
Angel: I was asking about the singing, because you told me that during the last show you played, you got the mic because the audience was loud and I heard you're planning to incorporate voice more into your music.
Anđelina: Yes, I brought my mic with me now too. Sometimes I record something with it and add effects. It's another way of getting what you need. And the voice...
Angel: Did you get some feedback about your new album [Boundary Lessons, released on French label Etang Brulant] apart from the fact it's already sold out.
Anđelina: It's happening continuously. Some days pass and I see that someone supported it or someone writes to me. When I came to Sofia, one producer from France I hadn't spoken to for a long time wrote to me that he had heard it and really liked it. People apparently are listening to it. That's with music - you release it and it's there. And maybe now or in five years, someone will chance upon it and listen to it. That's the great part. But some people already told me I should make more positive music.
Angel: For me, your last album doesn't sound that dark. It's super strange to see how people call something you perceive as your most positive music "dark". It's many different emotions combined together. It's the same as An Embrace - tough emotions that don't sound depressive. It might be aggressive but that's not necessarily dark or depressive. The term "dark" is so overused now. Everyone wants to be "dark" and at the same time it's just... empty.
Anđelina: And it's not like I want to be dark. If you ask me, I don't think I'm a "dark person" who listens to "dark music" and is into all that "darkness." The darkness is just a part of ourselves and what I resonate with in the music I make aren't these things- the darkness, melancholy, depression - no. If it touches me, it means we have a connection. If it doesn't, then there's no connection. I'm more of an emo, I like emotions haha. I think we are rich with emotions but when you play a track and it's too emotional in an obvious way, then no, it's not for me.
Angel: Yeah, it's the same with having the intention of being too dark or too positive. It's just too fake.
Anđelina: Yeah, and fakeness is what we don't want here haha.
Angel: You're obviously working on music and are shaping an idea for making a label, but do you have any plans for your main passion - literature and languages? Do you see the two connected or they are completely separate universes?
Anđelina: Everything started from literature, even the name of my project. And when I read, think or write, all that together creates an inspiration field that connects everything. I understand that if I decide to go further into academia and become a professor in literature, it'll take more of my time in that direction. But at the same time, I always think I'll connect the two with one another. My favorite thing is when I read something and do the rest from that type of inspiration. And for the names of the tracks, I often take inspiration I find in literature. These two are parts of me and sometimes one takes the center stage, while at others, the other, and I try to balance between them.