A fascinating glimpse into a wholly different culture, I’m proud to present this as an extension into this site’s Artists helping Artists efforts to further explore independent unsigned artists
Quick 2019 Revision Note – Before reading this, please realize that the Ukraine has been a Country (formerly a member of the Soviet Union) which has been rife with all sorts of problems way before the recent ridiculousness which has manifested thus far in an official impeachment in inquiry involving American ‘President’ Donald Trump, the Ukrainian prime minister, and the joke which is the U.S. State Department. Please disregard recent events for the sake of having proper context.
Interview: A-Body – This is my interview with Bodya Konakov, AKA A-Body. A-BODY is a Ukrainian Synthesist who recently released a compilation ШЩЦ, which loosely translates to SHITS in English. I wrote a whole piece on the compilation, if you care to know how I first came in contact with A-BODY. Interestingly enough a comment by Bodya on the article drove me to strike up a conversation with the Gent. Here’s what occurred over the following weeks of communication:
I find, most times, when speaking with other synthesists that their background actually lies elsewhere. For example, they were a pianist, in my case a drummer. Can you say you found your affinity towards electronic music stems from elsewhere on the Sonic spectrum, or were you always a Synth-head?
I started making music in my bed, from I think 2 or 3 years old. I recall just singing melodies before falling asleep or early in the morning. Also, I enjoy the concept of making cyclic movements which move right-left while singing (Sic; panning). Sometimes it just happens. I happen to be conjuring these noises in my head even right now. Then, I tried to learn piano, tried singing in choir, tried to make a punk-rock band. Ultimately, I discovered computer DAW’s, when I was living in a student hostel. I tried to make songs, record guitar, vocals, really anything. The problem was, my PC was pretty old, so I couldn’t record 10+ tracks in one project. Due to that, I’ve found minimalist electronic music to be a way to make music with my trashy PC (which I still use and dreaming of buying new one).
Has your process changed since the events of 2014? Do you look at your equipment, music production and influence in any sort of different light?
I decided to stay in Ukraine, not to emigrate, cause I had a hope after the revolution. Also, around that time, I’d met Slava Lepsheev and started to help him in the creation of a CXEMA rave. Slava was my teacher; Teaching me how to promote parties, myself and eventually introduced me to the locals. My equipment and PC melts from year to year..and I have no money to buy anything new. So, now I make multi-tracks with 3 stems.
What is it like to own an independent label in the present Ukraine? Particular difficulties you find unique to your situation? Or for that matter, was anything easier to achieve in the modern Ukraine that we would find surprising here in the West?
We have a few great artists here in Ukraine, and I try to build a community here with them. But, it isn’t easy, because I am a terrible person. I don’t know how to make conversation with people because I spend a lot of time making music alone. However, I feel that we have a great chance. Western people lost this atmosphere 20 years ago, but we live in it now. So, we can make great and honest things, without commerce, record labels and ‘wall street types’ busting their way through the door. We’re breaking this wall… And their street.
What drove you to create a collective? Clearly you are able to cut an album on your own, so what was so important to you that this recent compilation be a joining of forces?
I am too shy to promote only myself. It’s a personal problem, maybe. I want to be a good man. Also, I believe that united business can show really good results. It’s a naive thought, perhaps. Maybe it’s not a good idea to make this label at all.
I know that originally you had a few hundred musicians who submitted entries for SHITS. How did you manage to get the word out so well that you received such a hefty reply?
Yeah, we had around 150-200 submissions from all over the Ukraine. I spent 3 to 5 weeks with Acid Jordan, choosing the tracks. He’s living in my hometown, Poltava, and I visited him 2-3 times. It was not an easy process, cause we were sitting in his kitchen and trying to rifle through and find something interesting from all the submitted tracks.
Through this interview with A-Body, I hope I conveyed Bodya’s words with justice. We worked via a Google Doc, so a tad may have been lost in translation. Please pardon me for that. However, I find his brutal honesty refreshing. He’s just a dude making tunes. He has had many setbacks that would cause Westerners reason to quit – Politics, life, technology – The point is he did not let anything stand in his way.
Be sure to support ШЩЦ (SHITS) via bandcamp. Also, never hesitate to leave some comments for either myself or Bodya on the bottom of this page. I want to thank you for reading. I also wish to thank you on behalf of Bodya, who I know appreciates you taking time from your day for him. Hope you enjoyed this Interview: A-BODY article!
For further chats with independent artists, stay tuned for further entries into this site’s efforts to explore those who have strayed away from record labels and made a go at it all on their own!