ARTIST // AETHEK
RELEASE // 1991 VG
LABEL // RENRAKU

BUY LINKS //
https://renraku.bandcamp.com/album/1991-vg
https://www.beatport.com/release/1991-vg/1932437

​​// Words by Vlad Yuremchuk​

SCROLL DOWN FOR AETHEK INTERVIEW 

In case you happened to miss the emergence of Aethek as a project, here’s a small wrap up for you. First of all, it’s an alter ego of a mastermind that is Billain. It all started back in 2011, when Aethek’s soundcloud was created and we’ve seen two demo tracks uploaded – “Heavenly Body” and “Vertebrae”. The latter played a huge role much later on, as it was the first track to ever be released under this alias. “Vertebrae” came out as a part of groundbreaking compilation “Monoleth” on MethLab in the end of 2016. While you can clearly hear Billain’s traces in this track, in its core it is completely different, going way beyond the established boundaries. And that’s what Aethek is all about. You shouldn’t expect music that’s easy to digest, these otherworldly works require all of your attention and devotion in order to be consumed by your mind in a way it’s been designed to.

So far “Vertebrae” was the only thing we had to work with and it clearly wasn’t enough to understand what should we expect from this project. Luckily, that is about to change, as a debut EP that goes by the name of “1991 VG” is about to release on 24th of January on a breakthrough forward-thinking label Renraku. You can also expect to see an interview with the man himself here soon enough, in which we’ll have a peek behind the curtains and get to know, why did it take so long to get the project started and what we should expect next. And now, let’s take a deep breath and leap into the unknown.

It’s worth mentioning that this is not the kind of music you can click through and get the idea. You either fully immerse yourself in it or leave it till you’re able to do so. That being said, let’s start off with “Travelling Stone”. From the very beginning you feel the scope of what’s to come, while the soundscape drives you forward. There are more details than you can even comprehend, but subconsciously you catch each and every one of them. The ambience surrounds you and soon everything else around you slowly fades away, as Aethek takes you from our world into a world of his own, where you are just a mere observer. Suddenly, a powerful synth tears through everything else and crawls to you from all the directions at once. With its rich texture and ever shapeshifting edges, it is omnipresent in this universe. You get your first taste of kick drums, each one of them feeling like a supernova exploding thousands light years away from you. This deep sounding impact is all that’s left from the distant stars. They are joined by contrasting snares, which feel artificial, born out of technology compared to the kicks, which are the sounds of nature’s justice. The chorus hits in, only reinforcing the feeling, that no matter what horrendous events are taking place here - they are of universal scale. The track progresses and the elements constantly intertwine, creating an anthem to the world’s end, beautiful and terrifying at the same moment. In your last minute of your journey, you’re leaving this universe or else you’ll become one of the void and the only sounds coming to you are mere echoes of what they used to be.

“Prefecture”, on the other hand, is not about the fate of an entire universe, it is not a story of epic proportions. It’s about you and the vast nothingness of space. You’re alone in your space shuttle and the only motion that catches your eye are myriads of stars going from one side to another in ever-changing patterns as viewed from your illuminator. While travelling from point A to point B with hours to waste doing nothing, as your shuttle slowly drifts through galaxies, you’ve grown progressively bored of this sight. Yet, this time, you can’t stop yourself from watching the stars go by. It’s not like you didn’t know, how distant or huge they are or how infinitely small and unimportant you are when compared with them. It’s just that the realization of this fact hit you harder than ever, yet it doesn’t scare you, instead, you are mesmerized by it. Yes, you cannot hear anything in outer space, but somehow you just start to hear noises and sounds the deeper into the infinity you stare. They become more and more distinct and at one moment you feel in tune with the heartbeat of the universe. Then it feels as if the stars themselves started singing this wonderful melody to you. You lose track of time and there’s no one around to check if you’re still sane or not.

Last, we have “XOMOX”, the most daring of the three. It is a showcase of Aethek’s next level sound design, but what is the most stunning about this one, is how he implements it. Being capable of doing some really impressive sound design is a challenge in and on itself, but using it in music in a way that won’t make the listener bored and completely lost after 40 seconds requires exceptional skill and talent. The use of such a powerful tool must be justified and it should never be used just for the sake of using it. In this case it’s the entire story of something animate emerging from nothing. Sooner or later in some random place in the universe the entropy reaches the level so high, emptiness strives to become something it isn’t. You hear the matter randomly trying to create something more complex. Some of this attempts are of no use or meaning, some work out just fine and the process continues. Out of thousands of completely random combinations some are suitable more than other, and by this complete random process something that makes sense starts to break through. Billions of those combinations later you get what essentially is a living creature. Its evolution is not powered by the unknown forces anymore; it evolves as a direct result of its willing to do so. Something that used to make no sense becomes coherent and cohesive. Patterns emerge, the stable connections multiply, self-sustainability is clearly present. The slow transition from chaos to order takes place and when this transition is finally completed, you hear this creature finding harmony with its surroundings.

This EP allows your imagination to paint pictures you’ve never thought it was capable of and that is an achievement. A lot has been done in music and sometimes it feels like creating something new is nigh impossible, but if this isn’t the proof that it can be done, then what is?

It would be unfair not to mention the artists behind the brilliant cover art for this release. Funilab and Gabriele Brombin came up with something which perfectly supplements the music.

// AETHEK INTERVIEW

Q // So far we've only had one track from you, which came quite a long way till it have finally seen the light of the day. What is the meaning behind the title "Vertebrae"? Was it the track that inspired you to create Aethek in the first place? Do you feel MethLab was a suitable home for it? You did your best to make Billain feel more than just an alias for music. It felt more like a statement. Thus, what is the statement behind Aethek?

Spinal structure is consisted of the repetitive hierarchy of layers that can depict a layers of root mind carriers, circles of hell down the spine, the untouched thoughts emerge, and one cannot untouch them in their lifespan eventually. That is a journey of Vertebrae. I created Aethek to question todays music. What is music? How do we perceive it? Why does it have so many curators that preach what music is? To me that is nothing more then bullshit and business alliance heavily exploited. But to be isolated from that world and to be able to understand how does one move between the music and nonmusic is something i find the brightest spot in this dead world, giving me the will to wander and drag those curious and intelligent enough.

MethLab as a newcomer label tends to follow the quest trough the limbo, as a Vladislav Surkov shapeshifting reality, Methlab opens up with multiple solutions box, where one cannot define what this label is, and that is what makes this label very interesting as a new strain. You know what warp is about, or Ninja Tunes, where the oldschool tends to stay put to their roots to preserve and nurture the hard built identity, Methlab tends to understand the technological singularity and adopts new trends faster than any other label, with whirlpooling abilities to atract multitude of capable variety of artists, and at the same time dictate something as normal as drum and bass to something as abnormal as aethek which is my split personality born from bipolar shifts rather then a project. What is simmilar with Billain is that introvert thought and zero tolerance to scene's outburst of importance of socializing over importance of music, where music becomes a victim of repetitive, for the sake of the crew's signature posse driven testosterone of male bass dominance over others. Both Billain and Aethek are statements from two ends, two types of evil opposing music industry in multiple genres, and being a statement is much more important from just being an artist. Art as a name is depleted like a meme or a rage comic. Creationism is the new world, To be able to create but not reproduce is a difference. The extra mile from going sometimes to four years to make a track is at the end is selfsatisfactory. Not all katanas were forged for use, and if you go to japan and try to find those unused, you will be suprised how beautiful they stand on the wall, they stand there to break prejudice even to 21st century, and that is an importance of statement.

Q // Why did it take so long to get the first release out? Has the idea of the project changed in some way during all these years or is it the same as it was since day one?

There is a thought that wanders forever questioning, but never finds the answers. In the industry that tries to stand on the high lane of trends, an art is an endangered specie, under constant fire of present criticism formed on standardisation of export of senses, under pressure from the unwritten adopted ideology about how long it is allowed for the artist to work on certain pieces, before vanishing from the existance in the digital dead world of information newsfeed overload. It certainly does not welcome Aethek, because Aethek is a crafting mindset cutoff from all human misconceptions of any culture. Aethek stands alone, therefor all decisions are free of time, rules,  

Q // Will you provide the same kind of stories for Aethek releases as you had for Colonize EP and Terminal EP?

Aethek has something different to offer, there is nothing to announce, because announcing is a marketing hype that can downgrade the final projection. We know that we need to bring attention to be heard, but at the end curiosity is the victim of bringing everything in front of everyone s nose. I want to be discovered by accident, like i used to discover gravity as a kid. Humans forget.

Q // Where do you get your inspiration these days? Do you get ideas from reality or some sort of artificial universe that formed in your mind throughout the years?

My inspiration comes from a different field, i do feel the personality switch, it comes clearly and steps into a studio takes over my head ears and hands and a track starts. I did had this same sensation as a kid. Not being able to make friends nor be a part of any gang or group actually saved me from the life sucking tv/sports/drugs/alcohol/nationality/empathy and turned me into this type of finding details where others cant see it. A world of extreme resources of everything. I have tons of books of patents, hardware ones, music ideas, documentaries, scenarios, drawings and inovative types of art, but no time… For examples loads of these established dnb standards were crafted in my house long time ago and could have change the course for global dnb for example with those offbeat bass and weird grooved like apega or abuser, but my lack of socializing skills were keeping them locked, and also by some labels that took them but were too afraid to put them out. They turned to be the right thing elsewhere and im happy to see that.

Q // Does music production these days feel like a form of escapism for you or rather a way to react to what's going on and get the message out? Any words on collaboration with Renraku? How did you get in touch with the label in the first place?

Escapism in music is a great misconception, but not entirely wrong either for some cases, but to me music is direct confrontation and realisation that a sense can travel spacetime continuum trough mental will and perfected stimulus by artistic input means of sight, sound and more, and you can feel that in some tracks for examples that dont have a message but you totally get the point in unexplained ways as they materialise a world you didn't expect a creator would open a portal in your room. 

Putting VG 1991 release on Renraku label was really nice and friendly experience, as these people haven't had any demands, and just like methlab floats between realms, free of conservative standardisations for the sake of inovation, and they took the time to open the portal where every possible move from the three tracks had logical explanation in the neural span of impossible. And they praised them. Those 3 tracks are actually 6 tracks, as you can find a switch on every track, and this was done from some unknown reflexes to me, but it was very natural to do so, and because i wasnt aware i was doing this i know now that i left something unexplained and visited a new territory of mind.