Exquisite but ominous electro and techno are out in favor for a more classic 1990’s rave and techno sound. Mute the melodies and come into your groove with a harsh acid baseline that will make you go bananas. This is exactly what Zarkoff has done when he for a moment strayed away from his original sound and decided to go full-on tribalistic rave and classic techno in “The Big Ripoff“. The spirit of the track is not tainted by what he himself thinks is a huge rip-off, because even though a lot of people are going to reminiscence about the good old days – his craftsmanship shines through yet again – so don’t be so harsh on yourself. It’s a perfectly unplanned gesture that shields us when we’re heading into the colder months of the year – the warmth of his track is what keeps you grooving.
After I’ve listened through it a few times I’ve come to appreciate it even more and I hope Zarkoff changes route completely and starts to heave acid house or classic techno music at us, hopefully in a raver’s setting of neon lights and with a drugged out atmosphere. Or maybe he should go full-on gabber so he can be acredited of reviving a genre whose life is in a total stalemate nowadays. What ever he chooses to do, nobody can deny that he’s skilled at what he does and that his transformations are what keep you listening to his music. Anyway, you can stream the track down below or download it for free.
This is the first international episode of Maskinåldern. For this episode it is called Machine-Age. Time for everyone who speaks English, to listen. Episode number two of this podcast-series contains a longer interview with the Croatian-born producer Saša Rajković – also known as Zarkoff. He’s been having a surge in the international scene with releases together with Popsimonova, but also under his own alter-ego. Besides that, he’s part of a group called Florence Foster Fanclub together with his friend Jasmin Yas – whose new endeavor just happens to be called Honored Matres – which Zarkoff had a split-release called “Pannonia Noir” with, released on Kraftjerkz Records just recently.
Whilst it stands clear that he’s got a lot of passion for music, he’s had a long road to even get there in the first place. Some things you may not know about him that you’ll get to know more about here. From having a working-class job to being a promoter, live-performer, studio engineer and basically an artist. One of his most alluring releases to date under his own moniker Zarkoff, have been the “Die Brücke” album that was released on J.A.M. Traxx not too long ago. An album that captures the historical significance of his collaborative effort together with Popsimonova, but also where he’s heading in the future.
The most significant thing he’s been imprinting with his vocals (and work) recently has been with the super-group Sumerian Fleet, together with Mr. Pauli and Alden Tyrell. This year they released the much acclaimed album “Just Pressure” on Dark Entries Records – a much revered San Fransisco label. Besides that, Zarkoff have mastered Legowelt’s latest “Crystal Cult 2080“, becoming more and more involved with the label Créme Organization, mastering and helping with different releases both for that label and the sub-label R-Zone. Now it’s time for him to tell his story and you get almost an hour long interview together with exclusive unreleased material, from demos to a session recorded with Sumerian Fleet in 2013.
Welcome to Episode number two.
1. UZS – Izgled
2. Le Chocolat Noir – Pasto Nudo (Borgesia cover)
3. Kali Jugend – New Body Beat (Demo) (Unreleased)
4. Kali Jugend – Vapor (Demo) (Unreleased)
5. Synth Lab Recording 7 (Unreleased)
6. Dan White – S I Tape
7. Tony Blood – World Of Blood (Tony’s World Mix)
8. UZS – Emisije u zrak (demonstracija)
9. Hawaiian Surfer – Big Wednesday
10. Synth Lab Recording 4 (Unreleased)
11. Zarkoff – I should leave (Demo) (Unreleased)
12. Session 2013 – Den Haag – Sumerian Fleet (Unreleased)
Yet another hit is churned out of the Zarkoff factory. It is unimaginable how the creative process for Saša Rajković continue to go on and on. Something is fueling what he’s doing, but I don’t know what it could be. Having focused on the more danceable side of electronic music, with this split-release that also features Honored Matres – he goes off-bounds to create a really dark but rhythmic piece of technotic experience. Technotic as in techno. The release is titled “Pannoia Noir“, so even the suggestiveness of the title is embodied into the sound-scape of this four-tracked release. Honored Matres represents the more house-oriented side of this split, although the track by Zarkoff titled “Diminished” have some of those vibes, it feels like it is just when its about to cross over into Matres territory. This split is an outright experience in how you can mix techno with house, without it being a total catastrophe. This release represents the darker side of those genres and brings forth everything from an acidic touch to an almost industrialized version of what ought to be regular techno. There are a lot of surprises hidden between the rhythm and the bridge. You’ll just have to find them.
So I got the opportunity to showcase one of the tracks from this release. I did not have a choice in this matter, but I believe that Kraftjerkz delivered the most potent track on this release. It’s a rather dark journey into combative elements of both techno and the underlying house-vibe. You feel like something is about to tear the roof off it, but the sound-scape lingers onto the dark experience that you can turn techno into. A path right into the gully of the steady rhythms, nocturnal melodies and forceful visions that Zarkoff makes you share with him. So from this ordeal came a track which is titled “Terraform”, it’s the first track on the release and it is a rather nice track as you’ve probably read. Everything can be found here for those of you that enjoy those darker moments that techno has, with the regular signature of Zarkoff imprinted into the sound-scape. Stream this track exclusively from Repartiseraren and buy the release if you like it, over here.
In Croatia we found Ivan Antunovic. Now, Ivan isn’t like everyone else. He has his own micro-label, does professional design work for a living, create music and also makes a fanzine. He’s been active in different groups in the Yugoslavian, now Balkan, underground. His alter-egos range from Half Releases to Innumerals, from his zine Small Doses to his designer-ego Nieuw NDG. This man has as many aliases as only he himself could know. Since a few years back he’s mainly been concentrating on releasing different singles and mini-albums alongside his fanzine. Even though the fanzine comes out every once in a while, he’s made a name for it through his proffesionality and originality when it comes to the design of the zine itself and all the macabre subjects which are disseminated within each number. He’s taken it from number one to number six – the last-mentioned due to be out in the very near future. I wanted to get the larger picture of what Ivan Antunovic actually does, how he copes with his egos, the climate in former Yugoslavia, his relationship with those he works with when doing the zine, the releases that are put out by him, his different projects before every alter-ego and many other things which you may find interesting.
From the western world of America, primarily New York, to the eastern realms of Croatia. Two worlds have met when Neud Photo and Zarkoff decided to let each other off the hook. Zarkoff got the chance to totally rework Neud Photo’s gloomier “Dimensions“-track, which has been out since a year ago. This time he used Iva Viskovic, a melancholic pop-queen, to enhance the peppier side of synth-pop. Even though the melancholic vibes can be felt, this rework is a lot more melodic and less atmospheric in a sense. Maybe it’s for the best, maybe it’s for the worst. The listeners don’t have to agree, but this is how Sasha Rajkovic (Zarkoff) have interpreted the original song, through his own lens. On a release that is called “Dimensions/Famous Grouse“, the reworked track is standing tall on the A-side of things – whilst his underground techno track “Famous Grouse“, is representing the Zagreb underground, packaged to the rest of the world – for them to hear. Kraftjerkz, a label from the US run by one guy – was the one that decided to put this release out. A year earlier, the track that you’re about to hear that is reworked, was released in its original shape by them. This is a time when the world is clashing, and what is better than to embrace it by reworking a track and making it into another version? I think you’ll have to listen to it for yourself if you want to believe it. It’s a tell-tale story that can easily be approached by the excitement of the listener. Tune in to “Dimensions (Zarkoff feat. Iva Viskovic Mix)” and forget where everything else came from, just take a deep breath and let yourself be swayed in. You can stream the track exclusively on Invisible Guy, down below. If you want to buy it, go to Downtown 304.
We bring you the best, so fuck the rest. No, that’s not how my melody goes. This is just a provocation to fill out a sentence. We’re blessed to be bringing you yet another exclusive stream of a track, all thanks to Saša Rajković of Sensorium/Zarkoff. If you’ve heard of Gerard Donald, Sherard Ingram and Lana Jastrevski – you probably know where this is going. Their nicknames are otherwise spelled out as Heinrich Mueller, DJ Stingray and Popsimonova. Which isn’t really everything they’ve ever done, but probably what you know them as. Heinrich Mueller is the nickname of Gerard Donald, who also sport different sounds under the nicknames of Dopplereffekt, Drexciya (together with Sherard Ingram) and Arpanet – to name a few. Sherard Ingram is probably most known as DJ Stingray, but he’s also known by the names of Mystic Tribe A.I. and Urban Tribe. Lana Jastrevski is most known for her outlandish pseudonym Popsimonova, but also for being the founding member of the DAF-influenced group called Dekolaž. Anyway, you probably know that the Belgian label WeMe Records are going to release a double-LP with NSRB-11 on the menu, titled “Commodified“, on the 9th of September. Those of you that are fans of Heinrich Mueller since before, should recognize the swift arms of Detroit Electro, and see it as a continuation of his project.
What’s new is that Lana Jastrevski’s wonderful voice will be heard on several tracks, on this release. Therefore, I’ve gotten the honor to exclusively stream the full track “Consumer Programming” for you. Hard-hitting and uncompromising high-tech electro, with a detachment from the reality we know it as. In the future there’ll be no humans, so you better tune in and listen to this robotic sound-scape that will make you enter 2045. Perhaps even further into the simulation, that will be our future. Stream the whole track exclusively down below, check out more of the album over here. You can also pre-order it, as CD or 2LP.