Interview: Arkadyan

Electronic and organic house trio Arkadyan are on a mission to bring their rich, soulful, and energising brand of club music to the masses, by way of impressive studio productions and alluring live shows.

Previously their sound has come through a number of commanding labels in the organic house arena, such as Madorasinthehouse, Abracadabra Music, and Sol Selectas.

Returning to the latter mentioned imprint of Sabo, Arkadyan bring their forthcoming ‘Tulila’ EP to the label, which alongside the original title track, also includes remix work from Manoo, and Safar FR.

We spoke to them about the new track, what they think of the adjacent remixes, how they handle artistic duties as a trio, and more. Get the full discussion with Arkadyan below.

You’re about to release your new ‘Tulila’ EP with Sabo’s Sol Selectas imprint, talk us through how you made the original track on this one?

We are very happy to release ‘Tulila’ on Sol Selectas and to have early support from Sabo. This track was recorded just after a warm up we did for Bedouin last year in Morocco with the voice and guimbri guitar of Radouan Naim, a well known Gnawa artist who met at a party.

I asked him to sing a specific childhood Moroccan song for us on our instrumental version, and he came out with these lyrics “Turkoulila Tulila”, which means “maybe yes, maybe not” in an old Moroccan language. We were very happy with the result and also with the story behind it.

We wanted to create a mix between the spirit of Saga events and the Moroccan vibe that we found during that amazing night. We recorded all the instruments with a Gnawa flow and then our friend Demayä helped us with the track.

And it includes remixes from both Safar FR and Manoo, how did you react to hearing those for the first time?

It felt natural for us to contact our friends Manoo and Safar FR to see how they could transform the track in their own way. First we received Manoo’s remix, our impression was a big “wow”, and we remember saying “wow, the pressure is so cool, it never stops, you cannot leave the dance floor with a track like this, dangerous for a club because the crowd can’t go order drinks at the bar, because they’re stuck on the dance floor.”

Then when we received Safar FR remix, it was a second “wow”, the groove that he creates gives such a happy vibe. A “very cool vibe”. We were very impressed and we have to admit a little bit jealous with how he could reach this level of groove.

Previously your music has come via labels like Madorasinthehouse and Abracadabra Music, what makes you decide to release with a particular label or not?

Some labels are DJ’s labels and sometimes when you like the vibe of the DJ, it justifies why you like the label. Also from what a label is releasing during the year, you feel your track can match them. For ‘Tulila’ there was no other choice than to run to Sol Selectas.

And where might we see Arkadyan release in the near future?

We have plenty of unreleased tracks that we play live and many cool releases will come. I cannot spoil everything, but what we can reveal is that we will soon be joining the Scorpios Music family for another track with amazing and unexpected remixes.

You’re of course a trio, two musicians and one DJ, how does this work in terms of performing live?

First of all, we know each other very well, we perform a lot, and we don’t have to watch each other to be able to play live in exactly the same direction at the same moments, creating the same pressure. We build our sets before the events with space for improvisation.

We try to bring the crowd into a trippy journey with many different influences, from South America, to India, to Africa, all mixed with electronic textures and sounds. And always having a positive party groove, we never go into a dark or sad style. We want people smiling and having fun while listening to what we do.

And how do you handle studio sessions, are you often in together or at separate times?

We usually record all together, but even when we are far away for a moment, we can do long distance recordings. We start most of the time by recording percussive grooves, then we find our main melody, and then the structure. Our process in the studio is once we have a little bit of a structure to dance to, then crazy ideas come to us naturally. But let’s say that our studio process is to DANCE.

We don’t know all the magic sound treatment tricks yet, but we learn as much as we can, so we are never shy to ask advice from friends. Last thing, which is the key for us, we always bring microphones when we travel and as soon as we have an idea or as soon as we meet great artists, we record.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, is there anything else you would like to mention before we go?

Merci beaucoup, yes. Also we can say that it’s a big honour for us to release on Sol Selectas again, following the success of our track ‘Descalzo’ with Derun. Sabo has been a strong artistic inspiration for us and he helped us to understand the impact of ‘Tulila’, when he was playing this year in front of a crazy crowd. Merci Sabo!

Arkadyan – Tulila is out July 29th on Sol Selectas.