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IO & Tish: Kazantip’s Ambassadors Of ‘Deep-tech’ (interview)

Reported by JontySkrufff on November 24, 2010

picture; iO & Tish

“The three of us connected through our love of glorious deep-tech. In my opinion the tracks came out absolutely cool and complete. iO did a great job creating their crazy bass lines, and I pushed the ideas further, using various flute, trumpet and bagpipe samples.”

Though Kazantip resident DJ Tish is the first to admit her willingness to experiment with flute and bagpipe samples is also, ‘frankly, my weak point’ the Ukrainian starlet’s optimistic assessment of their new EP Close To Me is one shared by more than a few other DJs. And when the list of supporters includes the likes of Ramon Tapia, Dubfire, Riva Starr and Richie Hawtin (offering ‘full support’) it’s clear their prospects are rosy. 

With Amsterdam Label ‘Remote Area’ releasing the EP next week (on November 29) the trio (of Tish and iO duo Alex and Artem) are aiming to break out beyond Ukraine and more specifically, notoriously hedonistic festival Kazantip, where they first seriously connected. (iO & Tish @ Kazantip 2010, Youtube)

“The idea for  us collaborating together and creating ‘Close To Me’ first came to us after the hot summer of 2008,” iO recall.

“We spent lots of time on the Krisha Mira dancefloor at Kazantip and the deep-tech music there impressed us so much that we decided to unite two of our styles: the deep-tech-groovy sound by iO with the ethno tech-house of Tish. Soon we came up with four fresh tracks, made with one new style that no-one could resist,” they laugh.

The Kazantip they’re referring to is a several weeks long festival that takes place every year on the Black Sea coast attracting tens of thousands of mainly Eastern Europeans attracted by its anything goes reputation for hedonism, nakedness and international DJs (Dusty Kid and Armin Van Buuren both performed last year). Taking place on a usually virtually deserted strip of beach bordering the Black Sea and famed for it’s its DIY makeshift facilities, the event bears more than a few similarities with America’s Burning Man and likewise is increasingly on the worldwide map for alternative travellers and clubbers seeking something beyond the norm. 

And though more and more international DJs are flying in each summer, the bulk of Kazantip’s performers remain local, with many performing multiple sets throughout the three week long techno fest.

“We’ve been visiting Kazantip as DJs and also just for a vacation for more than a few years,’ the iO Duo confirm, “and we’ve played on every single dance floor, all of which are always packed, whatever people’s tastes.

“I’ve been playing at Kazantip for the last 3 years,” Tish comes in, “I stay there for the whole festival and usually play two or three sets a week, usually at the DJ Mag dancefloor which is the biggest one that’s famous for the foreign DJs and DJs spinning long sets,” she says.

“The only real downside is that there aren’t enough facilities: there are no proper houses, hotels or toilets- it’s the countryside in the middle of nowhere, but it’s great fun.”

iO explain that techno and minimal-techno remain the most popular styles of dance music amongst locals, though stress  they’re fighting to change that with their own tech-house flavoured music and  that of others.

“To my mind, Ukrainian club culture and electronic still hasn’t reached a standard yet that’s good enough to boast about,” Tish adds, “But it continues to develop and what happens is up to us.”

iO & Tish; Close To Me is out on November 29 on Remote Area Records. (for more information, click here: and here (live @ Kazantip 2010)

Jonty Skrufff: