If Nicola Ratti got to make his debuts on Where To Now? at the beginning of this year, it’s now Machine Woman‘s turn to emerge on the UK-based imprint with ‘Genau House’, a three-track EP scheduled for release 13th May 2016 on digital and vinyl format.
Anastasia Vtorova first made an appearance as Machine Woman two years ago with a limited edition cassette out on the Gnod-related imprint Tesla Tapes, popping up last year on Sacred Tapes with a 5-track white cassette, shortly followed by her debut 12’’ for Peder Mannerfelt’s eponymous imprint last year.
Showing particular affinities for live performances, the russian producer introduces herself to the Where To Now? family with a record sharing smoother, housier tonalities than those glimpsed on her previous releases but still relying on those signature downbeat sounds that draw their roots into the late night listening sessions she is so fond of.
Whilst ‘I Can Mend Your Broken Heart’ takes its inspiration from unsuccessful Tinder dates, softened by a cascade of teasing synths, and ‘Friday Night’ sounds like a celebration to Berlin’s nightly analogue mermaids, the icing on the cake comes with a remix from Workshop favourite Kassem Mosse, which we are glad to premiere here in full-stream.
Mosse benumbs the original version by unwinding waves of sweeping hi-hats, increasingly tight-strapped and sharp. Slicing and dicing the dubby tones of the bass line whilst undressing the track from all those fleeting extravagant sounds, Kassem Mosse leaves maximum space for Machine Woman’s whispering vocals to take control.
We took the chance to find out more about Anastasia’s new release and her musical background, production sidelights and Berlin surroundings.
Interviewed by Vittoria de Franchis
"When I was growing up in Soviet Union my brother would play me stuff like rave, acid and house on a cassette."
Anastasia, please tell us more about your musical background, how did you get into production? What are your influences?
As for the musical background, it only goes as far as taking evening class in Ableton at Goldsmiths University when I used to live in London. Regarding influences, it always changes and mutates.
I like listening to jazz when I cook dinner or Erik Satie when I take a bath. But lately I really love artists such as Tolouse Low Trax, Sim Hutchins, Photomachine and what Sissel is doing. Ah and Inga Mauer, that girl is an enigma!
You also run a Radio program, Sonic Disturbances, on Seance Radio. What is it about?
It’s about stroking my ego while I curate tracks I found as free downloads on Soundcloud or nice and kind people sent me.
"Cassette has always carried that 'underground' feel, so it will always have a certain romantic connection to the DIY labels."
Your first two releases on Tesla Tapes and Ono were released on cassette, is there a purpose behind this format choice?
My first release as Machine Woman was indeed on Tesla Tapes (Paddy from Gnod is the man behind the label). Why this format? Well the price of the production and the medium itself. The time it takes to produce it. Cassette has always carried that ‘underground’ feel, so it will always have a certain romantic connection to the DIY labels.
Actually, last month I had one of my tracks released on Low Income $quad, a label from Croatia and it’s on cassette… so I’m still very much in love with the cassette! When I was growing up in Soviet Union my brother would play me stuff like rave, acid and house on a cassette. It was taped and re-taped by all his friends. I think it is a beautiful medium.
Please tell us more about ‘Genau House’. How did it shape up? What about the Kassem Mosse remix?
James from Where To Now? had been in contact with me for a long time. I also really like Where To Now? We actually were talking about releasing a cassette but then one late night last November I didn’t get into a “famous” club in Berlin.
Trying to mend my broken heart (and pissed off mood) I headed home, opened a bottle of wine and made a couple of tracks. In the morning I realised I had already sent the tracks to James… The title of the email was “James my tinder date cancelled on me and they didn’t let me into a club so I made some house tracks do ya want to release it“. James and Matt said yes.
The idea for a remix came from James. Remix is like when someone is standing too close to you on the train, it can be a very invasive experience. I’m also quite a socially awkward person which does not help, but working with Gunnar and WTN? on this release made me feel relaxed and open.
"Remix is like when someone is standing too close to you on the train, it can be a very invasive experience."
You are now living in Berlin, how’s the city treating you?
I’ve been here for almost a year. I have been meeting interesting people and I like the fact that my favourite club OHM (that used to be Shift) is near by. But just because you have changed the scenery does not mean you have changed too. I am still trying to work out what I’m looking for and where I can find it.
Are you working on something else other than music?
I like to write stories… fiction. Maybe I will turn one of these stories into an audiobook and write a soundtrack? I take photographs sometimes and occasionally draw very boring shapeless things.
What are your plans for this year?
More music, both vinyl and cassette and it would be nice to play in Japan…
Genau House is released via Where To Now? on 13th May 2016, pre-order a copy from Bandcamp.
A1. I Can Mend Your Broken Heart
B1. Friday Night
B2. I Can Mend Your Broken Heart (Kassem Mosse Remix)