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From Kiev to Ibiza: an interview with ARTBAT

Ukrainian techno talent at its finest.

Last summer, one massive tune really hit the mark as track of the summer. Whether it was pumping through the Amnesia Terrace or elevating crowds at Ushuaïa, it was a dark melodic stomper that was an essential component in any techno set.

Crafted by Ukrainian duo, ARTBAT, glorious banger Atlas went on to dominate charts as part of the Upperground EP released on Solomun's Diynamic label. Ever since then, the duo has enjoyed a meteoric rise to dance music stardom.

If you are on Ibiza, you can catch them play Pete Tong Sessions at Blue Marlin this Sunday 18 August - their second appearance in 2019.

Ahead of this party, we met with the duo to talk about their whirlwind success and more.

Hola ARTBAT, your stage name derives from a combination of your two names, so tell us how you two first met and started the ARTBAT duo?

First of all, hello and thanks for having us. We met at an underground club called The LAB in Kiev, clicked from the first moment and then decided to share some ideas. First, we did a couple of gigs together and then decided to go to the studio together for some sessions.

It was a fantastic experience so we then decided to combine our ideas and make ARTBAT music. All we ever wanted is to share our vision with people around the world. And ARTBAT was born - the rest is history.

What do you think is the most important element in making a duo electronic act work?

You basically do everything together. We make music together, we travel together, we share the decks and so on. You have got to have the biggest respect and understanding for each other. If something doesn't work out, take a small break and meet up later in the day. Never try to make it work - there has to be passion and obviously trust in each other.

If you could go back to back with another dance music double act, who would it be and why?

There are so many cool and inspirational acts from back in the day. Daft Punk is definitely one of the most iconic duos we would want to play with.

What is the underground dance music scene like in your home of Kiev in the Ukraine?

The scene in Ukraine is young and growing by the day. There are many cool new festivals and some real interesting clubs. Ukraine's crowd is not yet as big as in Germany or the UK, but we have a very dedicated outgoing community.

People are really educated when it comes to electronic dance music and of course. Their taste for good music is very discerning. We've played at CHI by Decadence House in Kiev and we have nothing but love for this place - our home base. Many international headliners like Solomun, Black Coffee, Dixon, Maceo Plex and Tale Of Us have also played there.

You have had a whirlwind year with multiple releases on labels like Diynamic, RUKUS and Afterlife and remixed a track from Monolink's latest album. What do you think is the key to producing success in 2019?

If we told you that, everyone would copy us! (laugh) You simply have to do what you love to do. Don't let anyone tell you this or that about what you love to produce is not cool. It could be the next big thing. Nobody knows. Finish your music. Share it. You might be positively surprised at the end.

Which release was the most rewarding to you or fulfilled a personal goal?

All of our tracks have been rewarding and have fulfilled us, to be honest. Maybe MANDRAKE was a key release. It was our first breakthrough into the underground scene. It got picked up by Maceo Plex, Pete Tong, Richie Hawtin and many more. That was kind of a signal to us, to go back in the studio and do more. We knew at that point that people seem to love our music.

Your last show on the White Isle saw you play for BODYWORKS at Hï Ibiza. How was that for you?

It was an absolutely fantastic night. We were surprised by the crowd and their reaction to our music. 7000 people throughout the night is a statement. We also loved sharing the decks with our friends Camelphat.

Back in July, you featured on the esteemed Pete Tong's BBC Essential Mix series. What did you do to prepare for that mix in particular?

Firstly it was an absolute honour - to mix an Essential Mix is a milestone and we can't thank Pete enough for that opportunity. We just listened to a lot of music. Wrote a tracklist and then recorded it in our studio. The Essential Mix has to be a journey. It's not a 2-hour club set - it is something special and unique. We loved the task and hope everyone liked it as much as we did.

What have you got planned whilst you are staying in Ibiza? Any plans after the Blue Marlin gig?

Yes, we are going to take it easy for a couple of days after the show. We are constantly touring at the moment and are happy to just chill for a few days. Ibiza is beautiful and has a lot to offer. We can't wait to hit the beaches and recharge the batteries for another crazy upcoming tour and weeks in the studio.

What do you like to do whilst visiting the White Isle?

Go to the beach, eat good food and most of all relax!

What do you enjoy the most about playing in Ibiza?

Ibiza has this special vibe. You can't describe it, but it's there. It's very inspirational and we can feel the vibe of the crowd. Also, its history is a given - everyone around the world comes to Ibiza.

And finally, how does it feel to be nominated for “Breakthrough Artist Of The Year” DJ award?

We were surprised. It's an honour and a great reward for our work. Hopefully, we're gonna win! Thanks to Beatport and DJ Awards for the support.

Thank you to ARTBAT for speaking to us!

Find out more about the duo here and don't forget to catch their set at Blue Marlin this Sunday, 18 August.

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