Culminating numerous striking appearances at Berlin’s renowned Watergate, Ukrainian duo Woo York join the label with a stunning debut release: ‘Samum EP’. Their watertight reputation for crafting wondrous compositions reverberates emphatically in this powerful record, which highlights their zest for innovation and experimentation.
Woo York’s Watergate Records debut maiden offering is mesmerizing. The team’s creative collision flared when they decided to experiment with authentic sounds to convey one-of-a-kind sensations to their crowds. The title track begins as a chugging key-laden cut before a stirring folky melody rises to the fore with beautiful intent. Replacing the synthetic with the raw, the duo utilizes the expressive Irish bagpipes to bring an almost housey note to the mix. The irresistible harmonies of electronic and instrumental notes overlaying a driving kick fuse seamlessly to create an atmospheric yet club-ready single.
The second track, named after the Prophet 12 synthesizer used for its production, is another attestation to their ardor for novelty. Characterized by unusual rhythmic sparks of elemental beats, hauntingly captivating vocals, and an entrancingly emotional synthline, this composition spotlights a peculiar sonic texture unique to the duo’s melodic signature. ‘Prophet’ has already been seen performed live by the artists at the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for the Sounds of Chernobyl project, complemented by a noteworthy 3D alternate reality of the city.
“We love to experiment with our sound, because we always want to offer the listener something new,” the pair states. “We’re always excited to see the crowd’s reaction, it’s great when we can surprise them.”
Accompanying the package are two powerful remixes of ‘Samum’. The first is an emblematic take by fellow Ukrainian producer and live act, 8Kays, who maintains the track’s essence while adding her trademark somber touch, with spellbinding dark refrains and aerial allusions, underlining her crowd-control expertise. Concurrently, Greek artist Echonomist designs a rich and multi-faceted reinterpretation of the piece, customizing it with enticing percussion and mellisonant sirens that render it an ideal fit for the dance floor.
We had the chance to talk with the guys about the ‘Samum’ EP, their inspiration, upcoming shows, and more. Enjoy!
WWD: Hello Woo York, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! First things first. In your own words, what is the Woo York project all about, and what is the legacy you’d like to leave behind with your music?
Hey there! Thanks for having us. Woo York is a musical project that combines techno and electronic sounds with a unique futuristic approach. Our goal is to create music that is both immersive and dynamic, taking listeners on a journey through different sonic landscapes.
As for our legacy, we hope to be remembered as innovators doing it on their own and exploring new sonic frontiers. We want our music to inspire and excite people, while also leaving a lasting impression on the world of electronic music.
WWD: How’d you guys meet and form the artistic duo?
My musical partner and I met in our hometown of Kiev, Ukraine, where we both shared a passion for electronic music. We started making music together and quickly realized that we had a unique creative chemistry. From there, we formed the artistic duo known as Woo York.
WWD: You guys have a pretty unique sound. When in the studio, do you think about the final sound you want for a track first? Or do you just start riffing and see what comes together?
Thanks for the compliment! When we’re in the studio, we usually start with a general idea or concept for a track, but we try to remain open to experimentation and new ideas. We might have a certain sound or atmosphere in mind that we want to create, but we also like to let the creative process guide us and see where it takes us.
Sometimes we’ll start with a beat or a melody and build from there, while other times we’ll begin with a particular sound or texture and build around that. Ultimately, we try to stay flexible and open to new ideas, so that the music can evolve and take on a life of its own as we work on it.
WWD: Over the years, what sources of inspiration – whether it be people, places, or things – have provided you guidance on your artistic journey? Have they changed at all or stayed relatively the same?
Throughout our artistic journey, we have been inspired by a wide range of sources, from the people and places we encounter in our daily lives, to the music and art that we consume. We are constantly seeking out new experiences and perspectives that can inform our creative process and help us evolve as artists.
In terms of specific influences, we have always been drawn to the raw energy and intensity of techno music, as well as the futuristic and sci-fi aesthetics that often accompany it. We are also inspired by the landscapes and urban environments of our hometown of Kyiv, which have a unique and dynamic character that we try to capture in our music.
Over the years, our sources of inspiration have certainly evolved and expanded as we continue to grow as artists and individuals, while also staying true to the core values and aesthetics that have defined our sound from the beginning.
WWD: Massive congrats on your new Samum EP! You mentioned you wanted to experiment with authentic sounds like for example Irish bagpipes – is there any specific reason you chose this concept for your newest release?
Thank you very much! For this release, we wanted to incorporate some authentic sounds and instruments that would add a unique texture and atmosphere to the music.
The Irish bagpipes in particular were an interesting choice for us, as they have a very distinct and powerful sound that can evoke a sense of history and tradition. We thought that by blending this traditional instrument with our signature techno sound, we could create something that was both fresh and unexpected.
WWD: What do you want listeners to take away from this collection of songs?
We hoped that the unique blend of sounds and influences that we’ve incorporated into this release will spark the imagination and transport listeners to new sonic landscapes. At the same time, we also wanted the music to have a visceral impact and to connect with listeners on a physical level that moves the body and the mind. Ultimately, we want listeners to take away a sense of excitement and inspiration from this collection of songs, and to feel a connection with the music that lasts beyond the listening experience.
WWD: Can you walk us through the production process? Who was responsible for the different elements throughout the track? And how is this EP part of the evolution of Woo York’s style and sound?
Sure! Our production process is typically very collaborative and involves both of us working together to create and refine the different elements of each track. We often start with a basic idea or concept, which we then build on and refine over time.
For the Samum EP, we started by experimenting with some different sounds and textures, including the Irish bagpipes that we mentioned earlier. From there, we worked to develop the different elements of each track, including the melodies, rhythms, and effects.
Throughout the process, we both contributed to the production in different ways, drawing on our individual strengths and areas of expertise. For example, one of us might focus more on the rhythm and percussion elements, while the other might be more involved in shaping the overall sound design and atmosphere of the track.
In terms of the evolution of our style and sound, we see this EP as a continuation of our ongoing exploration of new sounds and influences. We’ve always been interested in incorporating diverse and unexpected elements into our music, and this EP is a reflection of that ethos.
WWD: Aside from your own project performing as a live act, what have you seen happening in the current live music space? There still seem to be a lot of changes happening as a result of the pandemic. Any thoughts or predictions on how this will impact the scene moving forward?
The pandemic has certainly had a major impact on the live music industry, and we’ve seen a lot of changes and adaptations happening as a result. One of the most notable trends that we’ve seen is the rise of online performances and livestreaming, which has become an important way for artists to connect with their audiences during this time.
In some ways, we think that the pandemic has actually accelerated certain trends that were already happening in the music industry, such as the growing importance of digital platforms and the rise of new forms of live performance. For example, we’ve seen more and more artists incorporating immersive and interactive elements into their live shows, such as projection mapping and virtual reality.
Moving forward, we think that there will continue to be a lot of innovation and experimentation in the live music space, as artists and organizers seek new ways to engage with audiences and create meaningful experiences. We also think that there will be a renewed focus on safety and hygiene in live events, as people continue to be mindful of the risks associated with large gatherings.
Overall, we see this as a time of both challenge and opportunity for the live music industry. While there are certainly a lot of obstacles to overcome, we believe that there is also a lot of potential for creativity and growth in this space, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.
WWD: You also have some exciting shows coming up in the US. How are preparations coming along? Can you walk us through everything involved in the lead-up to a show, and how you guys like to wind down after each performance?
We’re really excited for our upcoming shows in the US, and preparations are going well! In terms of the lead-up to a show, there are a lot of different elements involved, from rehearsing and refining our live set to working with the event organizers to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Unlike DJs, we cannot just buy other people’s music and play it on stage. We produce every track ourselves, and integrate them into our live set. It is something we’ve always done throughout our career, and we’re proud to say that all music you hear during our performances is solely created by us.
In terms of winding down after each performance, unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of taking time to relax and reflect since there’s often another show the next day. However, we still try to find moments to decompress and enjoy the experience with friends and other artists.
Despite the hard work that goes into preparing for a live show, we find it incredibly rewarding to connect with the audience and create a powerful and immersive experience for everyone in attendance. And we’re always looking for ways to improve and evolve our approach to both preparing for shows and winding down after each performance.
WWD: What’s your most memorable performance to date and why?
We’ve had the opportunity to be a part of many incredible performances, each with their own unique qualities and memorable moments. It’s challenging to pick just one as the most memorable because we cherish them all for different reasons. We believe that every show is special in its own way, and we’re grateful for every opportunity we’ve had to share our music with audiences.
WWD: Finally, what are some of the short and long-term goals you hope to achieve as you continue with your artistic endeavours?
In the short term, we aim to continue exploring new musical styles and improving our live performances to provide our fans with a unique and unforgettable experience. We also want to collaborate with other artists and continue to release new music to maintain our fan base’s interest.
In the long term, we aspire to continue to grow our fan base globally and play larger stages and festivals around the world. We want to inspire others through our music and continue to make a positive impact on the industry and our fans. Ultimately, we hope to establish ourselves as a musical act that continues to innovate and inspire others for years to come.