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Saturday, 17 May 2008

2007 year


The New Style

Back in the spring of 2006 Pavel Mikhailuk stayed in South Italy with his Goan friend Andrea Presa, a didgeridoo master and the Transalento project leader. There the friends agreed to meet once again in Goa next winter and work together.
   And as the first snow covered Moscow, Pavel headed off to India again, this time accompanied by Yury Matveev guitar, Artem Yakushenko violin (both from the Two Siberians project), and Volodya Kachanovsky rhythm programming, tracking, and concert audio director. The Transalento trio with its drummer William Simone, bass player Beppe Branca, and Andrea himself were already waiting for them there.
The joint Russian-Italian crew performed several times in Anjuna, mostly at their own concert ground (playing on own turf always feels better), as well as at the Lilliput café. Besides, the musicians were inspired by the famous Highlight tribe band to create the natural trance music. As in the years past, Lab participants recorded gigabytes of concert and studio footage. Faster tracks (140-145 beats per minute) were later arranged, mostly by Vladimir Kachanovsky, into a six-track dance album Live Beat. There were no additional sounds and instruments added in the studio, and the tracks were just slightly reduced from 30-40 minutes down to 7-8 minutes, still preserving its original sound, hence the name Live Beat. An old friend George Brooks, whom Pavel Mikhailuk invited to Anjuna, contributed to a few tracks on the album, and even Greg Ruzo himself (of the Highlight tribe) contributed to one of the tracks (volcals, percussion, and djembe).
The only outdoor concert that Brooks participated in took place, traditionally, in the Bean Me Up café (God bless you, Lisa!), and it was yet again, just as it was two years ago, a true celebration of music.
Pavel Mikhailuk: our Two Siberians, the Italian Transalento, Roei Fridman playing the darbuka, the amazing Fantuzzi a musician, a showman, MC, and a universe in itself, well known in the festivals throughout the world. Its a shame that this time there was no proper recorded footage of the concert.
Despite the fact that Volodya Kochanovsky was diligently recording the audio, and Philippe Hemedy was responsible for the video, it all went to waste thanks to a certain lady who appeared from nowhere. While dancing wildly, she managed to somehow damage both the audio recording with her belt which jingled rather loudly with numerous coins, and the video recording by dancing right between the camera and the stage, blocking the lens completely with her colorful body.


next to Pavel Mikhailuks Anjuna hut lives a distinguished trancer DJ Tristan, one of the leading musicians of the Twisted Record trance label. Mates would often visit one another, listen to music and discuss it, and once even performed together at  the Labs concert.
PM: I invited Tristan to one of our concerts to play the jews harps together. He had a very peculiar way of playing it, similar to the way Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) plays the flute: very elaborate, and with certain breathing techniques. Meeting Tristan had a great impact on my life: trance music completely got under my skin on a cellular level at one of the parties where he was playing. Trance as a way of being, the sound pulsating, magically dissolving in the air! Deep inside my heart a new style was evolving for the Goatika Creative Lab. And since, whatever it is that we do, we always strive to reach that trance vibration.

West End

In the winter of 2007 the Lab, as part of a new experiment, performed live with the Italians from the Transalento project at the West End trance party, an effort promoted by the  Timur Mamedov aka DJ XPWooDoo.
PM: In the beginning we almost ruined everything the thing is the stage was not set up for live performances, all the speakers are facing the DJ, and so every time we plugged everything in, the sound would be horrible. It took us two hours to fix the sound, at least to a certain degree.


 Upon returning from Goa, Mikhailuk and Co immediately started working on the files they brought back, and there was a new addition to the sound production staff of the studio. It was the Polish Andrzej Izi Izdebski, a sound magician and an exciting musician that has visited Russia on many occasions with various bands. Alexander Cheparukhin introduced Izi to Mikhailuk a year prior to that. Izi has collaborated with such musicians as Pat Mastelotto, Tray Gunn, and Sergei Kurjokhin (the Pop-Mecanica projects).
In the summer of 2007 Pavel Mikhailuk and Victor Sologub head to Womad (World of music, arts and dancing) an annual festival produced by the Real World company this year the venue was in England, in the vicinity of a town called But. There were great atmosphere, terrific musicians, and surprising reconnections with old friends and new acquaintances including those with Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin and the Real World team.
PM: This was the first time I got to go to a Peter Gabriel concert. Despite the bad weather there were a lot of people there that were completely immersed in the magic performance on the

stage. Peter is a great man!

Program 1. Who is Afraid.
George Pusenkoff

The Goatika Creative Lab music coexists peacefully with neighboring art genres, a great example of which is the collaboration with artist George Pusenkoff.  
In October and November of 2007 at the Moscow Museum of Modern Arts on Ermolaevsky Lane an exhibition of Pusenkovs work took place a friend of the Lab, a wonderful and talented man, the only artist whose work has been to space.
The Who is Afraid exhibition in the digital abstract style was a challenge to meditate on the future of human beings in our technical world. The Goatika Lab improvisation music illustrated that message of the artist like a soundtrack.
We managed to create a very interesting group here, says Pavel Mikhailuk, violinist Artem Yakushenko, bassist Sergei Kalachev, Arkady Marto on the keyboards. We did several studio sets, and then at night arranged them together with George Pusenkoff.  The artist had his own vision of music; he wanted a smart background that would create a certain mood. As a result we have a peculiar abstract composition, a sound layering of sorts. This was the first time that the Lab worked together with an artist. George is a very interesting person and we had a lot of fun!"

Program 2. LABotomy. George Brooks and Pete Lockett

 The team that successfully created the soundtrack for Pusenkovs exhibition had a live performance at the Moscow Forte club. September brought about the news that George Brooks would be coming to Moscow for the first time; together with a famous British multi-percussionist and teacher Pete Lockett, that has played and recorded with musicians like Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Bjork, Pet Shop Boys, and many many others.
Art rehearsals were to precede the performance Marto, Yakushenko, Kalachev, and Mikhailuk would gather at the Aprelevka studio to create the style base for meeting with the guests. Later two studio sets took place at that same studio with everyone present, and only then did the musicians perform at the capital city bar Forte. The people who were at the concert remember it as being very warm and hearty. Of course we could not let Brooks and Lockett go without showing them the Moscow and St. Petersburg landmarks.

Program 3.
LEVItation. Tony Levin

In September 2007, the compiled footage from Goa was delivered to maestro Tony Levin, a world famous musician that records and performs with almost all the art rock stars (and not only them). Tony agreed to work together with Goatika and participated in the recording of a new album; and then on December 7, at the Moscow B2 club, the Lab presented the LEVItation performance.
 Besides the maestro, several musicians performed that night the didgeridoo master Jovis Bubrowski, Artem Yakushenko (electric violin, mandolin), Sergei Klevenski (winds), Boris Nazarov (percussion programming, special effects), Jagannat (tabla), Evgenia Tedjetova (vocals), and Pavel Mikhailuk (didgeridoo, jews harp, vocals). Just like before, the team rehearsed for the concert at the Aprelevka studio for several days, in order to present a new kind of sound to the sophisticated Moscow audience.
Two musicians from a unique Tuva band Huun-Huur-Tu were the guest performers that night.
We would like to say special thanks to our friends and partners - Alexander Lvovsky and Alexander Cheparukhin (of Green Wave Music) for organizing Tonys visit and concert at the B2 club. 
PM: Looking back at the year 2007 I can say that we have never had such a time of fruitful and intense cooperation with a wonderful international team of musicians! I am happy and I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing people! Thank you all, and God bless you! Now the processing of all the studio and live footage is on the agenda. As we make progress we will gladly share it with you, dear lovers of music!


2006 year

Today Goa is a melting pot of sorts, mixing authentic Indian music, the meditation psychedelia and the contemporary trance culture. These are the three pillars upon which stands the aesthetics of the Goatika Creative Lab.

The Second Coming

In November of 2005 Pavel Mikhailuk went back to Anjuna the heart of Goa again, in order to prepare his new recording studio and a concert ground.  The elefunks, Max Sozonov and Hans Ulianov, joined him three months later. During that time Pavel participated in several peculiar Goan projects. Primarily it was the Paco Rodrigues Kundalini Airport project, as well as the Soundless Sound project with the charming Yasna from Slovenia that played the magic planetary gongs. Pavel joined in as a backup vocalist and played the jews harp.
In the Labs archives there is a recording of one Goan sessions Jam in Baga with Elefunk that took place on February 18th at the Baga night market. The gig was organized by Laurent Pelissier; and the crème de la crème of the Goan music community were there, including Hermann, Jovis, Roei, Paco, the legendary Goan drummer Ori, and Azmito, the didgeridoo player. Pavel Mikhailuk played the jews harp.
One of the noteworthy things about the performance was the fact that for the rest of night, until Hans and Max had to leave, they improvised with Roei Fridman, and one of the themes Wave Flow was included in the first album produced by the Goatika Creative Lab Musical Fish. It was a magic and unforgettable night, one to remember forever. Full Power!
Musical Fish
In the end of March Pavel Mikhailuk returned to Moscow where he met with the sound producer Volodya Kachanovsky, with whom Pavel continued working on the footage from Goa, inviting Russian musicians for additional accents. Looking back, you could say that working on the debut album lasted for a whole year.
 During that time it seems that all of the main players of the Moscow ethno-scene had been to the Mikhailuks Aprelevka recording studio Sergei Kalachov (bass), Arkadi Marto (keyboards, sampling), Gena Lavrentyev (violin, tabla), a Tuva musician Nikolai Oorzhak (guttural singing), and the bands Two Siberians and Safety Magic. With the latter, Pavel participated in the summer Moscow suburbia festival Ethnolife.
Each and every one who has been to the studio contributed a part of his soul to Musical Fish. Sometimes the guests ideas would be so unexpected, that they would force Pavel and Volodya to change the arrangement concepts of different tracks. Victor Sologub (Deadushki, ex Strannye Igry, ex Igry) contributed to the process by teaching a vocal effects workshop.
A few words should be said about working on the cover of Musical Fish. According to Pavel Mikhailuk it was a lucky break. Back in Goa he had met artist Igor Ivanov, and the friendship continued back in Russia.
Says Pavel Mikhailuk, While staying in St. Pete, I would always stop by Igors shop. We would have tea and long conversations about parallel worlds. During one of those visits I noticed one of Igors pieces, which in my eyes was absolutely amazing. It was titled Musical Fish, and from then and there I had no doubts about the name of the album and the cover design anymore.
Thus a copy of Igor Ivanovs Musical Fish became the cover of its namesake, the Goatika Creative Lab debut album. And that was just the beginning of working together with Igor. Later, Sonia Nelubina, a video artist famous for her creative approach, was invited to the studio where she created a video-art style music video. It was included in the album as a bonus feature.
 In the summer of 2006 a meeting with yet another important person in the Moscow music community took place that with Alexander Cheparukhin, the producer of the Green Wave Music label. At the time Alexander was producing the Rozamira project, in which he united musicians from Russia and neighboring countries. The project performance in which Victor Sologub, Sergei Starostin, Sergei Klevensky, Vladimir Volkov, and the Uzbek Sevara Nazarkhan participated, took place at the Strastnoy Boulevard KinoCenter. It is interesting to point out that the entire crew rehearsed in Mikhailuks Aprelevka studio; he also participated in one of the concerts by playing the jews harp.
A bit later Mikhailuk and Cheparukhin visited the annual world music Womex festival in Seville as part of the Russian delegation, and the new inspirations fueled the project and its further development.

In 2006 the following albums were recorded

Live Vibrations

2005 year 


 Several trips to India by Pavel Mikhailuk, the founder of the creative conglomerate virtually made this exotic and amazing place his second home.  Home is where friends are. Actually, Pavel brought his friends along, and in the early 2005 paid yet another visit to Goa together with the Nizhny duo Elefunk, consisting of Maxim Sozonov and Gennady  Ulianov. Such was the beginning of this new music story which would later lead to the creative labs establishment.

Day in and day out the friends would play on the porch of their Indian house. One day the sound of their music drew the attention of one of the top representatives of the Goan music community, Joseph "Jovis" Bubrowski, a terrific didgeridoo master and citizen of the world. Jovis would become a guiding star and a lucky charm to the lab, and to this day he invests his energy and soul into the project.(PM: God bless you, braza!) 
The rest of the day was filled with inspiring joint improvisations, and the next morning a note was stuck to the door with an invitation to do a gig together. This took place in the Bean Me Up café in the village of Anjuna in North Goa.
Pavel Mikhailuk remembers the first musical interaction with the Goan audience to be akin to a trip into another dimension.
 − Everyone in the room had such happy faces. And it was then that we realized that our music would not interfere with their state of mind.  If you are able to capture the waves of the audience with a musical instrument, that should be enough to make you happy.
Rostov percussionist Sergei Maha Mahaev, the three dynamic didgeridoo masters Jovis, Angelos and Andrea, and Yasoo (the flute player) joined Gennady Ulianov (bass), Max Sozonov (keyboard), Alexander Terjoshkin (guitar) and Pavel Mikhailuk (vocals) in the performance.  
In Goa there is a tradition that any musician in the audience may get up on stage and join the performance, and thats exactly what happened this time. With each song the orchestra grew larger and larger, until a man came up to the stage and said that saxophonist George Brooks, a jazz legend, was in the audience and would not mind joining the band. As it turns out later, Brooks was represented by Michael Kranzler, a great connoisseur and admirer of fine arts, who personally knew a great number of top-rate musicians and would later become a friend of the Lab.
Brooks and his tenor-saxophone indeed came up to the mic and didnt leave the stage until this incredible show was over. It was an unforgettable jam. After the gig Brooks invited the entire crew to join him in his next concert as an opening act. So lo and behold, the guys from Elefunk Club found themselves performing at the central concert venue in Goa the Arpora Night Market. Brooks was joined by Sozonov, Ulianov, Mikhailuk, Terjoshkin, Mahaev, Jovis, Andrea as well as Gidi, a local drummer.
There is a recording of this enlightening show, done by Nafi, the oldest Goan hippie smiling faces, girls dancing away, and endless improvisations.
Later on George Brooks, a world renowned musician whom the all-knowing named as the ethno-fusion pioneer, would immensely influence the music concept development and the aesthetics of the future project.
There was so much footage recorded that season that three albums were put together:
Live in Goa, Friday Night at Bean Me Up, Jam in Goa, as well as the music video Saturday Night in Arpora featuring George Brooks.  
Live in Goa is documented evidence of the first time Elefunk and the didgeridoo master Jovis Bubrowski played together. The recording was made in the guest house of Jeevan Sabu, where the gang was staying.  
Friday Night at Bean Me Up is the concert with George Brooks. Pavel Mikhailuk recalls that they were able to edit the concert footage while still in Goa, and the cover was brilliantly designed in Moscow by Denis Sukhov (he emailed the image).
The Jam in Goa performance was recorded live at Dannys place in Anjuna. The gig was a benefit concert for Scotty, a vocalist that played multiple instruments. A joint gig with Elefunk, Jovis and Angelos (both didgeridoo artists) and Nafi (bass) lasted for around six hours. People from the audience would join the improvisations on the stage. Quite special was a performance from a charming blonde girl that played the djembe; a number with her music will be included in the Remember Goa album that will go into production when the musicians return from India.
 Elefunks ethno-fusion style has been always noted for its passion for improvisation. Gennady Ulianovs funk structures would keep playing in your head long after the show; the same is true for Max Sozonovs cosmic keyboard notes, and Pavel Mikhailuks deep vocals. Besides, a little help from my friends was always appreciated (some of them remaining anonymous), who put their passion and talent into the music.
Upon returning from Goa in March 2005, Mikhailuk, together with Sozonov and Ulianov, began editing the footage they had brought back. This lasted for four months, and culminated in the Elefunk projects second album titled Remember Goa.

PM: This album will always be a treasured memory being the first more or less professional experience of producing a CD including performance, recording, editing, mixing, and even designing a cover the first experience initiating further progress. And even though the CD has never been officially released (and probably will never be), it is extremely important to me!
Pavel Mikhailuk

In 2005 the following albums were recorded

Elefunk. Live in Goa


Elefunk. Live at Bean Me Up


Elefunk. Jam in Goa


Elefunk. Remember Goa



Last Updated ( Friday, 20 November 2009 )

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