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Kyiv online radio Gasoline has launched a label. What you need to know about it

Online radio Gasoline has announced the launch of the Gasoline Records label. It will focus on the promotion of young Ukrainian artists and representatives of the independent scene, and the team will present its first release at the end of April. DTF Magazine talked to the Gasoline Records team and tells more about the label

About the label

According to Oleksii Makarenko, co-founder of Gasoline Records, they have had the idea of starting a label since the launch of the Gasoline online radio in 2022, but the team lacked the resources to work in several areas at once.

«Working with a lot of musicians, at the end of 2022 we started to realize the need for releasing music and started getting a lot of requests from show hosts and our friends. So after a year of interacting with radio residents, we had an understanding of the label’s vector and what we wanted to work with».

The goal of Gasoline Records continues the idea of online radio — to create a platform for young Ukrainian artists. Thus, the team wants to «add to the list of domestic music labels that work with music that is free from frames and forms» and also to support radio residents, thereby giving a continuation to their shows and series of music broadcasts.

«If we talk about contemporary releases, we focus on ambient, field recordings, instrumental, experimental, avant-garde music and music that is difficult to catalog. We think that this direction is under-represented in Ukraine at a proper level, or its perception is rather distorted», Oleksii explained.

In addition, Gasoline Records plans to release previously unreleased archival recordings that have cultural value, research the origins and heritage of Ukrainian music, and work with cultural institutions and musicians who are «out of the context of the industry».

According to Makarenko, the label’s team is «interested in studying musical heritage, so they aim to unearth forgotten or lost musical artifacts, as well as to study folk music archives».

«Ultimately, we want to combine our findings with contemporary material and initiate releases that could breathe new life into forgotten musical phenomena and put them in the context of the present».

About the debut release

The first Gasoline Records release will be a mini-album 26.04 by Kharkiv producer Whaler. The release, dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Chornobyl disaster, will be presented on April 26, International Chornobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.

The mini-album description says that Whaler, «whose works include conceptual and, to some extent, cinematic recordings, is returning to a narrative format to retell an event that made a huge imprint on him and on the life of the entire planet».

Here’s how Whaler describes the EP: «The Chornobyl accident was my first introduction to the methods of a totalitarian machine that grinds up human lives, exchanging them for time, reputation, money or political preferences. I have forever remembered how faceless and cruel a symbol followed by people can be. So their deaths and mutilated lives become even more tragic – the deaths of people who sacrificed themselves eliminating the accident, or who just happened to be there at the time».

The tracks from the release are filled with «disturbing ambient, combined with the hum of reactors, the crackling of the dosimeter and the conversations through internal communication systems».

«First I drew this album, then I described it with text, and only after that I recorded all the music. I decided that the sounds the liquidators heard — the “rain“ of water flowing from the ruptured pipes of the reactor cooling system, the helicopters, the mining drilling rigs, the dialogues during the first minutes of the explosion — should be important elements. There were no loud alarms that we were already used to – just the sound of hard work», the producer explained.


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«The release with Maxim was quite spontaneous and was a kind of impetus for the start of the label, so it was ready in less than a month. Considering the concept of the mini-album and the connection to the anniversary of the Chornobyl tragedy, we did it in quite a short time», Oleksii Makarenko commented on the first Gasoline Records release.

You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp.

What else will be released on Gasoline Radio

In May, the label will release a compilation of works that combine «echoes of traditional music with the current sound of cities». During a two-week expedition through the Carpathian Mountains, the team made recordings and communicated with carriers of traditional Hutsul music and masters of Ukrainian musical instruments.

«We brought back a lot of field recordings from the trip, which we’re transforming into a ready-to-work sample pack. The idea of the release is to encourage musicians around us to interact with our material, as well as to rethink the form in which this music can exist today», Oleksii told about the purpose of the release.

A recording by Macka, musician and one of the hosts of «Koshyk Melodiy» show on Gasoline Radio, will be another future release. The cassette album is based on Kyiv’s field recordings made more than 10 years ago.

Gasoline, a non-commercial media platform, was founded by members of the Kharkiv association Kultura Zvuku. It started operating on February 22, but after the start of a full-scale war on February 24, its activities were suspended. In May, the team restarted the project.

Gasoline’s main goal is to talk about Ukrainian culture and bring together artists, djs, artists and activists to «give heroes an opportunity to focus on a topic that they like and are interested in». The platform’s team says it’s important for them to «expand the musical knowledge of listeners, form a community and put Ukrainian musicians in a global context».

The platform features local artists while exploring forgotten and lost artifacts of Ukrainian music and other art forms to «form a unified view of Ukraine’s culture and history».

We told you more about the project in our article.

DTF Magazine and Gasoline held three joint broadcasts in the summer and fall, with the goal of covering Ukrainian culture. During the events, we collected donations to support the «Livyj bereh» and Kyiv Angels volunteer initiatives. You can read more about the first broadcast here, and about the second, dedicated to the 31st anniversary of Independence of Ukraine, — here.

The third, already international broadcast, took place in October. The DTF Magazine and Gasoline Radio teams teamed up with friendly Amsterdam bands — Into The Woods Festival, ADE Hangover, Treehouse and ї.collective — and presented 10 electronic live shows, which were broadcasted simultaneously from Kyiv and Amsterdam.

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