“Ukraine has a super cool scene that is growing every day. There is a lot of educated people when it comes to electronic dance music” – ARTBAT

ARTBAT is a new collaboration of DJ by the names of Artur and Batish. The two came together in the winter of 2015 to share their creative vision which builds upon the unique professional experiences and expertise that each of the two brings to the table. They incorporate all the best that the world of electronic music has to offer. The melody and depth of the Progressive, the atmosphere of Techno, the hypnotics of Minimal-Techno and the rhythmic’s of Tech-House. This extraordinary project has it all. Firstly, you can instantly see where the name ARTBAT comes from. Both Artur & Batish told me they created the alias by themselves using a combination of their names. The duo are currently among the most successful Ukrainian electronic acts and enjoy global recognition. Over the last couple of years the two experienced DJ’s and producers from Kiev have completed a rewarding transition from the debut release, to this summer performing at the Destino and Pacha in Ibiza. The key to their success lies within their powerful and inventive sound of the highest quality. Their tracks have an impressive capacity to fuel both intimate dance floors and huge arenas with energy and drive. It’s for these very reasons why many renowned artists are attracted by their music. Such dance music authorities like Solomun, Maceo Plex, Richie Hawtin, DJ Hell and many others are now regularly spinning their tracks during their sets.

We quickly jumped right to it. ARTBAT are currently in the Top 10 Beatport chart with ‘Papillon’ released on INSTANT fryhide which has also reached #1 in the Melodic House and Techno Charts within 5 days of its release. “‘Papillon is a special track for us. It’s not the usual sound you hear in the Melodic Techno Charts. It’s a real arty and unusual tune and means a lot to us. We are overly happy with the results and grateful for the love and support we are receiving” they said. I have spoken with HOSH in a previous interview about INSTANT fryhide and the concept to release one single track with no advanced promo to get them out fast and without waiting on a B side and PR campaign etc. This is now the second release for ARTBAT on INSTANT fryhide so I asked how they feel this concept works from an artist perspective?

“It’s a great idea. HOSH has given us a great opportunity here. Our first release ‘Tabu’ was 11 weeks #1 in the Deep House Charts and also reached the Top 10 Beatport charts. ‘Papillon” is the same. It’s an artist driven concept and purely for the love of the music and the producer.”

I pitched the question that it proves a strong track doesn’t necessarily need a PR campaign? I was given a two-sided answer “Yes and no, it’s obviously great to create a hype before the release to push sales. Our fans are incredible. Sometimes they notice a new ARTBAT track really quick and create a sort of hype. On the other hand – if you have a good following, you can also survive without a huge PR campaign. Our fans are always up to date, which makes things a lot easier.” The guys are massively blowing up right now as artists and currently creating quite a name for themselves. They told me about when they began to notice the shift when things were beginning to take off for them:

“We always believed in our music and ideas. When we released ‘Uplift’ on Diynamic Music in March 2017, this really pushed us to another level. You get recognition by the scene, supported by well-known artists and build a bigger fan-base. We think this was the turning point in our career. But being #1 #2 #3 meanwhile in the Diynamic Top 10 Label Charts also helps immensely of course.”

Something I have discussed briefly with Dear Deer Records a few months ago is the house & techno scene in Ukraine and how it is blowing up right now. Promoters are trying to do something interesting and new. I was keen to hear what opinions ARTBAT had. They told me “Ukraine has a super cool scene that is growing every day. There is a lot of educated people when it comes to electronic dance music. People have a good taste. We have our residency at CHI by Decadence House. A club that sets the bar in Ukraine and has booked almost every A list DJ from Solomun, Tale Of Us, Adriatique, Marco Carola, Maceo Plex or Dixon.”

Something which was discussed at IMS Malta this summer was ‘establishing yourself on your local scene’ which I was curious to ask the guys if they found it to be a struggle? “The local scene isn’t too big. But to establish yourself in the international scene as a Ukrainian artist is doubly as tough than if you are born and live in Germany or UK for example. So, now they are more globally known do they find themselves more promote-able back in their home city? “We have been well known in Ukraine before our international breakthrough, but of course it helps a lot to be listed among headliners and be signed with world-renowned labels such as Diynamic or fryhide. They explained.

ARTBAT are playing at ADE for Pleinvrees ADE X Hungry Music X Weiter on 18th Oct alongside Olivier Weiter, Nakadia, Guy J, Jeremy Olander to name a few. Other than their set I asked if they have any other plans for ADE? Networking, other parties, workshops to check out? They explained “unfortunately, we only fly in and out this year but hopefully we can meet some of our close friends in the scene, stroll around Amsterdam and have a good time. Our management will be there for the networking and representation all week.” While on the subject of gigs and performing we discussed what they both individually bring to the table which makes their DJ and production partnership work so well? They do everything as a team. They can easily combine their inspirations and passion. As a team they decide together and discuss everything, sometimes one knows something better than the other and sometimes the other way around. Also travelling is a lot more fun together, they explained to me.

As a duo their sets effortlessly sway from house to techno but is there an ARTBAT style they would choose to coin themselves with? “ARTBAT style. It’s tough to label us under only one genre.”

Next, we spoke about upcoming releases and gigs leading to the festive period. Do they have any unannounced releases? “There is a lot we can’t talk about, but what we can announce is our upcoming collaboration with DJ Hell called ‘Outline’ on Gigolo Recordings and we’ve almost finished a collab EP with our dear friend Matador.” This I would very much like hear. Regarding gig announcements they are working on something great and is set to be announced very soon. With such a promising acceptance and support of ARTBAT by the most sophisticated audience this no doubt signifies that soon we will see this project proudly representing Ukraine on the world club music stage.

ARTBAT’S ‘Papillon’ is out now on fryhide. Grab it here

About the Author

UK based former DJ and promoter, co-owner, director, writer & creative at Decoded Magazine. Studied at the University of Wolverhampton graduating in Graphic Communication & Typography (BA Hons). In house video editor and avid MMA follower with a keen ear for dark, twisted, hypnotic, tribal progressive house and techno.