The recent renaissance of Kiev’s club scene was inevitable; political aggressions at home and abroad in 2014 had irrevocably marred and marked the Ukrainian capital. What always comes after tragedy is a period of reflection – a heightened awareness of consciousness and identity – followed by concerted efforts to avow one’s place in the world. It’s no wonder then, that Kiev’s youth would channel their disenchantment into pure, unadulterated energy. Leagues away from the techno hotbeds of Central Europe, Kiev’s raves have established themselves as being magnanimous, self-sufficient and utterly mind-altering.
In the midst of this tumult, one pundit is making his voice heard in a different, quieter way. A seasoned DJ in his native Kiev, Bohdan has largely given up the clubs to focus on producing in his makeshift home studio. His first EP Hermeticism is a culmination of four years of patient and meticulous work. Believers of Hermeticism – a religious and philosophical school of thought – embark on spiritual journeys to return to a state of unity. One can interpret a similar ethos in Bohdan’s music, which taps into the state of mind where material feelings are eschewed in favour of deep and intimate thoughts and experiences.
Hermeticism will be released on Belgium’s NORITE imprint. Much like their namesake rock (igneous, and containing light and dark minerals), NORITE artists imbibe the ethereal with the uncanny – and Bohdan is no exception. Of the two tracks and remixes, Cordova is perhaps the most emblematic of this amalgam. Its opening sighing synths would lull the listener but for the firm kicks that soon follow. A dark, gyrating bass line is atoned with notes so celestial they must be sent from above. These angelic murmurs soothe the listener, asks them to slow their breathing, close their eyes, and allow the mystic to take hold.