Mix Duration



June 11th, 2024

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Ikigai’s journey with electronic music began earlier than most, at the tender age of three. When her father, himself a musician, gifted her a Casio synthesizer, she quickly began losing track of time while exploring these strange electronic sounds.

This early experience sparked a deep passion for music, which persisted throughout her years growing up in Kyiv. Being born and raised in Ukraine, the legendary KaZantip festival greatly influenced young Katya, whose biggest dream was to attend the event once she was old enough. Unfortunately, Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula, where KaZantip was located, thwarted her plan, as the festival gradually lost its authenticity until its definitive end some years later.

After the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, the Ukrainian underground music scene began developing rapidly, especially in Kyiv. Popular venues such as the newly founded Closer brought together a tight-knit community of local and international artists, providing Katya the perfect playground to discover new music and meet like-minded dancers. She quickly started buying records and DJing, eventually organizing her own underground parties in Kyiv through her collective, Escaped.

“My approach to DJing is quite serious; I am a big perfectionist,” she says. “My sets always tell a story, and I prepare my gigs thoroughly, carefully, and with all my heart. It took a lot of time at the beginning of my career, but with years of experience, it became faster and turned into a captivating journey.”

When asked about her main influences, she replies, “I’ve been influenced a lot by artists like Aphex Twin and The Prodigy. Their music has always made me feel strong emotions, and they are my role models. When I discovered vinyl digging, I found out how many outstanding artists existed in the ’90s and 2000s, and to my surprise, they were not that famous. A few names that made the biggest impact on me would be DHS, Phoenix Jig, Fluid, Cabaret Voltaire, and many others.”

After six years of DJing, Ikigai developed an interest in music production and joined the Module Exchange school in Kyiv, which led her to a new path in her career. She set herself the goal of becoming a professional producer, inspired by her role models from the past and present: “That’s my biggest dream, because I believe that I can fully express myself only with my own music,” she explains.

Katya’s style spans many genres of electronic music. After discovering her work through her amazing podcast for SW:IDR, filled with moody downtempo and IDM vibes, I was curious to find out what the dancier side of her collection might sound like. This mix is the result, and it doesn’t disappoint.