Interview by Joe Delon, January 2023
Shine Grooves aka Andrey Kurokhtin is a musician, label head and record store owner from Yekaterinburg in Siberia. Over the past ten years he has been putting out music across a range of labels including his own Hanagasumi imprint, founded in 2019 to release non-commercial, experimental electronic music on vinyl. In 2020, the label grew into a physical record store, which is now a centre for the city’s developing scene.
Andrey’s mix for our series explores similar territory to his Space Garden LP, released last year on Carpet & Snares’s CIRCUITS series. Ambient, experimental, ethereal: it’s a real trip through the cosmos.
Your mix is a journey through ambient synth experimentation, field recordings, dubby electronica and other outer-world sounds. Does this kind of music have a place in your DJ performances? What thoughts and emotions does it provoke for you?
In my DJ sets, I often use deep electronic music. It is a priority for me. I love when there are non-standard techniques in music. Of course, it all depends on the event and the time of the performance: for example, last year I played a two-hour techno set at 140bpm at 3am, people were dancing on the table, the vinyl turntables needles were jumping, but it was fun.
You released your Space Garden LP last year on Carpet/Circuits. I hear an undeniable jazz current running through the album, despite it being fully electronic. Can you talk a little about your musical influences when writing it? And the concept of the ‘Space Garden’ itself?
All tracks of the Space Garden album were recorded at different times. The “Tool”, the earliest track on the album, was recorded in 2015, and the most recent track “Morning Mood” was recorded in 2020 during the world lockdown. I get inspired by traveling, walking in the woods, and most importantly — the process of writing music, long studio jam sessions. Of course, a huge number of musicians and sound designers in my life had a great influence on me, I am grateful for that.
You run a record shop and label – Hanagasumi – out of Yekaterinburg, on the edge of Siberia. What are the challenges running a vinyl-based business when located at a significant distance from the main pressing and distribution hubs in Europe and the USA? And how do you meet those challenges?
Yes, in 2020 my wife and I launched the Hanagasumi store as a logical continuation of the label of the same name. It’s true that being away from the vinyl factories and distributions makes it quite difficult to run such a business, but we somehow manage to cope with the problems. Personal acquaintances with the labels on which I release help me a lot, so I have the opportunity to bring some part of those catalogues to our store. I also use various services for the delivery of records. Now I have a huge number of friends and musicians in my environment who are engaged in vinyl and cassette labels, I order releases from them directly. So, creating vinyl culture is difficult, but very interesting!
How is the local scene evolving in relation to the shop and other activities like nights or collaboration between artists?
Recently, the local scene has expanded significantly, which makes me very happy. Almost all products of the local scene can be purchased in our store. A community of like-minded people has formed around the Hanagasumi store/label, and together we hold various events with live shows and DJ sets from local artists. A year ago, we launched a series of youtube streams from different places in our city, and recently we held the first Instore Session, where we talked about new local electronic music.
What’s next for you musically and personally?
In the near future my new album will be released on the label of a great Scottish musician Lord Of The Isles, a label called Dusk Delay. The release is scheduled for the end of January 2023. Also some of my tracks will be released on cassette and digital releases in the near future. Now we are drawing the cover for the new release of Hanagasumi, it will be an LP 12″ compilation, which includes my track too. Excellent mastering has already been done, so we expect it to be released next year. This is all about the musical plan, but about personal plans, I will not voice them yet, otherwise nothing will work! 🙂