The Breakdown is a new recurring column that highlights outstanding new releases through bite-sized but full-bodied interviews
Producers tend to feel driven by some internal force: the drive to succeed,
After a trip to Cuba. Andriy Kumanovsky, producing under the name Andy Kumanov, felt that drive. As he explained to me over Skype during our respective lunch breaks – he from Ontario, me from Austin – the crystal-clear waters of a particular beach, Playa Pilar, stoked his passion for protecting and advocating for our voiceless but vital earth. The pristine beaches, he points out, will be no match for rising waters on this ever-heating planet. Andy is a mechanical engineer by day, a field he chose because of its potential to improve the way we humans and our machines affect the world around us. By night (or early morning) he produces Trance. The blending of these two passions, it turns out, is nothing short of magic.
What feelings do you get when you listen to ‘Playa Pilar’?
The feeling is a bit driving in the energetic sense in the intro, and as soon as the plucks, break and chords start, it takes me somewhere warm, soothing and tropical. Kind of a carefree – in a way – a day on a boat, helping me fall in love with nature all over again… helping me have even more reason to fight for preserving it when the blissful euphoria of the track ends. Hopefully, I achieve something similar in my listeners!
Blissful is definitely the word! Are there any elements or details you’d hate for listeners to miss?
There are a few. Milad E’s phenomenal bass-lines and fx elements really make the track. We tried to keep the elements as simple as necessary — but not any simpler! The harmonic structure of the chords and melody in the drop should stand out. Notice the altered D major harmony and notes in the melody, kind of like Ilan Bluestone & Koven’s ‘Another Lover’ when looking at intervals of the key and scale. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I can make a track work that is essentially in a key with 4 notes chromatically (a semitone apart) in a row… plus making heavy use of the flat second D# note in the scale.
Is your production process more like following a roadmap or going for a cruise and seeing where you end up?
Well, beyond all of that analysis, there’s still a lot of choices when composing a track even if the mood has been decided, and I think there’s a strong chance we are influenced by our subconscious mind when it comes to what sounds great musically… coming from what we’ve heard before or been influenced by in the past, even if it doesn’t make sense musically in the traditional sense. In this case, I landed on something I liked and trusted that intuition instead of fighting it! We got to the point where we were very happy thanks to Milad E producing that melody.
What does the future hold for you? Any more collaboration with Milad E?
There are a lot of things to be excited about in the future! Milad and I have worked on a few tracks already, and all of them have been exceptionally fun, challenging, and rewarding. Funny enough, the next one coming… in the next few weeks actually, so not much longer left to wait, also makes heavy use of the flat second note, but in a more… Middle Eastern way musically. It’s a track that may be an acquired taste to our western ears, but perhaps that may give enough of a hint which label, or empire, we will be releasing on. That label enjoyed that sound for a long time, and we are very glad they took a chance on us for it! So stay tuned for that announcement very soon.