Eukarya – ‘Winter Winding’ EP Review, Interview & LiS Exclusive Mix

Let your mind slowly settle into the course of the journey, clearing any remnants of the self in the reverberation of the gongs, the resonance of the singing bowls and low frequency of the chanting. Digital synth chants that is. Eukarya’s four song EP Winter Winding introduces itself with “Morning Sun, setting the scene and creating a surreal introduction with a certain beatless ambience.

The wind is blowing in the first cold front of the season in Eukarya’s  “A Mid Night’s Wind.”  The pulsing tones of this piece evoke the tribesman’s sacred dance about the fire. In fact, I think I’ll turn this song on next fire I find and let the beats in this one be my shaman guide. “First Snow” incorporates drum set samples that simulate the snow sprinkling, then dumping, then slowly moving back up into the clouds from which it came.

You are sitting in a field, looking up at the sky, the ominous melody is breaching the blue sky, conjuring holographic snow flakes, appearing and then dissolving into the skin. Just a moment before their dissolution, the observer zooms into the pattern of a snowflake reflecting the unique mandalas blooming from each new image laden rhythm. The soundscapes create a peaceful pocket for the listener to lay and rest a while and soak in the mystery of “First Snow.”

“Time Dilation” starts with samples of a meandering river, slowly fading with the freeze. Freezing the flow, halting time in this moment. The title of this song brings to mind the cyclical pulsation of the seasons and the moods we all too often carry into the coming of the cold. The tempo changes give it a “time-warping” effect, as Eukarya describes it. The deep bass carries the listener through a myriad of portals that are sure to leave the listener wondering what day it is and better yet, why make the distinction? A perfect piece for curling up next to the fire, contemplating with your friends, forgetting in the intellects of the sound structure, just how damn cold it is.

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Eukarya’s music is characterized by strong harmonic development, textured rhythms and deep rolling bass lines. Eukarya spends much of his creation process carving sound sculptures, play as the medium. Eukarya’s music is a celebration of life. He successfully expresses nature’s rhythm with his organic acoustics and honed craftsmanship. Eukarya exemplifies the connectedness of humans to all varieties of ecosystems through the sonic webs his sound designs bring to the surface. Eukarya seeks to create spectral sounds that encompass the full range of human emotion in all its beauty and imperfection. Eukarya’s music is like that of a ecosystem, each harmony, bass line and field recording having a place without anyone component of the overall system throwing the rest out of balance. 

His soundscapes shape their own ethereal/esoteric environments for the likes of the conscious listener to visit and sit a while, enjoying ambient and symbiotic relationships created between each sound. All working together to form music that presents itself patiently and intricately, leaving ego behind. At the end of the journey, take a second to bring yourself back to the moment. You may wonder where the time went as you come back from a possibly unintentional meditation, your thoughts having left no trace in the environment Eukarya immerses you, his listener, into. His music creates a space for inner transformation and his ceremonial approach allows for a shamanic dance floor experience that unites all who come within sound’s reach on the same Sine wave.

If you’re not listening on a sub, you’re missing something important.

We started off the interview the way you should any interview, with recreational kind buds and a half hour meditation based on release and clearing. Yeah, I’m fluffy like that. So fluffy in fact that when Eukarya began rendering his mix for this interview at 39 minutes and 52 seconds the immediate thought was get back in there and add 8 more seconds. Leaving us with the answer to life. If you don’t read you probably have no idea what’s being referred to here. Answer: Pick up a book. The LiS exclusive mix included, along with Eukarya’s new EP, is all original with one very special unreleased, unfinished, unnamed track.

[LiS] In the bigger picture, this style of music you kids are playing these days is a new niche to the music world. Tell us about your history in the music scene and how you managed to stay under the trap craze radar?

[Eukarya] My interest in electronic music honestly emerged out of my psychonautic explorations that began around the age of 16. I had a number of experiences that really inspired me to delve into the world of the early psydub and chill out sounds. Artists like Pink Floyd, Sounds From the Ground, Bluetech, and Space Time Continuum were really paving the way back then. I have always been musically inclined, but my early psychedelic adventures helped me immensely to change my world view from one based on anger to one based on love. With that shift in perspective also came a shift in the music I was listening to. I realized what I needed to be doing musically and set out to pursue an education in audio engineering in 2010 to help fast track my desire to create finely crafted audio collages with pristine fidelity.

You’re music definitely has an original vibe. Where do you draw inspiration from?

I’d say the umbrella that all my inspiration falls under is life, and the mysterious nature of our existence. Microbiology, DNA, mycelial networks, plant chemistry/plant medicine, and information systems are all highly fascinating and inspiring to me. I try to traverse a variety of feelings, in attempt to encompass the entire range of thought and emotion that we can experience in life. I believe that the path of healing involves confronting darkness, and these are the sorts of things my music confronts head on. Life is about the journey and subtle beauty, and so is every song I write.

Eukarya

Why did you choose Winter Winding for the EP name? Does this speak to the theme?

The theme of the EP is the changing of seasons, from fall to winter, winter to spring. Winter for me represents a time of deep focus and change. I typically become more reclusive, make more art, and really sink into my being in a sort of analytical way. It’s a time to assess the path I’m on, reflect on my interactions, my happiness, my sadness, etc. It’s a potent time for self-work and healing. The EP is really an embodiment of that internal dialogue, as well as a journey into my physical surroundings here in Colorado which is incorporated in the song themes and field recordings. The tracks appear in the order they were created and to offer perspective, “Morning Sun” was crafted one special sunrise to capture the essence of a new day, and glimmering light beams. A “Mid Night’s Wind” was primarily expressed on a cold windy night. “First Snow” was crafted during the first Denver snow fall of 2014. “Time Dilation” is something I experience in winter, especially as the longing for summer increases. My writing style is very focused on channeling pure expression, and as a result of that, this release is the embodiment of my own self reflections, suffering, joy, confronting loneliness, etc. I guess when it’s all said and done, I just hope it’s something people can relate to. I don’t really approach creation trying to cater to what I know people will relate to or pick up on. It’s all about pure channeled expression.

Got a tour of summer festivals lined up?

My focus lately hasn’t really been geared towards touring. I’ll be making some summer festival appearances for sure, but don’t really have a tour strung together. I’m really focused on continuing to create new quality material. With that said though, I’m involved with an amazing team of visionaries called Djedi Templar. We’ll be constructing a very special lotus dome temple installation that I will certainly be sharing Eukarya sets on, so keep an eye out for that.

Tell us about the workflow involved in the creation process of these tracks?

My work flow changes a little bit project by project. I try to avoid re-using sounds/patches, and the way I carve atmospheres and soundscapes is generally the result of long experimental processes involving complex FX chains and feedback loops. Inspiration can strike me in such a variety of ways, that it really can alter my work flow. Sometimes I’ll start experimenting with the intent of creating atmospheres or pad sounds. Sometimes I’ll just need to get a beat and bass line out of my head. Sometimes I’ll start by playing a riff on the keys. Each song is unique in it’s development. As creators all we have to do is set things in motion. Once there is motion, a world of infinite possibilities awaits. I like to think the songs are all already written, and I’m just solving the puzzle of where the notes go. It’s an intuitive process that can’t really be recreated.

You released this EP under Mycelium Music, tells us about your experience with them?

It’s really an honor to be working with Mycelium Music. Before I got involved with Mycelium I was self-releasing tracks to raise money for communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Mycelium Music is a non-profit label, raising money to lead myco-restoration projects in Ecuador using oil consuming fungus. Having a deep fascination and appreciation for the mycelial networks on this planet, when Mycelium Music and I discovered one another it made all the sense in the world to combine forces. Social and environmental change are hugely important to me and using my art as a driving force for creating change is really the primary goal of the project. I would highly encourage anyone interested to further investigate what we’re doing, and to also be aware of what you’re supporting when giving donations for this art work.

Eukarya logo

Do you have any other on-going collaborations or intentions for any in the future?

I’m pretty open to collaborations and recording sessions. Right now though, I’m beginning to incorporate vocals from Madelion Moondrop which is quite exciting. I’ve also just recently embarked on creating a mostly live improv ambient project with one of my favorite producers and best friends, but I can’t say more than that right now – who knows though, maybe you’ll see us play this summer.

What do you aspire to catalyze in your listeners?

Honest self-reflection to harness growth. Transparency. A deep appreciation for being alive. I seek to throw the listener on a journey that ultimately leaves them in a place of inner peace, as there will never be world peace without first obtaining inner peace.

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Eukarya wasn’t always atmosphere and bliss. His roots come from being a drummer in a punk rock band. And if that isn’t funny, he got his lessons from Van Morrison’s percussionist. He still maintains his love for a good moshpit, but who doesn’t?  When LiS asked how he made the shift from grunge to goddess, he had this to say, “Old Ott, DMT, and Terrence McKenna. All happened to me at 16. It catalyzed my mind’s expansion and the pursuit of truth.” An all too familiar story for many of us. There’s something about those ingredients that just cooks up some really nom nom beats.

Eukarya is doing something not many others are. He’s working to bridge the ambient chill out world with banging bass lines in a style he knights ambient bass music.

If you’re looking for a lesson in the music, here it is, straight from the dharma bum himself, “Stop being so fucking distracted and be present. Be patient.”

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