Yulia Niko’s minimal techno sound has pricked up the ears of the most influential artists in electronic music. Recognised by Jamie Jones, Lee Foss, Damian Lazarus, Dennis Ferrer and many others, the Russian-born DJ and producer has hit the ground running attaining signings with a plethora of highly respected labels. In 2017, Yulia dropped ‘Zurich’ on Get Physical, drawing widespread recognition and earning top spot in Mixmag’s ‘20 Artists To Know Who Are Rising From The Underground’.
Ever since, her deeply complex Chicago and Detroit house influenced production style has captured Crosstown Rebels, Get Physical Music, Hottrax, Nervous Records Objektivity, Rebellion and Subliminal. Yulia spearheads her own imprints TochnoTechno and Libe Vibe whilst residing in Berlin where she keeps her ear to the ground and her finger on the pulse of the avant-garde underground scene there.
Alongside a residency with Watergate in Berlin, Yulia has secured bookings in the most significant cities in electronic music such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Ibiza, Moscow and Mykonos as well as frequently touring South America by high demand. Yulia’s unique creativity in any endeavour she sets out will always lead the way in her promising career.
Hi Julia, thanks a lot for taking the time to speak to us today! How are you and whereabouts are you living at the moment?
Hello Techno Mood, I’m happy we’re talking because I’m in a ‘Techno Mood’ today! My productions have been housey and some have even fell under afro house over the past two years but after spending such a long time in lockdown something changed inside me and I’ve gone back to making techno records again. So, I’m at my brand-new studio in Germany polishing up some new tracks for you to enjoy this summer!
The past year has been a strange one for everyone, can you tell us a bit about how you have found things and what you have been doing to keep yourself busy?
Meditation has saved my musical soul. I have always been into yoga but never fully understood meditation and coincidentally a month before COVID hit a friend introduced me to the world of meditation so I was very well prepared for lockdown. It’s not been easy staying indoors after spending the past 15 years of my life traveling like crazy but after a few months into lockdown I realized how important it is to make time for myself. Everything happens for a reason. It’s like when my flight is cancelled and I can’t make it to a show. Why worry? I can’t do anything about it. So, instead of stressing about what we’ve been through over the last year, I think it’s better focus to on preparing for this new world we now live in.
No stranger to Rebellion, you have a remix out soon on the label, this time remixing for Quenum. Could you tell us how you approached the remix and how it came together?
To be honest, it was actually a super last-minute request. I got an email from Rebellion on a Thursday and then the pre-master was ready to send on the Monday. I think the remix was ready within a few hours on Friday night. I don’t usually like it when I am tight on time but Quenum is such a legend producer and I had an idea on what I wanted to do right away. The original track has a unique synth sound which I had never heard before and it instantly inspired me.
What is your studio set up like, can you tell us about any of your favorite pieces of kit?
There are still so many bits of kit that I really want to have in my studio! I have a standard set up by Roland with MX1 mixer, Jupiter synth, and of course TB03. I’m also excited about the new Ableton 11 upgrade. I’ve been toying with the idea of putting on a live performance so I’ve been practising for that and discovering how I want it to sound.
If you could do a collaboration with any artist, who would it be?
When did you get into music and how? Where do you draw your main musical inspiration from?
I remember being 11 years and buying DVDs to watch Tiesto perform or other DJs live in concert or playing in Ibiza. I would put them on every day and dance in front of the TV. My parents had no idea about electronic music and would tell me to stop listening to it because it sounded like ‘boom boom boom’ with no words. Music is constantly on my mind and the thing I talk about the most. It’s probably very annoying for the people in my life.
Now that things look like they might start moving again this year, what do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
I’m fully ready to play pretty much any festival. Just tell me when and where! I have a release coming up on Mood Records in May then after that is a top-secret collaboration with a legend… I’ll be launching my own record label called Tochno so we’ll see how that goes!
Thanks for talking to us today, it’s been a pleasure! One last thing, are there any tips you would give our readers to get through this last part of lockdown?
Keep going and music has the power to heal so keep listening to whatever makes you feel good.