Ever since Aleksandra Zakharenko arrived in Berlin six years ago, she’s cultivated a small community of experimental artists defined by their immaculately crafted, transportive ambient compositions. She began sharing her favourites through the now-defunct Berlin Community Radio (BCR) and making her own alongside her flatmates Special Guest DJ and exael, whom we’ve featured before. It was through her own podcast series, WET (or Weird Erotic Tension), that she first demonstrated her penchant for erotic spoken word poetry, and with a release of warm atmospheric emotion on Manchester’s Sferic Records in 2019 she became Perila, a guise reserved for her BCR show. She recorded her debut album, How Much Time it is Between You and Me?, in rural France during the pandemic, reflecting on the concept of time. It landed on Smalltown Supersound in June.
Growing up in St. Petersburg, Zakharenko involved herself in music at a young age, drumming and singing in local bands and also co-founding of radio.syg.ma, one of the country’s first experimental music stations which hosted one of her early productions on 2019’s SYGMATURE compilation. Besides field recordings and glassy synths, her sound remains rooted in hushed vocals, which roots back to her fascination with voice and language. (She studied English literature at university.) You can hear this across the enchanting Everything Is Already There cassette on Boomkat Editions and the Meta Door L cassette on Paralaxe Editions, which is incidentally where EDMjunkies first discovered her work.
We’ve been pursuing Perila for EDMjunkies podcast for over a year, and we’re now delighted to present an immaculate, immersive listen rich in lush tones and textures. Recorded after an inspired trip to Lisbon, Portugal, the mix is a collection of Zakharenko’s favorite absorbing and quietly seductive tracks that’ll transport you to a different place and make you feel something deep inside. It’s intended as a celebration of her debut album by exhibiting the serenity and and warm comfort that has come to define Perila as an artist.
01. How has 2021 been for you so far?
It’s been very mood-swingy. A lot of interesting projects, finally traveling a bit, self-discoveries, and constant inner work. More and more I’m realizing that I need more nature in my life because it’s everything for me.
02. How have you found the lockdown caused by the pandemic?
To be honest, it was one of the most exciting and deep times in my life. It’s been challenging and transforming at the same time. I think a lot of us felt something we’ve never felt before and it changed a lot for me inside. It’s been a very special time for me. I feel grateful.
03. Which artists and labels have caught your ear?
I haven’t been listening to much music lately. I’ve been really into silence and sounds floating around us as they are. I’m happy to hear that downtempo is coming back to the zone.
04. What is it that inspires you to make music?
Nature, observation, and change.
05. When and where did you record this mix?
I recorded it after my trip to Lisbon where I met my love ocean again. To be honest, I think it’s my last mix for some time. I really want to explore new fields and untouched territories. There are a lot of good mixes and artists out there and I want to try something I’ve never done before. It’s all about new open roads which are the future we build and shape with these hands here typing these words. It was a grey rainy morning during a Berlin summer pretending to be autumn in my cosy blue room.
06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you included?
First I wanted to make an illbient mix but then emotions took over as always and I just put together another trip reflecting my current mood state because I can’t fake it; I need to be honest with self. I guess it’s autumn here and this is how I feel about it now. I could say it’s still pretty illbient but the interpretation is open.
07. Where do you imagine it being listened to?
On the floor at night or in the forest absorbing beats coming from the trees.
08. What are your long-term ambitions with music?
It’s my life.
09. What’s next on your horizon?
I want to disappear from the outside world for some time and get lost in the studio and forests making new sounds and finding new ways to express what is inside. I also want to play live sets for nature.
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01. Maths Balance Volumes “Work Last Monday” (Penultimate Press)
02. Meissner, Slavin, Sachs “Presence/Absence: Die Stadt Ohne Juden” (Sub Rosa)
03. Keith Fullerton Whitman “Twin Guitar Rhodes Viola Drone” (For Lamonte Young) (Kranky)
04. cavemen LSD “The Sun Will Sink Into The Ocean” (Upcoming)
05. Valentina Goncharova “Symphony of Wind” (Muscut)
06. CS + Kreme “Blue Flu” (The Trilogy Tapes)
07. Ex-Terrestrial “Guardian Angel” [naff recordings]
08. Signaldrift “Norway” (Audraglint)
09. Modelbau “Impede” (Korm Digitaal)
10. Scala “Hold Me Down” (Touch)
11. Hysterical Love Project “Psychic Nausea” (INDEX:Records)
12. DJ Spooky vs. Scanner “Channel Float” (Sulfur)
13. Love Spirals Downwards “Ananda” (Projekt)
14. Naemi “ambrosia w/Daniel” (upcoming)
15. Roam The Hello Clouds “Twenties In The Eighties” (scape)
16. ju ca “but echoing of you” (Daisart)