The prolific Polish producer has been releasing music under different monikers for almost a decade now. Earth Trax is his newly minted club-ready venture.
Bartosz Kruczyněski has been releasing records for a few years now. His releases come in the form of ambient / minimal music albums under his own name, sample-based explorations of Polish heritage as half of Ptaki or new age infused deep house under his most prolific moniker to date, The Phantom.
If that wasn’t enough, the Warsaw-based producer introduced his Earth Trax project last year with an ocean deep 12″ on Rhythm Section alongside Newborn Jr, and now debuts on Phonica Records with L’Avventura, a 4-tracker firmly planted in the club while also channeling a fresh version of the Baltic melancholy found in his other projects.
We spoke to Bartosz just as his new record hit the shop:
Hey Bartosz, how you doing?
Doing great, thanks. Bought myself a blender the other day and just made a smoothie!
Could you tell us a little bit about your background, perhaps where you grew up and what first got you interested in electronic music?
I was growing up in a small city in Poland, so my early heroes were mostly larger acts I knew from TV – The Prodigy, Aphex Twin, The Chemical Brothers. On the other hand – my dad used to listen to new age and electronic bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Andreas Vollenweider, Kitaro so these kind of stuck with me as well. Thanks to the Internet and finally going to clubs in larger cities (moved to Warsaw to study there) I started exploring producers beyond the mainstream.
What’s the music scene like back home in Poland – are there any promising young producers or DJ’s we should be keeping an eye out for?
The scene is very DIY and the majority of promising producers aren’t even too interested in proper careers. Just got sent a couple of new tracks by Dextre and they are all amazing, he’s been making music for years now and he never even had a proper release yet. I really loved Poly Chain’s album – ‘Music For Candy Shops’. Private Press are great. There’s an interesting minimal music scene of classically trained musicians – Wacław Zimpel, Hubert Zemler, Kuba Kapsa and a rich experimental/cassette one as well. There are so many great DJ’s too – RRRKTA (also running a label & one of the most popular club nights in Warsaw – Brutaż), Charlie, Olivia, Mozaika, DJ Morgiana to name a few.
Let’s talk a bit about your latest release on our Phonica imprint. We’re really stoked to have you on board! Can you tell us a little bit about the tracks and how the title ‘L’Avventura’ came about?
Yes! Thanks for having me! All the tracks are very ethereal and dreamy, but melancholic at the same time. They in a way sound like a shattered holiday trip, as in Antonioni’s film. They are a bit dystopian as well, the spoken word vocal in B2 translates to ’a rebellious child of atomic revolution’, originally used as a bully’s insult.
Whilst we’re on the topic of names – where did Earth Trax come from?
Most of my earlier records under different names were very environment-related. There are many hints (in names or field recordings I made) to parks, rivers, forests. Using word ‘earth’ was inevitable.
Do your DJ sets reflect your production style or do you like to play a mixture of many genres?
They do, but in a twisted way. The idiosyncrasies are there, but I often express myself through lots of different records and genres. Playing music from early 90’s ambient techno through classic trance, house to new wave, dance. I’m always looking for invisible links and wormholes. Same in my non-club sets – last weekend was very refreshing, I played in a park next to a classicist palace in Warsaw, after a field recording show, at 6 am. I took with me records by Michael Nyman, Wim Mertens and more obscure minimal artists, but also Maurice Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, which follows the same minimal principle. It ended up being the peak time track. It felt great!
What are your favourite record labels out there at the moment?
Stroom, Astral Industries, Kess Kill, Affordable Inner Space, Instant Classic, Soave and Growing Bin, Music from Memory every single time.
Are you able to tell us about some of your other forthcoming releases?
There should be a couple of downtempo remixes under my real name, including reworks of Ride, Tommy Awards, Sacha Puttnam for Balearic series. Also EP’s for Shall Not Fade/Lost Palms, Les Yeux Orange and Echovolt (the latter two with Adam aka Newborn Jr with whom I released a 12” on Rhythm Section last year). I’m also putting finishing touches on Baltic Beat 2 and working on some music with Sasha aka Poly Chain.
What’s the one piece of studio gear you couldn’t live without?
Just bought a Moog Sub 37 and I already fell in love with it. I’m not too attached to gear though. I think the whole ‘L’Avventura EP’ was made using two or three VST plugins, mostly Korg Legacy, even though we do have a Korg M1 at the studio with Adam (Newborn Jr).
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Have a good summer!
Thanks, you too Bartosz!