Back to Psychedelic Roots with Klara

Women's Day Special

Milena Krstevska, also known as Klara, is a renowned artist in the global psychedelic, deep, and hypnotic techno scene from the Land of the Sun. Her musical journey started as a soprano singer in a classical music school. After experimenting with some bands during her teenage years, she returned to her psychedelic roots.

She found a new sense of meaning in the intersection of the technological and organic realms.

In 2015, she began her DJ career as a resident of Code XX’s events, which provided her with a platform to showcase her talent to a wider audience. Klara’s exceptional ability to create deep and hypnotic techno sounds quickly earned her a reputation as one of the most innovative electronic music artists in North Macedonia. In  2017, she started producing her music and presenting it in various authentic concert settings, regional and international festivals, and warehouses with her techno live act, such as Mo: dem Festival, Croatia.

Driven by her desire to transform nature’s vibrations into sonic soundscapes, Klara’s creative work reflects her journey and unique philosophy. Her comprehensive DJ and live performances are highly influenced by her deep philosophical background and psychological practice, allowing her to bring a special transcendental state to each of her shows.

Klara has appeared with her original works on VA compilations worldwide, such as for Warok Music, FR, Charybdis, DE, Deep Electronics, NL, Oslated, KR, and presented some of her music on the Hypnus Memoirs, SE. Her debut album was released in 2021 by the prestigious Spanish label Annulled Music, followed by a relinquishing EP on Circular Limited, ES.

Inspired by her ambient project Vedis, Klara has created the Lasya Project, where she collides the two worlds of atmospheric music. Hosting a monthly show focused on atmospheric music on local online radio during the pandemic, she started inviting artists and labels to showcase their work. In late 2022, Lasya evolved into a digital music label and visual arts space focused on atmospheric electronic music, bringing a fresh perspective to the field.

Klara’s work embodies her unique perspective and journey; we can’t wait to see what she does next.

What led you to explore the deeper side of Techno, and what specific characteristics drew you to it?

One name – Cio D’or. Discovering her release “All in all” on Semantica and then hearing it live on the “10-year anniversary of Full Panda Records” in Tresor, Berlin, in the Summer of 2015. That was the turning point for me! It wouldn’t be fair if I don’t mention the previous impact “Ultimae Records” made for me while I was in my teen days. Discovering the music by AES Dana gave me a completely new understanding of electronic music. I could finally say, “this (electronic music) has real depth; it can collide body-mind-spirit.”

The minimalist approach in the rhythmic structures, the sound design behind the atmospheres & the emotional depth it could represent and carry, were the main characteristics that drew me deep into it.

Can you walk us through your creative process when producing a new track, particularly when incorporating the organic hypnotic and psychedelic elements that define your sound?

Hard one.. 🙂 What is interesting about my workflow is that I start by creating loops on the Ableton Mixer. I start from the bottom (designing kick-bass and some layers around them) and go on until I get to have a loop sounding good enough that I can listen to it over and over again. Isn’t that the essence of hypnotic tracks anyway? JK…

Another thing that is essential in my work and something I have been patiently developing (for the past four years at least) is to “say more with less.” I know it might sound “cliche,” but truly, subtly inducing “hypnosis” in atmospheric layers, a minimalist approach in the rhythmic development & a well-thought, spatial, “multi-dimensional” stereo field with spiral movement is what I was focusing on most. In this type of genre, within my productions, incorporating such micro changes, subtle elements inside some of the layers, and careful side-chains on the repetitive low-end and wide atmospheres is a signed language. My voice, as my original and best instrument, also, is an essential part of my work. I use it for all kinds of effects, melodic designs, and atmospheric and harmonic structures. A blend of organic and acoustic elements, field recordings, and serious sound design makes my productions alive.

Do you play Psytrance as well?  Tell us more about it

Yes, I also play psytrance and recently crowned this expression with a new alias – Clairvoyant. I was immediately signed up for Bhooteshwara Records, a well-respected Forest – Darkpsy label from my country (Macedonia), which has established valuable roots in this genre.

I am somehow active in the psytrance culture for 20 years now, starting with my dad bringing me to a psytrance open-air party in Ohrid back when I was a child in elementary school. It was only a matter of time before I started doing more in this field. I had my first official DJ booking in club Liquid – Malta, Spring 2022, followed by my festival debut later that year in Albania (The Element Festival) and releasing my first VA “Eos” for Bhooteswhara the same year. Playing psytrance is deep in my roots and always feels like coming home. 

You’ve released your music through several highly respected labels in the deep techno scene. How have these partnerships influenced your work, and how have you developed your sound over time?

I am grateful to be a part of such a beautiful community & contribute my work to some respected labels on the scene. However, I am not sure this has contributed so much to my artistic development. I have developed my sound over time by creating a better studio with proper acoustic treatment, continually searching for more tools to contribute to my expression and passionately following my visions.

Sometimes, I feel enslaved by my visions and have to express them in one way or another. Often I would lack the skills or knowledge to express myself, so I would have to slowly gather new knowledge and skills, experiment and develop until one day it just appeared on the surface again. I have this “AHA!” moment, realizing I suppressed this in my subconscious, gathering the resources and waiting for the timing for this to be able to manifest. Knowing this, I am fully devoted to my creations without putting myself as a central being, but that which is ought to be expressed through me.

Many electronic music producers draw inspiration from various sources beyond the genre, such as art, literature, and film. Are there any particular influences outside of music that has shaped your sound and creative vision? Perhaps spirituality?

My eternal source of inspiration is mother nature and the spiritual world. Some emotional states, memories and experiences from my personal life… how I relate to the World and what questions I have about life/death – the eternal dance of creation & destruction. As a deeply intuitive and emotional being, a Tantraloka practitioner & a Bhakti Yogini, I don’t think I would be able to create such things if I wasn’t feeling, hearing, believing or being as much as I am.

You founded your record label, Lasya. (Was it a festival too) What inspired you to start your label, and what kind of music and artists can we expect to see released under Lasya?

Lāsya started as a monthly streaming show for an online radio platform during the lockdown. Focusing on atmospheric electronic music, I started inviting artists & labels, a lot of friends from around the world, to showcase their original works. Soon after I started this radio program on the local platform, I took this show internationally and curated a virtual listening experience or an online festival airing on the 9128.live platform, exclusively hosting 11 artists from around the Globe (including some names like AES Dana, Birds ov Paradise, Eric Cloutier and more) during a 13-hour non-stop sound & live chat emissions. With the ending of the pandemic, the local radio also closed its doors, which gave the Lāsya dance a new unlimited space to evolve and emerge as a digital music label focused on atmospheric electronic music (or, as a friend called it, “avant-garde” techno music). 

The label will host five releases yearly with artworks made of original macroscopic photographs of rare mushrooms I find, emphasizing Nature as the supreme artist, all accompanied with original texts/poems relating to each release.

Lāsya now presents a wholesome transdisciplinary experience and a fresh perspective into the electronic music world.

What is your plan for 2023? Are any festivals coming up?

My plan for 2023 is focused on personal growth, healing & recovery. Some neglected parts of me needed my attention, and I prioritized this greatly. I hope the festivals can hold some space for my inner process and wait for me to return next year.

Love, peace, empathy, we dance in unity. M

More about Klara

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