An interview with Machine Woman

Machine Woman. A fitting name for an artist brought up in the mechanic industria that was the USSR; and her Soviet upbringing percolates throughout her productions, productions that are relentlessly draped in brooding melancholy and catharsis.

Anastasia Vtorova has a penchant for deep and enchanting electronica. It moves you. Yet this feeling is often countered by her playfully honest track names. An innate creative, there are few artists out there that evoke so much intrigue. Here she is talking to Gribs…

For any readers that aren’t familiar with your work – how did you develop the Machine Woman character, and how do you explore it during your live performances?

I started playing in bands at a young age and then I discovered electronic music. The elements of electronic music which are often made by machines helped me shape my artist name, it felt natural.

You make music every day. Is there anything else you do every day that you think compliments your production process? Is it ritualistic, or habitual?

I love going for a bike ride or going to a gym to work out. Physical exercise seems to really help me relax. And of course, listening to other people’s music!

There is a uniting deepness to a lot of your productions, as if you’re exploring the darker realms of electronica. Where do you think this search for brooding, almost dystopian-esque sound comes from?

I was born in USSR, in the 90s there was a lot of darkness and I think this has always been – and always will be – a part of me. Finding a therapy in the sound helps me to be ok with the past.

Something that a lot of readers picked up on in your recent interview for Resident Advisor was the speed of your production rate. Do you think working at this rate allows you to foster a level of spontaneity to your work –  in some cases allowing a track to almost become like a journal or diary entry?

Yes absolutely I didn’t think about it as a diary but now I think it really is. From the beginning to the end of the production the sound that comes out reflex the events I had experienced or experiencing on daily basis.

How do you archive and keep that amount of creative material organised?

I don’t hahaha, I’m very disorganised person and it defiantly shows in my millions of folders in millions of places on my laptop and 3 different hard drives.

There are several of your track names that seem to be extremely honest and direct in their naming. Which one do you think has the strangest story behind it?

Going To Lidl With My Pfand Bottles Our Eyes Met In The Cheese Aisle (Heavy Breathing Mix) its like my everyday life story to be honest.

One comment on Bandcamp described your work as “like a factory in [Charlie] Chaplin’s movie”. You’ve also identified the film Metropolis as a reference point for your artist name. Do you often draw inspiration from visual art or cinematic sources?

Yes, often, especially if it’s abstract shapes something triggers in me. I can’t explain why, perhaps it is something I need to discuss with my therapist.

Your free download Soundcloud playlists are a godsend and always full of gems. Where do you think your open approach to sharing/disseminating resources, platforms and musical knowledge originates?

I am not sure I guess when you find something beautiful you want to share this beauty with others.

Are there any emerging artists/labels that you’re getting particularly excited about at the moment?

Yes, love this question. So many good artists coming out. Here is a little list 😉

DEBBY FRIDAY, object blue, Georgie McVicar, Johanna Knutsson, Jass, Giant Swan, pharaoh_blvck, Korea Town Acid, HAAi, Bassiani residents, GABBER ELEGANZA, piksel, madison moore, Tristan Arp, Franklin De Costa.

There are sooooo many moreeeeee super talented people !!!!!!!!!!!!! I could be here all day!!

What else can we expect from you in 2018? Are there any festivals planned?

Yes I recently played at Atonal. In the UK I will be at No Bounds Festival in Sheffield and then I am heading over to Croatia to play at a photography festival, ORGAN VIDA FESTIVAL. In October I’ll be playing at ADE with some of the Lobster Theremin gang.

Thank you, Anastasia.

Thank you!