Alexey Kochetkov and Valentina Bellanova came into the studio and graced us with a change of perspective and pace. He plays violin. She plays ney. They are both involved in several projects in Berlin which focus on intertwining the sounds and styles of Middle Eastern music with those of the Western world. Even though we invited them into the studio out of a desire to explore this intersection, we were still blown away by the enchanting aura they coaxed into the dingy walls of the K12 by bowing and blowing their respective instruments. All three of us were held in a trance as they performed their first piece, which extends a full thirteen minutes and makes up the heart of this episode of The Dub Talk. Once we surfaced from said trance, we were full of questions. Everything from timing and key to storytelling and technique were discussed. The Untelevised Crew had begun to learn something new yet again.

Alexey’s journey through music is long, winding, and fascinating, but it also positions him in stark juxtaposition to our methods of creation. Whereas we are steeped in the act of improvisation and the sounds of hip hop and techno, Alexey has a more structured approach to music and resides proudly in the halls of classical and Middle Eastern composition. As the recording session stretched into its second hour, we were all mining each other for information and refreshing insight, which we hope benefits you as much as it did us. Alexey and Valentina are both a part of the Wedding Orchestra for Middle Eastern Music. Alexey is also a member of the Berlin Oriental Group and his personal project Aletchko. You can find their music on their websites, and if you like what you hear, you can keep up with their movements on Facebook. Thanks for staying patient. Now that the holiday season is over, we’ll be back on schedule.