Podcast / 27 January 2022

VOLTAGE Podcast 23 - Yan Cook LIVE

Yan Cook Cover


  1. Yan Cook - S4
  2. Yan Cook - Grooveyard
  3. Yan Cook - Luminous
  4. Yan Cook - 8 Bars
  5. Yan Cook - Marsquake
  6. Yan Cook - Nocturnal
  7. Yan Cook - Exomoon
  8. Yan Cook - Hook
  9. Yan Cook - Sanctuary
  10. Yan Cook - Hope
  11. Yan Cook - Red Giant
  12. Yan Cook - Buddy
  13. Yan Cook - Exhale

Originally from Kyiv in Ukraine, Cook started with producing minimal techno under his first alias - Freeker5. With his first release as Yan Cook in 2011, his sound immediately got deeper and more atmospheric - leaving behind the pacey, dry sound design that he produced as Freeker5. Since, Yan Cook has been putting music out very regularly - often 5 or 6 releases a year.

These records continuously strengthen label catalogs with efficient club tracks: Delsin, Soma, ARTS, Planet Rhythm, and Ear to Ground are only a few examples of labels that have benefited from Cook’s work. In 2017, however, he started his own label as a way of putting out his own music quickly and efficiently - ‘Cooked’ was born.

With a sound meant for darkly lit clubs, Yan Cook’s work proves to be useful in a variety of atmospheres within that world - small or large capacity, no matter which city.


What was your approach towards the track selection for this podcast? Have you achieved the desired result?

I haven't published a recorded live set in over two years, so this one is pretty special. Most of the tracks are from my upcoming album; I'm happy with the result and excited to finally show my new material.

Few people know about your minimal techno-roots, can you tell us a bit more about this?

Sure, I was 16-17 and minimal techno was hot. I loved it so much that I decided to try making it and a year later I got my first release (for some reason it's gone from Beatport now), so that’s how it all started for me. My first artist name was Freeker5… those early tracks are pretty bad, so I don't recommend finding them! But this is my history nevertheless.

How did you end up in techno?

I remember discovering techno podcasts on SoundCloud. I can recall only two right now (BlindSpot and CLR) and from the first minutes I thought 'Yes! This is my genre! It gives me goosebumps, makes me dance, and makes me feel so good, I wanna produce tracks like these!'

Tracklist handwritten by Yan Cook

Is there any difference between the productions for your own label ‘Cooked’ and your work for other labels?

The only difference is that, with Cooked, I can release anything I want and anytime I want. With other labels it's not like that.

Being a cook, what’s your favorite meal?

Ok, at the moment it's coconut curry bowl with rice, veggies, edamame and tofu, and I love granola too.

You’ve distinguished yourself with a typical sound, but how do you manage to stay diversified in your productions?

I always keep that in mind whenever I start a new track. I really don't want all my tracks to sound the same, so what I do is just try new things in every track, like a new instrument, new samples I haven't used before or a new chain of effects. I do that so that in the end I end up not only with a fresh idea, but to have fun playing/experimenting with new stuff and coming up with something cool, sometimes by accident. And, of course, listening to other genres helps.

Also, sometimes a track gets popular and your body naturally wants to make a similar track right away, but I try to fight that feeling.

Can you tell us about the growing rave scene in Kiev? Some people are calling it the new Berlin - are they right?

I can't tell you much about it, because I don't party and I get booked in Kiev maybe once in two years. As far as I know, though, the techno scene here is very solid and indeed it's growing constantly.

I had the pleasure to play in ∄ club (Kyrylivska, 41) and I really loved it.

Yan Cook's setup used to record the VOLTAGE Podcast mix.

Is there any club or festival on your wish list as an artist or visitor?

Yes, I've heard that VOLTAGE Festival is pretty awesome! ;)

Is the pandemic and absence of gigs having an influence on your creativity?

Actually, the pandemic helped my creativity. Of course it sucks when all your gigs are canceled and many are getting canceled even today, but it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I became more active on my YouTube channel and gained many new followers.

I've released a lot of new music, including an Electronica album under my other alias Rhomb, and I released a sample pack - this was also an idea I had in mind for a long time. Also, I'm a lot more active with my visual art now and I see a lot of support from people. I've sold a lot of pieces and even a few NFTs, which is crazy. This hobby of mine became profitable.

According to you, what’s the potential of the contemporary evolution in the sound of techno music?

It's hard to tell, so many techno artists now are out there and they all will push the genre to evolve in something new. I think the subgenres will become stronger and a lot more distinguishable and maybe we'll see some new ones.

Thank You for the interesting questions!

Next up: Nur Jaber

Editorial Team: Noah Hocker and Michiel Demeulemeester
Interview: Victor Seys