Pioneering a unique blend of ambient and downtempo electronic storytelling, Khotin’s formidable catalogue oscillates between propulsive and reflective—always pinned to plot points in his wistful compositional style, in which repeated listens reveal deeper layers of emotional complexity.
Informed by a youth spent braving windswept Edmonton winters and listening to Russian pop music in the back of his grandmother’s car, Khotin began making music under the Happy Trendy moniker, which led to several small batch releases of experimental synth music. While studying web development in university (perhaps where the producer’s deep knowledge of ASCII art stems from), he joined Edmonton’s Normals Welcome label, delivering an emotive debut EP of soothing downtempo house with effervescent pads and vibrating basslines. A move to Vancouver was accompanied by contributions to the renowned Libra Mix series, as well as running the welcoming and immersive Trip Advisor parties alongside DJ D. Dee, where Khotin flexed a deep admiration for the lost art of the warmup set. Pulling from his family’s Russian background, his radio mixes for No Fun Radio employing Czech pop and Latvian funk, illustrate more of his sideways, peripheral view on music making. After doing the underground label rounds, including some self-releasing, his latest concoctions have landed on Ghostly International, where his pop and narrative sense aligns with the label’s commitments to electronic music’s ‘in-betweeners’. Beautiful You showcases lush, spacious ecosystems that move in their own languid gravitational ways—a fitting album for Khotin to have recently performed live at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre.
Returning to MUTEK for a live performance which demonstrates a synthesis between his ambient origins and movement-inducing DJ career, Khotin’s set promises the aural equivalent of a day spa; a soothing cosmic trip through the ethereal.