Ukraine’s Vakula is one of the most distinctive house producers currently in operation. This is largely down to the loving treatment of his influences, taking in the likes of jazz, rock, and balearic without distorting the essence of those genres to fit a dance mould. A stream of regular appearances on Firecracker and his own Leleka label show him to be as prolific as he is talented, and he crowned 2015 with two rich, fascinating albums.
The more impressive was Voyage To Arcturus, an odyssey meant to act as a companion to a Scottish sci-fi novel from 1920. While it wasn’t necessarily the most daring cut of the batch, early highlight Joywind was a superb effort, with its throaty bassline, birdsong and oneiric panpipe solo. Always inimitable, here Vakula showed just how breezy feelgood vibes can get.