Premiere: Burko epitomizes ‘medieval house’ on ‘Infrared EP’ [Q&A]
Techno-house producer Burko’s debut EP, Infrared, is officially available to stream, in-full and one day early, exclusively on Dancing Astronaut. Hailing from San Diego, California, Burko knows no bounds when it comes to experimenting in house music. Even in the early stages of his career, the 26-year-old DJ has tended decks at some of Southern CA’s most esteemed venues and music festivals, including San Diego’s Beach House Festival, Love Machine Festival, and the iconic Spin Nightclub. Burko coins his uniquely dark, techno-driven sub-genre as “medieval house,” which seamlessly reflects the nature of the burgeoning talent’s debut project.
Read Burko’s exclusive interview with Dancing Astronaut, and stream Infrared below.
You entered the dance scene a short few years ago. What drove your streaming numbers to rise so quickly?
Burko: “I think the streaming really picked up because the first single from the EP, ‘Infrared,’ got picked up by a lot of Spotify editorial playlists. Upon pitching the song, we got really good looks from Spotify’s ‘Operator’ playlist, ‘Fresh Finds,’ and some others that I can’t remember off the top of my head. But I think that support from Spotify helped the algorithms push the next singles as well.”
Did you always know you wanted to produce?
Burko: “I always knew I wanted to produce, but it took me a long time of being stubborn to actually set aside time. I remember being at a show junior year of college with my girlfriend at the time. I was like, ‘I wish I could make this music,’ and she said, ‘You really should!’ And I remember that moment as [the point where] I decided to actually take it seriously. After that point, it still took about two or three more years to sit down and attempt it. It wasn’t until I got fired from a tech startup in Santa Monica that I decided to go for it.”
Who are your biggest inspirations in dance music, past and present?
Burko: “Currently, I love Township Rebellion, André Gazolla, Boris Brejcha. But in middle school I was into the bass side of things, like UKF, and then I moved on to build it to like Feed Me, Mord Fustang, and a lot of the electro-house stuff going on at the time. House was one of the last things I got into. If it wasn’t for my residency at EOS in Santa Barbara during college, I wouldn’t have been persuaded too much into house.”
You coin your style of music as “medieval house.” Can you elaborate on what that means to you?
Burko: “I describe it as very dark and cinematic. It’s one of those things where if you hear it, it’ll click. Sonically, it has to do with a lot of string instruments and stuff that make it more dramatic. While remixing, I’ll take elements [of a song] that are meant to do one thing, draw them out, and revert the song into something more dramatic. For some reason, the word medieval just stuck out to me while trying to do all of that.”
You’ve just released your debut EP. What’s your personal favorite track on the project and why?
Burko: “That’s tough. I think ‘Here Before’ stands out the most because it’s the one that pushed me the hardest. I guess it’s my favorite, not because it’s my vocals, but because of what it meant to release it. When I started producing, I never thought I’d sing on anything. Getting myself to remove that barrier of making my voice heard was a huge step for me.”
What does your 2022 schedule look like?
Burko: “I just did a show with Drezo at Exchange LA. It was my first time playing there, and it was so much fun. I have a headline show at Spin in San Diego on March 25, and I’m playing a small boutique festival called Jackson Tree on April 1. We’re actively working to get on some more bills for summer and fall. As far as my release schedule, in a month or two there’s a collaboration coming out with SNBRN that I’m really excited about. And later this year, one or two with Autograf.”
Who is your dream collaboration with?
Burko: “I would probably say either Township Rebellion or Boris Brejcha, even though I think most of [Brejcha’s] stuff is solo. On the house side, kind of more away from techno, I’d say Kyle Watson. He’s just so talented.”
Featured image: Jason Fenmore