Pulse Radio is heading out to the Republic of Kazantip this summer! We're very excited to join in with countless paradiZers, old and new, in the event that marks the freedom of love and expression in the town of Popivka in Ukraine. As we prepare to go, we are chatting with a few of the DJs who are playing this grand gathering with over 300 acts, to find out how they pack for such a trip, hear their KaZantip stories, and see what they have been up to. Read on to uncover more about not just the artists, but the history of the KaZantip Republic as well.

He may be young, but Ardalan is a force to be reckoned with. Not just a remix master, Ardalan has a few anthemic productions that have been already charted by Diplo and Dog Blood, as well as other works that have been supported by underground stars like Maya Jane Coles and Audiojack. His hip-hop flavored house productions are housed on the Dirtybird label, which has always been his dream. Ardalan has received a lot of support from its head honcho and it's become pretty apparent that Claude von Stroke has a knack for picking up young talent right from the start. Originally fromTehran, Iran and currently residing in San Francisco, Ardalan is about to embark on his Kazantip Republic adventure. We caught up with him to see what he has been up to this summer and how would a "dictatorship of happiness" look to him.  Be sure to catch him at Kazantip and dirtybird party at Sankeys Ibiza on 29th August and 5th September.

Which parties will you be playing in The Republic of Kazantip this season? I will be playing the Dirtybird showcase on the 10th of August.

Have you been before? If yes, everyone seems to have a few memories to share about the experience.  What do you think of when kaZantip comes to mind? I have never been. But my friends used to always talk about it and show me videos and pictures. So every time it comes to my mind, I feel like it's something out of a magical dream.

Kazantip draws paradiZers (as attendees are called) from around the world, but a lot come from Russia.  Have you had experience playing in Russia before? How would you describe the crowd? I have never played in Russia. In fact, Kazantip will be my first in Europe! I'm sure the crowd will be crazy and fun. 

Kazantip requires a viZa which concert-goers purchase as you would a ticket.  Is there a time when a visa problem has prevent you from playing a gig or delayed you significantly? Fortunately I haven't had a problem with visas and nor do I hope to have in the future. I hope?!

Kazantip's symbol is its yellow suitcases called chamadans, which when decorated allow paradiZers to attend for free when they apply to the republic.  As a traveling artist what’s a good packing tip you can share with our readers?  If you’re bringing equipment with you, how do you make sure to fit it all in? My advice would be to always travel simple. Bring only what's necessary. I'm sure it would be nice to bring that one extra polo shirt (which you know looks the best on you), but forget it, the ladies/gents will still love you for who you are, don't be a diva. As for equipment, I only bring a couple records and usb's for the most part, thanks to technology.

Kazantip marks the second half of the summer season, what have been some of your standout experiences this season? I just finished university and have been going on a busy schedule since. I just played a festival in the deep mountains of California. Before that I DJed on a boat in Hawaii, which was quite an amazing experience this season.

Kazantip loves music all day and night.  Do you have any releases or albums that you are currently working on? Yes, I'm currently working on a multitude of releases. I have remixes on the way. I also have couple projects I'm doing with J.phlip and Justin Martin, and also my upcoming EP on Dirtybird. 

Kazantip first started as a gathering of windsurfers who came together to dance to techno and trance after a windsurfing competition on the Black Sea. Since then it has grown into the republic it is today.  Have you tried windsurfing or surfing in general?  Do you enjoy it? I have never done either but i saw some mad surf dudes riding waves when i was in Hawaii…who knows maybe I'll get lucky and give it a shot whilst I'm there.

Kazantip's political system is called "Dictatorship of Happiness."  Who would you appoint if you were building your own Dictatorship of Happiness? I'd appoint myself as the supreme commander of ultimate happiness and will have a staff of ultra-conservative happiests that consists of Claude Von Stroke, Kill Frenzy, and Justin Martin to help me provide happiness and party time to my people. 

Kazantip has over 300 DJs playing this event.  How long will your stay in the Kazantip Republic be and who are you looking forward to seeing play in your downtime? I'll be there for two days and even though there are all those DJs playing, I'll be making sure that I check out all of my crew. The Dirtybird guys are always dropping the best beats. I'll also be playing an official after party with Kill Frenzy and Breach which I think is going to be amazing.. come and check us out.

Kazantip's official color is orange. in order to add color to life.  Does your wardrobe incorporate a lot of orange?  What’s your favorite piece? I love the color orange. Our city's baseball team (SF GIANTS) consists of the color orange. I had a turtle neck sweatshirt that was orange. I dunno what happened to it. I still miss him.

Listen to Ardalan on Pulse Radio