Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

Blastitude

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

These guys were one of the ‘out of nowheres’ for last ish, coming straight outta the Ukraine with a disc that seemed like it was going to be standard drony improvised space-rock, and in fact even sounded like it was, but somehow just sort of refused to be. I called it “space-ug” and it was indeed this lost creepy kind of vibe that almost reminded me of the Conet Project. Here’s a followup that actually is a little less creepy, and maybe even slightly new-agey, but once again I just don’t mind. The Moglass just know what they’re doing. This one, along with the RH Band LP on HP Cycle, get the “Tangerine Dream” award for the issue.

Indieville

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

The Moglass is a Ukrainian outfit recording on the Nexsound label who create drone / experimental works of free improv that are both relaxing and thoroughly engaging. The band’s style reminds me of a more abstract Godspeed You Black Emperor!, combining an epic feel with experimental ideas to form strong, emotional pieces that are distinctly avant-garde yet still remarkably melodic. Guitar improvisation is common throughout their debut album, Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows, as are long drones and a spacey, airy texture.As song titles are not given with Telegraph poles…, it is clear that The Moglass intended for the album to be taken as a whole. And as one big piece, it is very powerful. Listened to in a dark atmosphere with little extra sensory stimulation, the album is moody and at times a bit frightening. It is at once evil and beautiful; hauntingly resonating ambiances are fueled by guitar, drone, and field recordings.
Be warned, however, this is not a disc that you can toss aside and let fade into the background. Telegraph poles…, criminally limited to a mere 500 copies, is one of the year’s most complexly powerful albums; as long as you aren’t the type who’s bored to bits by avant-garde soundscapes, you’re bound to be moved in some way by this terrific disc.
89%

Ultra WWW Magazine

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

Discovery! Psychedelic-experimental! Echoes of Floyd, Dome, Heldon, Fripp and Krautrock! Track #2 sounds very lysergic, like a saucered Pink Floyd lost in the visuals of the ‘bad trip party scene’ of “Un Beau Monstre”. Track #3 is the highlight of this cd: it’s a true ‘Dome’ opus, rhythmically, albeit with a guitar which plays some traditional-folky elements. Other tracks are similar but more in experimental psychedelic directions or more droney, e.g. track #5, which may take a bit too long for some. Track #4 gets lost in soundtrack horrorama a bit but has nice Frippertronics-ish moments. I suppose this cd gets recommended to fans of GYBE / Silver Mount Zion and the like, but to me, this Ukranian act is a lot more interesting, at least on record. According to the band, the album “deals with space, motion and transformation; rail; Paul Bowles books.” To me, this cd is less of interest to trainspotters than to anyone with an adventurous ear, including those of you into post-industrial psychedelia or into obscure seventies psychedelia, ranging from Dashiell Hedayat to the Organisation… Or into Otar Ioseliani or Sergei Parajanov, obviously. Do hurry if you want to get hold of this limited 500-copies-only release. (pv)

Aquarius

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

Second missive from this mysterious Ukrainian ensemble exploring the dark and cobwebby corners of free folk, shuffling rhythmic tribalism, space-y dronemusic, and splattery free rock ambience. A dreamy and expansive travelogue of endless soundscapes, glassy sheets of crystalline shimmer, warm and smooth, with melodies woven subtly throughout. Metallic glistenings, tinkling guitars and glitchy crunch struggle to disrupt the ambient dreaminess while occasional machine like rhythms chug tirelessly over atonal melodic clusters and urgently strummed angular guitar chords. Even though the band themselves describe their music as ‘personal folk music’, the actual sound is much closer to the drone music of AQ faves Jonathan Coleclough, Mirror or Organum, and occasionally the free ambient clatter of the Dead C or Skullflower. Really gorgeous stuff.

Dusted Magazine

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

The Steady Click of Motion
While it’s not surprising from whom the Moglass takes its cues – Fred Frith, Tangerine Dream, Loren Mazzacane Connors – this three-piece experimental/ambient group from the Ukraine adds process to the often distract approach of their predecessors. Recorded on Christmas Day, 2000, Telegraphs Poles are: is plainly packaged, just an album title and song titles in Russian. The substance inside is equally as plain, slowly gathering energy from the movements of the various instruments to gain peaks and descend back into valleys without ever climaxing. This creates a sense of impending frustration, a feeling that the album explores and exploits. The rhythmic current is comprised of digitalized sound bytes and earthy phasers layered with appropriately filtered guitar reverb, and channels Frith’s guitar/effects bag and the louder parts of Connors’ Come Night. This disc would be right at home in the Constellation Records stable, beside the airy side of Godspeed You! Black Emperor that rises between orchestral chugs, and the machination of Hanged-Up.
Individual pieces are often lost to the listener, as the album slips quietly from one track to another with pauses that barely register. The opening track, “A”, whispers with a graceful ambience and hints at the digital clicks and manipulations to come. Morning ascends midway through the piece, and the sound spirals into a promising contentment. Other tracks, all in Russian characters, strike and destroy this premature settling; the second track stabs through a whistling darkness, and the fourth track echoes its bleak wonder and questioning calls from the upper register. The third and fifth tracks introduce the steady swishing call of train-like beats and the response of carefully plucked guitar notes, the first human presence on the record. The last track is largely silence, with the occasional interruption of soft, but chilling digitalia.
Pieces subtlely unfold with purpose and direction behind an abstract veil. It’s hard not to suggest Western associations of the Eastern bloc and former Communist states – the machinations, the eerie strikes of frigidity, the frozen land – but these might be projections by myself rather than receptions. While the invocation of isolation is unavoidable, might this not be the regular creak and slap of a motel vacancy sign in a Florida hurricane, or the emptiness of a Northwestern forest full of illusionary enemies? These enemies are distinctly natural, organic, with no inherent suggestions of a Soviet pall cast over a landscape already frightening to begin with.
Songs stretch out, real time melts as the repetitions become the album’s inner clock, losing us in its labyrinthine counting. At once a recording of abstraction and machination, Telegraph Poles: is barren and desolate, a cold desert where the traveler is lost, but finds some comfort in following the endless line of telegraph poles.
By Joel Calahan

Phosphor

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

The music on this new record by The Moglass deals with space, motion andtransformation, rail and Paul Bowles books. It consists of six tracks, twoof which are edited and all were recorded in 2001. The first track dealswith quite minimal, simple melodic repetitions with bursts of electronicclusters. Each track seems to convey a different mood.The second track being darker in contrast to the first with more distorteddelayed style guitar playing with a touch of a western film feel to itmixed with harsh sharp electronic sounds. Meandering melodies on theguitar and synth sounds add to the chaotic mood.Different elements and strengths appear throughout the CD with some tracksbeing more electronically dominant and some more guitar based. Theelectronics using repetitive organic scratching beats and also as in the4th track, quite Fm chime sounding electronics in contrast to theharshness of the previous tracks beat giving a sweeter air to the wholepiece.The second last track on this CD is heavily electronic based with arhythmic beat theme pulsing throughout accompanied by Spanish type guitarstrumming and other elements weaving in and out. This leads into the lasttrack, which is quite a complex electronic piece mixing delicateelectronics shards against a constant background.Throughout the CD one feels the tight improvisational interplay betweenthe three players distinctly.

Loop

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

This is a new release from the Ukrainian label Nexsound which is under the direction of Andrey Kiritchenko. This time the Ukrainian trio The Moglass presents their fifth production with 6 tracks recorded between December 2000 and January 2001, performing a free-rock, improvisation and drones; playing guitar, bass and electronics. This disc offers spacey and expansive atmospheres with tinkling guitars creating deep rooms of soundscapes. While the other facet of the trio its dark with strummed guitar and reverbs, creating atonal melodies. This music remembers me of Tom Carter (Charalambides) in the way the guitar is played, and their silences produced.
Text Guillermo Escudero

Fakejazz

The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows

Seamlessly incorporating textures from far-reaching extremes (AMM to Tortoise to The Cocteau Twins), The Moglass are an intriguing group from the Ukraine. Though recorded nearly 4 years ago, and released a while ago, I’ve just received a copy through the fakejazz corporate office.
Gurgling synths and pillowy textures introduce the album, giving the impression that The Moglass would have been right at home playing in an Ann Arbor living room in 1996. For the next two tracks however, the band aims straight for the sun with astral clatter, chirping electronics, reverse looping and structureless improvisations that seem to be occasionally subject to an easily distracted mind (which is good, as the parts being played and explored shift and redirect themselves, keeping the songs fresh).
Though, as with most improvisational music, there are a few times where a part is overplayed, and an idea is pounded into the ground. The Moglass are a guitar/bass/electronics trio, so while their instrumentation lends itself to these improvisational pieces, the more straightforward, composed “songs” have a unique twist, as they are all drumless. This gives the band an understated quality that plays to the strengths inherent in the bands’ moody textures. Four of the album’s 6 tracks are at or well beyond the 10-minute mark, which allows these moods to build, contract, and spread themselves heavily. The airy texture of the fourth track plays perfect counterpoint to the jarring loop in the fifth. The album ends with a minimal foray deep into the world of careening electronics and pulsing tones. Not many albums begin sounding like a tribute to Grimble Grumble and end sounding like a tribute to Xenakis. Hopefully The Moglass will keep making more of these.
sean hammond

Blastitude

the Moglass – Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi

I don’t always get to hear space-ug music from Ukraine, so it was nice to get this CD in the overseas mail. Frankly, it took me quite awhile to put it on, because I thought it was going to be more music that was ‘experimental’ or ‘improv’…or both! (It’s usually both.) Well, I guess it is, but trust me, I was just listening to WNUR’s ‘expansion experiment’ (puh-leeeeese) radio show, where they trot out all the Gunters and Radiques from the ‘things that go bump in the night’ school of ‘experimental electro-acoustic composers, ‘ and this just sounds a whole lost better. Oops, I meant a whole lot better, but it sounds pretty lost too: spacey and foggy, with that same combination of very heavy and yet almost perfectly still that bands like Taj Mahal Travellers and Bardo Pond have figured out. I’ll say it again, it’s an achievement of heaviness through stillness, with none of the frantic ‘rising’ and ‘falling’ techniques to which improv music usually must adhere when it needs to get heavy. Please play this at home as the soundtrack to science fiction movies with the TV volume off. NOW. (Comes in an indie-psychedelic cardboard sleeve. Cool to open but I gave up on trying to fold it back closed because it felt too much like doing a puzzle.)

re:mote

the Moglass – Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi

Once more the difference of opinion reared its head when discussing an atmospheric act with a friend this week and once again it was highlighted just how subjective this field of music can be. So then to The Moglass, an act I was previously unaware of who hail from the Ukraine and play a style of music that could have so easily been this point of debate. For what it’s worth, my take on the sound of The Moglass is a highly positive one. The music is a very rich and textured affair, concentrating on thick timbres that, according to the press release, flow from treated guitars and old Soviet analogue synths. As such this sound is familiar, no doubt you may have heard many acts who use similar sounds, but I feel that this should not detract from the enjoyment of the music.

My personal view with regards to this sort of deeply atmospheric music is that it is very much something of a balancing act. The art of striking an equilibrium between repetition and progression. In this case, The Moglass get things just right such that the repetition lulls the listener into just the right mindset whilst movement and flux in the sound is just enough to keep the synapses lazily firing. On occasion, aspects of the sound will emerge from the main flow of sound that crave closer attention allowing for periods of closer involvement with the work. This helps the album to establish a dynamic around its greater form which in turn adds to the feelings of drifting movement and ultimately to an album that should be experienced as a whole.

Back then I go to thinking over the disagreement and the thought is there that this album could so easily be part of this disagreement. Perhaps the progression in the sound may be too slow, or even too fast, for another person’s taste. Or maybe they might find that the points of focus in the work are not actually worth focussing on. It is the nature of the beast in this genre but I would definitely finish off this review by saying that I feel it is an album worthy of consideration. That anyone with an interest in this genre should at least give this album a few listens. For me, its an evocative and emotive work so I’ll continue to enjoy it regardless.

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