Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

chaindlk

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

After different net releases and after that Aleksei Belousov joined in what at first was a Roman Kutnov’s solo project, Nole Plastique are releasing their first full lenght CD album. ESCAPERHEAD cointains eleven experimental psychedelic tunes that ideally link 60’s acid folk music with minimal electronic improvisations. Take “Sunset stripple” for example. It sounds like an acoustic trip with hippie chants, bongos and stuff but on the background you have digital noises, reversed sounds, effects, etc. The idea is nice but sometimes I feel that the duo has been carried away by their own music. I mean, the trip has started and we’re still waiting them to come back if they will ever… If you love dissonance, acoustic sounds, minimal sound experimentation and Sid Barret you could try this one.

Luna Kafe

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Nole Plastique is by now the Russian duo of Roman Kutnov and Aleksei Belousov from Kazan. This is the band’s second album, though the first one was only released on the net. This second one is housed in a nice grey and golden cardboars sleeve. ‘Escaperhead is a collection of strange songs and tunes with the flavour of 60ies psychedelia, acid trips, lo-fi electronics, experimental sound design, improv-rock and other “sounds of the outer space” stuff in it. Too much may be, but that’s the way we see the world sometimes…’ says the press sheet of this release. That sounds like a too strange and untasteful soup, I thought, before I put the album on for the first time. After a few spins I had to admit it was quite an accurate description and, after all, the music was quite tasteful.

Here are flavours of the psychedelic 1960s with outer space excursions. Here are keyboards, electronics, vocals and guitars going forwards, backwards, upside and down. Here are vocals not dissimilar to the one of the late Syd Barrett and Peter Perrett of the Only Ones (that reunited last year!). With a couple of exceptions the album lacks the strong melodic sense of the best songs from that distant decade. This is compensated by a strong experimental side of strange sounding instruments, effects and sound collages. The lo-fi leanings are also present with somewhat careless production, ditto instrumental handling and deliberate distortions here and there. Which add to the experimental side.

The tracks that combine melodic elements with a strong experimental bias are particularly successful, like “Sunset Stipple” and “Wavy Red” that originally might have started as simple songs in the Barrett’s solo era vein and then shaken into different beasts by strange sounding drums, twisted guitars etc. Or what about the instumental “In Case You Fell In”, a collage of highly original sounds with some sweet and simple melody lines in between?

If you’re seeking something fresh and original stuff far from well trodden musical paths, Escaperhead is not a bad place to start, not bad at all. Further information at the Nexsound home page and Nole Plastique’s Myspace page.

Copyright

Otsechka

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Nole Plastique was initially the project of Roman Kutnov who lives in Kazan (Russia) and now it’s Aleksei Belousov who joined the project in 2007. The prior album ‘Sourire En Souriant’ was a great encounter with a review in LPR 2006. Escaperhead is truly successful descedent with a neo-folk intuition running the blood in the veins. Indie psychedelic enthusiasm parallel to slight version of Animal Collective natural ‘blow job’, or seeded with extremely fruitful ‘interactions’ sort of Leafcutter John’s folktronica causing a bit of a stir once in a while. Furthermore, “Escaperhead is a collection of strange songs and tunes with the flavour of 60-ies psychedelia, acid trips, lo-fi electronics, experimental sound design, improv-rock and other “sounds of the outer space” stuff in it.

Vital

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Wordplay all around: Escaperhead, Nexsound PQP: these are the edges of popmusic and experimental music. Nole Plastique are from Russia and consist of Roman Kutnov and Alexei Belousov and ‘Escaperhead’ is their first album. It’s quite a curious affair. Nole Plastique likes their popmusic, of a very special area. Sixties psychedelic music, with guitars, weird sound effects, vocals and keyboards, with little bits of drums here and there. The vocals reminded me of a local band, The Use Of Ashes (formerly known as Mekanik Kommando): the same somewhat far away sound, held back singing and very english. It’s music that I would hardly play for fun, not because I don’t like it, but because I own so very little of it. It’s nice for a CD, which is deliberately recorded in a way that is not very good, but which could have been better I think. Nice enough, this twenty-first century stab at sixties psychedelics. (FdW)

Indieville

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Russian duo Nole Plastique (Roman Kutnov and Aleksei Belousov) are a “romantic noise” band recently transformed into a more pop-oriented affair, and hence Escaperhead finds itself as the third release on Nexsound PQP. PQP, for those unaware of such matters, is the more melodic sublabel of Ukraine’s Mego, Nexsound.

Nole Plastique describe Escaperhead as a sixties psych-rock influenced venture cross-bred, of course, with their penchant for experimental electronics and digital knob-twiddling. The thing has the makings of the second coming of Caribou’s Andorra, but instead Nole Plastique have created a far stranger brew of otherworldly “pop.” This, of course, means Escaperhead is a much less accessible piece of music that Andorra, but it happens to be an engaging one nonetheless.

Much like the decades of psychedelia that they draw inspiration from, Nole Plastique seem determined to smash convention with this record, and this is communicated well in the cacophonously melodic, Mouse on Mars-esque pseudo-orchestration of “In Things Around” and the strangely listenable sonic cornucopia of “Blue Fries.” Meanwhile, NP is at their best on moody Mars melody “…Rolled in Slice’ and glitch-cum-guitar-exploration “In Case You Fall In.”

At times, NP could be criticized for being a touch too loose and disorganized – Escaperhead lacks the sort of instrumental textures found on more polished pop outings. However, this can be attributed to the psych-folk leanings of Kutnov and Belousov. On the other end, I wonder if some of these songs (“Sunset Stipple,” “Wavy Red”) might have sounded better if the vocals were a touch more tuneful, but perhaps NP’s years behind laptops and knob panels have limited their vocal registers to an extent.

Overall, however, Escaperhead is an experiment that works. These eleven soundscapes are beautiful moodpieces – collisions between sixties rock and futuristic electronics that evoke sunsets, busy streets, intergalactic expeditions… Check your expectations at the door.

80%

Matt Shimmer

Sodapop

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Altra uscita per l’etichetta “pop” di Andrei Kiritchenko, la terza per essere precisi e la prima ad essere davvero interessante per le mie orecchie: il buon Andrei forse ha preso la retta via, ma era cosa molto probabile data la qualità della sua produzione personale… Questi Nole Plastique sono una coppia di fricchettoni russi dichiarati che dopo un po’ di produzioni strumentali si dedicano a qualcosa di più vicino alla canzone, tirando fuori una decina di pezzi dilatati e fuori fuoco a base di melodie sognanti e richiami al “flower power”. In questo Escaperhead l’elettronica e il “glitch” dei nostri tempi si mescolano con voci sovraincise, chitarre e tastiere fortemente in odore di psicheledelia anni ’60, comprese le percussioni, a creare una sorta di richiamo “moderno” ai primi Pink Floyd e compagnia. Ma il tutto oltre a essere letto in chiave attuale e pure non risultando per niente stucchevole negli accostamenti, ha anche lo strano sapore di certe musiche provenienti dall’est, incorporando forse inconsapevolmente qualche richiamo alle orgini geografiche dei due, o forse è solo una illusione dovuta a questi ascolti molto molto lisergici…

Blastitude

Nole Plastique – Escaperhead

Pleasant, dreamy, and sometimes verging on great soft-avant psychedelic pop album by a duo from Russia. This may be a bit of a departure for the Ukraine-based Nexsound label, as they have mostly dealt with longer-form sprawled-out drone/space improvised styles (such as that of the label’s excellent flagship band The Moglass), but it makes sense too because there’s plenty of ambient near-noise humming around these songs. Even though the album kinda dissipates for me as a through-listen, the first two tracks (“Escaping” and “In Things Around”) are so good — classic paisley vocal melodies and bubbling sun-dappled electronics bouncing around a disorienting mix with a cold Faust Tapes machine edge — that this album has been threatening to make my Best of the Year list on their strength alone. Comes in a nice fold-out wallet-thing too.

RUBored

Nole Plastique – Sourire en Souriant

Nole Plastique is Roman Kutnov from the city of Kazan, Western Russia.

Phosphor

Matsutake – nine and seventeen

Nine and seventeen, two figures that do not seem to have anything in common at first sight. Matsutake is a project from Evgeniy Gorbunov. Living in Khabarovsk, a city in the Russian Far East. He recorded lots of sounds with his microphone, to arrange and process them afterwards. This rich collection of sounds have been ordered and put together in such a way that one never knows what to expect next, nine folows seventeen. Nevertheless there remains enough structure and repetition to keep the feeling comfortable. Some moments, one thinks there is a machine-object orchestra playing, other moments, re-worked vocal and string samples take care of the main content. This structure builts around sound particles forms a natural communication. Each track has an own theme, like for instance accordeon, which is explored by Matsutake in a funny and entertaining way.

recycle your ears

Kotra – Stir Mesh

With a steady regularity, Andrey Kiritchenko’s Nexsound label keeps on propulsing to the world some new and interesting musicians from his ukrainian homeland. It is this time the turn of Kotra, a project from Kiev whose album “Stir Mesh” comes in an elegantly packaged white and silvery case.

“Stir Mesh” seems to me to be a very accurate name for this CD. What we have here is extremely far from every sound I have heard elsewhere. The frequencies are totally saturated, yet stay precise and relatively quiet. Obvioulsy not produced with a normal synthesizer or sampler, this reminds me more of what a damaged audio file might sound like, or a text file transfomed into an audio one. The sounds used here vary very quickly and are all scraping and grinding, saturated to the limit of what your loudspeakers are able to render.

But don’t imagine “Stir Mesh” as some kind of loud, noisy and blurry chaos. The tracks are very sharp and precise, and these weird digital frequencies are used more as clicks than as scapes, making the whole thing sound closer to Oval or to some click’n’cuts release than to harsh noise. This doesn’t mean, however, than “Stir Mesh” is sweet and soft, the sonorities and tones used being really out of the norm, and the album being totally atonal.

Far from sounding too abstract, Kotra manages to create an enjoyable album that will still make a lot of exebrows raise with surprise. This is the perfect contrary of droning, a game a microscopic and sharp clicks, of mastered saturation and defitinely something that opens new doors.

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