Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

Vital

I/DEX – Seqsextend

I/DEX is one Vitaly Harmash operating out of Belarus and here he offers up a collection of different styles of contemporary electronica from clicks n cuts, dub & idm. His goal here is one of creating mood music for your home or work, a little something to brighten your mood. As background music it works really well, as Harmash displays adroitness in arranging hiss, static, beats into pleasant compositions. The opening track is one of my favorites, a walking bass line coupled with static noise textures. The fourth track entitle .DOC is a droning loop that I wish was longer than just three minutes. While listening to this cd I lost my sense of time, to the point that I felt the cd was going on for way too long. Perhaps its because there are no silences between tracks and Harmash succeeds in transporting the listener into a different time. (JS)

Aversionline

I/DEX – Seqsextend

This curious experimental project hails from Belarus and offers up herein over an hour’s worth of chilled out experimental electronics based largely around smoothly flowing bass drones and hums, light glitches and crunchy textures, etc. The label describes the work as “crossing the borders of minimal techno, IDM and microsound”, which may or may not be true, I’m not all that familiar with such genres, but I like this. In a sense it’s quite rhythmic sometimes, even musical, but in a very subtle sense. It’s really quite atmospheric, and I enjoy it a lot. Tracks like “Rand” introduce subtle beats in the distance amongst ethereal synth tones and textures that create a really lush composition. There’s definitely a soundtrack sort of vibe going on in a way, but it’s a weird mix of being both dark and mildly upbeat, so I could imagine the music backing a commercial of some sort more so than scoring a film or anything. Granted “Evox” is a much darker piece, topping six minutes and using some tribal sounding percussion behind eerie synths and faint harmonies. The recording quality is great, everything is nice and clear, and the details of the panning and layering come across nicely. The CD comes in a simple gatefold digipack that’s all done in shades of bright pink and white, with blocky text and abstract imagery. It’s all got kind of a “digital” aesthetic to it, and looks very simple and consistent. It’s a very consistent release as a whole, in all honesty. Visually, sonically, etc. I wouldn’t say there’s a great deal of variation from song to song, and it can become tedious as a result of that (due to the CD’s total running time of more than an hour), but at the same the consistency helps things along. It makes sense and fits the approach of the material. All in all this very cool, and I’m curious to hear more both from this project and the record label.

premonition

I/DEX – Seqsextend

Rien a voir avec “Seqsextend”, l’album de I/Dex (Nexsound), d’ou se degage une atmosphere extremement plaisante et apaisante. La profondeur et la fluidite des compositions tres ambient de ce Bielorusse enveloppent des la premiere ecoute l’auditeur dans un cocon ouate qui le transporte hors du temps. Craquements jazzy, fremissements purement electroniques et elements organiques se melent sereinement pour le plus grand plaisir de nos oreilles. On pense parfois a la fragilite de Sogar. Une veritable bulle d’oxygene a recommander a tous les citadins stresses.

de:bug

I/DEX – Seqsextend

Definitiv eins der schonsten Nexsound Releases diese neue Platte von I/DEX. Sehr ruhige knisternde Stucke mit melodischen Basslines und einer Stimmung die einem wie ein warmer Wind entgegenblast und einem den Tag versusst. Das Info empfiehlt einem in bester Easy Listening Manier daraus Klingeltone zu machen und es Laut uber die Autoanlage zu blasten. Skurril aber gerecht, denn die Platte ist einfach magisch. Von Anfang bis Ende. Eine der schonsten clickenden Welten des Jahres in die man sich am liebsten wie in ein Federbett einwickeln mochte.
bleed *****

Igloo

I/DEX – Seqsextend

After multiple listens I can honestly say that this release is just as thrilling as the first time I plugged it in. Ukrainian label Nexsound continues growing new projects that are far from the mainstream (Muslimgauze, Andreas Berthling, Kim Cascone). Vitaly Harmash is I/Dex, who has been actively recording since 1997. It is a multitextural ambient chill session that bends fluidly and seems somewhat unscripted. If you like early work on labels like 12K, Meme or Digital Narcissus this will be your feast. Provocative atmosphere, induced by hushed harmonies and raspy percussion. This is quiet music meant to be played loud to robustly enhance its subtleties. – TJ Norris

Paris Transatlantic

Francisco Lopez/Andrey Kiritchenko – Mavje

I recently got a rather irate email from Joe Morris complaining that only one of his many albums has so far been reviewed on this site (see the Letters section for more grief). Well, sorry Joe, but I do have quite a few and love them all, if that’s any consolation (I’m sure it isn’t). If Francisco López wanted to he could bitch just as much

DIGIMAG

Francisco Lopez/Andrey Kiritchenko – Mavje

Txt: Simone Bertuzzi

“Contrariamente alla tendenza attuale della sound art e agli standard delle registrazioni naturali, credo nella possibilità di un profondo, puro, ‘cieco’ ascolto dei suoni, liberato (il più possibile) da intenzionali livelli di referenza procedurale o contestuale. Ciò che è più importante, concepisco questo come una forma ideale di ascolto che non rifiuta tutto ciò che è esterno al suono ma esplora e asserisce ciò che è al suo interno. Questa pura e assoluta concezione è un tentativo di lotta nei confronti della dissipazione del mondo interno.”

Probabilmente queste parole di Francisco Lopez, tratte dall’introduzione alle lunghissime note all’interno di La Selva (V2_archief 1998), un disco tra i più rappresentativi e didattici della sua produzione, racchiudono in maniera esemplare la poetica e l’atteggiamento di uno dei più influenti musicisti contemporanei in area sperimentale. Lopez è prima di tutto un teorico, numerosi sono i suoi saggi che delineano la proprie concezioni in ambito musicale, dei veri e propri manifesti in cui vengono esposti senza mezzi termini regole e dogmi ben precisi. Dalle parole sopracitate si enunciano alcuni concetti basilari, quali l’ascolto “cieco”, ovvero un tentativo di limitare il più possibile eventuali elementi visuali per raggiungere un ascolto puro (concetto spesso tradotto in termini pratici, da una benda nera che Lopez include in parecchie edizioni discografiche e invita ad indossare durante le sue performance live) e la liberazione del suono da ‘intenzionali livelli di referenza procedurale’, ovvero l’interpretazione del suono come oggetto, portando alle estreme conseguenze il concetto di concrete music introdotto da Pierre Schaefer alla fine degli anni 40, che vedeva la decontestualizzazione di un suono dalla sua sorgente iniziale e il conseguente trattamento di esso come materia sonora.

Ogni lavoro di Francisco Lopez deriva da field recordings; la sua ultima produzione, Mavje, è una collaborazione con Andrey Kiritchenko (si veda Digimag05 per un approfondimento su questo autore) ed esce per la sua Nexsound, il processo di costruzione del lavoro deriva dalla rielaborazione da parte di Lopez di sorgenti catturate da Kiritchenko nel proprio ambiente domestico: ne deriva un brano di oltre cinquanta minuti che alterna spazi ultradilatati a scoppiettanti declinazioni glitch confluendo in silenzi impalpabili e stratificazioni rapide, restituendo all’uscita uno spettro musicale ben definito ed inaspettato. La cosa lampante è quanto la collaborazione sia effettivamente riuscita; ciò è chiaro sin dal packaging, privo di elementi visuali, ma racchiuso in cartone grezzo e marrone come le altre uscite Nexsound. L’intervento dei due autori è bilanciato e equamente presente.

Ciò che segue è una breve intervista che ho rivolto a Francisco Lopez, non vuole essere esauriente e completa sulla sua visione, ma cerca di sottolinearne determinati aspetti.

Simone Bertuzzi: Toglimi una curiosità, quali sono i tuoi ascolti abituali in questo periodo?

Francisco Lopez: Ascolto materiale molto diverso, dalla bossa nova al grindcore, dalle registrazioni naturali alle soundtrack sci-fi, dall’industrial storico al ‘lowercase’, e tutto ciò che sta fra di essi. Per esempio, ultimamente, ho ascoltato parecchie registrazioni di Fred Astaire, alcune delle quali sono tutt’ora piuttosto interessanti. Inoltre, l’ultima registrazione live di Matt Shoemaker, qualcosa di Alexei Borisov, Louis Dufour, Artifical Memory Trace (sempre sorprendente), registrazioni di rane sud-africane

Connexion Bizarre

Critikal – Graphorrhea

“Graphorrhea” is defined as “the writing of long lists of meaningless words, as occurs in some manic disorders,” a confused and volatile state which is very much the order of the day for the forty-minute duration of this offering from Critikal, here making a one-time only appearance on the Kvitnu label. Opener “Tesseract of Distrust” sets a glitchy breakbeat pace, but this is no one trick pony. Throughout the album’s thirteen tracks, the Critikal ensemble guide you with an assured and even hand though an assortment of soundscapes ranging from the jittery insectile wail of “Scud Twitcher” to the cold shudder of “Wrath Rationale,” progressing to grinding intensity in “Mind Opacity” and the semi-tribal beat/swamp rock guitar combo of “Linear Fear.” This is a place where a track may start in one place but ends up in quite another. “Prime Seed,” for example, with its stop/start opening suddenly blossoms into a fully fledged aural assault, from which you emerge breathless into the void of “The Place Below End” before the organic chittering and oddly 50s-style advert-like melody of album closer “The Truce” decline into nothingness. You’ll likely find yourself wanting to go back and explore the album again, and you certainly should, as each listen reveals another layer of intricacies beneath the deceptively smooth surface. It would be unfair not to mention the low points, though there are few. I disliked the circus music-tinged “Rapture Periods,” and “Sine Verbiage” is possibly the only moment that feels like an intentional bridge between tracks. Otherwise there is a distinct lack of the contrived cleverness that has unfortunately become synonymous with so-called “experimental electronica.” The distortion techniques alone are cause for celebration, here deployed in a way that enhances rather than occludes the sound, but it is the ambience of the piece which is really breathtaking: a palpable menace and coldness throughout, a very real sense of utter isolation, of removal from what is happening around oneself – while at the same time being constrained by it – of insects in enclosed spaces, of being lost in a vast wilderness or trapped in an alien industrial landscape, claustrophobic yet agoraphobic, a true meeting of opposites; “Graphorrhea” is a triumph.

— Catherine C. [8/10]

Gaz-eta

Critikal – Graphorrhea

Graphorrhea is the writing of long lists of meaningless words, which occurs in some manic disorders. Critikal is a quartet from Ukraine who take this practice to heart. Made up of Dmytro Fedorenko on variety of arrangements, bass and drum programming, Andrey Kiritchenko on computers, field recordings and guitars, Tobias Astrom on effects/feedback and manipulations along with Jeff Surak who plays autoharp, micro cassettes and processing, the band strikes at their target early on in the game. Not just pure glitches or noise for the hell of it. Instead, the four musicians bring forward a variety of influences and techniques to the common table. Bits and pieces of microtonal work, along with field recordings and instruments being processed left and right is what happens on majority of these tracks. It’s scarce, it’s amplified, it’s alien but best of all, it’s filled with an element of surprise. “Graphorrhea” represents a mixed concoction of the weirdest elements imaginable, served up to go down with an element of adventure.

Tom Sekowski

Earlabs

Critikal – Graphorrhea

Sound artist and label manager Andrey Kiritchenko cajoles and browbeats with Kvitnu foreman Dmytro Fedorenko, and musicians Tobias Astrom, and Jeff Surak on this slab of enchanted sonic excrescence.

Graphorrhea, the albums title, can be defined as the scribbling of lengthy lists of meaningless words. Indeed, the group evince no qualms with obscenity, that is with the tearing away of sounds from their setting, in fact, even from any last morsel of sense. The field recordings and instruments exhibited here are volatized by their arbitrariness in manipulation, by their fullness that allows for a litany of quick connections to form and eventually teem like an overgrown forest.

Opener “Tesseract of Distrust” isn’t so much buoyed as it is crestfallen with a ferment of burbling, babbling, and wheezing percussive pops and splashes. With this a momentum is established that serves as the background for successive pieces, one which is either subjected or invested with a small clutch of motifs that are equally punishing and generative in their purification. Here an opaque drumming defines densities, tapping against the background, a harsh, edgy sound, in a manic manner, until like magic it dissolves into a twilight of deformed and gnawed notes. At other times, the brawling meatiness is pummeled with an electronic distortion and the sheer, ecstatic, cranky noise of rock.

Curiously, with only the odd exception, everything on the album shrivels up like a shred of skin after one or two minutes of life, as though its high-wire tension and mad movements can only be sustained for but a very short while. Oddly enough, when approached from a distance, this concision re-establishes a palpable sense of coherence and purpose in the music. When this is removed, and one is lost in its quagmire of unorthodox tunings and thrashing textures as though in a delirium, only a constant threat can be gleaned from its dark surface. As such, the album can be appreciated on both levels.

Max Schaefer

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