Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label


Luna Kafe

Andrey Kiritchenko – Chrysalis (Luna Kafe)

Nexsound founder and experimental electronic/electro acoustic wizard Andrey Kiritchenko has launched another record. Chrysalis is one of many (more than 40 releases!) records he’s been involved with over the years; solo-stuff or in collaboration with other artists (Francisco Lopez, Sara Lunden, Kim Cascone, Martin Brandlmayr, Anla Courtis, Jason Kahn and others). On his own label, or for labels like Staalplaat, SPEKK, Ad Noiseam, Bip-Hop, Neo Ouija, and more. Chrysalis holds 6 tracks, and is surprisingly accessible. It’s from the experimental paths, of course, but the songs aren’t of the abstract kind. Some of the songs are like chilled, jazzy, laid-back lounge-post-rock, and his band of players – Artem Amstibovskiy on clarinet, Gendel Krechkovskiy on double bass, and Natalia Dudynska on violin – are really skilled. I especially like the playful opener “Vortex Singular”, “Momentum Derive” and “Quasi Religious”, not to forget the very fine “Fly Above Where Leaves Do Not”. Neat stuff!

Andrey Kiritchenko is a major player in the Ukrainian electronic music scene. He’s acclaimed and awarded (awarded by Qwartz Electronic Music Awards, and he was a participant at the Ukrainian exhibition at the 52th Venice Biennale). Chrysalis is steady proof of his position.

Vital Weekly

Andrey Kiritchenko – Chrysalis (Vital Weekly)

This is certainly one of the stranger records I encountered lately. I know Andrey Kiritchenko as someone who likes his computer, a surprise and his Ukranian background. “Chrysalis is a state in which one creature naturally transformed in an almost completely different being, while remaining within the cocoon. The idea of this transformation in time, when living creatures are left virtually nothing from the previous condition, is very inspiring. In this album sound of acoustic instruments and electronics flow into one another, dissolve in devolution, decay in a space of interactions. Rebirth”. That’s what he writes about his latest LP, which lists Kiritchenko as the composer, producer and mixer of this record, and where he receives help on clarinet, double bass and violin. But what the hell is what here? I hear orchestral sounding music, which indicates that Kiritchenko sampled those instruments and perhaps some he played himself and creates this odd music. It’s sounds very jazz like (I almost left it with Dolf Mulder for this reason), sometimes a bit minimal (“A Sack Of Winds”) and also actually quite acoustic. That’s perhaps the oddest thing about this record. Here we hardly have an ‘evidence’ of Kiritchenko’s laptop in play, so perhaps he’s just editing the recordings made by the musicians and add a bit of piano and drum sounds of his own. I was thinking that this might all be a too jazz like for me, but overall I also thought this was a strangely captivating record. One hell of hard to classify record, Rafael Toral fans for more spacious ‘fake’ jazz should take notice! Less electronic, more warm, I guess. (FdW)


Andrey Kiritchenko – Chrysalis (FarFromMoscow)

Something related – from within a different genre – transpires in an equally wonderful release from Ukraine’s Andrey Kiritchenko – who is also a favorite on this site. Mr. Kiritchenko‘s catalog has been enthusiastically covered before on FFM because of his long-term interest in the dovetailing of folk and electronic performance, most notably through collaborations with the Ukrainian ensemble Ojra. He, as suggested, has a new album on display, entitled “Chrysalis.” Once again, the metaphor of expansiveness and some kind of transgressed limit emerges. If the “dangerously” expansive technique of Kubikmaggi comes simultaneously from a free-jazz, paternal heritage, then the content and worldview of “Chrysalis” look much further into the past.

They also, in response to Ksenya Marokkanskaya’s critique, remain much closer to home. As we’ll see, domestic tradition is able to foster an escape from convention – if one casts a glance backwards, to an age before mercantile modernity.

Fittingly enough, and as the album title might suggest, Mr. Kiritchenko‘s biography and CV echo some performative aspects of Kubikmaggi‘s career – at least in terms of viewing progress as expansion. We’re told, by way of example, about his early years, when various styles were engaged, employed, and then abandoned. Kiritchenko‘s youthful movement beyond domestic rock bands in Kharkiv would lead to more numerous “activities, ranging from indie-pop to free-improvisation, from melodic electroacoustic music to experimental techno.” Bloggers and webzines overseas endorse this dismissal of convention. From Chile we read praise of Kiritchenko‘s patchwork styling, made from “glimpses of jazz and [related] contemporary music. He opens new perspectives and new textures, especially with the percussion – drums, xylophone, marimba.”

Taking those metaphors at face value, an opening, broadening perspective is considerably more appealing than any goal-driven, unidirectional “progress.” The new artwork (above) does much to vivify and clarify those admittedly vague notions.

It’s pleasing, given such baroque illustrations, to find an assessment of “Chrysalis” in terms of its folkloric connections. Andrey Kiritchenko, after all, made the album “A Tangle of Mokosha” a few years ago, together with Ojra. It remains one of the most beautiful combinations of Slavic folksong and electronica in memory. Just as timeless folk narratives often speak of (minor!) human enterprise amid the dauntingly open, even decentered realms of nature, so here a musician’s “widening” experimentation is considered against the backdrop of native custom. These are subjective expressions made in consideration of what lies beyond a homestead, material existence, or materialistic norms.

Andrey Kiritchenko – Chrysalis (Loop)

This Ukrainian artist hailing from Kharkov began in 1991 as a singer and songwriter in a rock band. In the 90s had notoriety as a television showman and radio DJ, and was a major promoter of electronic music with his Critikal, Sidhartha and Nex projects. In 2000 he founded the Nexsound label. He has a large catalog and has collaborated with major artists such as Anla Courtis, Francisco López, Kim Cascone, among others.
Kiritchenko combines acoustic and digital aesthetics. Recently his track ‘Fly Above Where Leaves Do Not’ is included on the compilation ‘The Wire Tapper’ # 30 which comes out with the October issue of the ‘The Wire’ magazine.
‘Chrysalis’ is composed, produced and mixed by Andrey Kiritchenko during 2011-2012 acompannied by guest musician, Artem Amstibovskiy on clarinet, Gendel Krechkovskiy on double bass and Natalia Dudynska on violin.
I think this is the first time that Kiritchenko puts more emphasis on acoustics aesthetics, expressed with glimpses jazz and contemporary music. Indeed, this interesting proposal opens new perspectives in terms of finding new textures, especially with percussion (drums, xylophone, marimba) that gives a fresh and warm sound.

Guillermo Escudero
October 2012