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.