Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label



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.)


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.


the Moglass – Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi

My Russian these days is not so well anymore these, they don’t teach it anymore in our schools, so I can’t relate to the title of the cover. For some reason the titles are A1, A2, A3, B1 and B2 and with the length in mind, I expect this was originally intended as a LP release. I don’t know if this never was released, or if this is a re-issue. The Moglass are a three piece group announcing themselves as a free improv/postrock trio. The six (!, despite the five) pieces on this release are more less free improv and more post rock, or even better, drone rock. Multi-layered atmospheres of guitars and synths, which are fed through their self-built effect boxes. the whole package (cardboard) and music, reminded me a bit of Godspeed but less the drums and the drama, but it could have been one of their off-shoots for the real wicked drone heads around. And that’s not the worst thing to be compared to. (FdW)


the Moglass – Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi

For a land as huge as Russia, the amount of exceptional music that makes it half way round the world to Aquairus is proportionally very small, especially when compared to how much we get in from New Zealand and Finland. Thus, we were quite intrigued by the prospects of the Russian ensemble The Moglass who prefer to qualify their music as ‘personal folk’ — an anti-genre that is beyond the mutable definitions of post-rock, psychedelia, or space-rock. That said, The Moglass are not without precedents, as this trio (armed with guitars, bass, old Soviet synths, and tons of effects) realizes the pinnacles of Popul Vuh (particularly their Werner Herzog soundtracks) entirely through the haunted drones of guitar feedback. Periodically, they have included several radio transmissions all in Russian, so the exact meaning is unknown to us, but the urgency of some of those broadcasts speaks of traumatic events. These work very similar to Godspeed! You Black Emperor’s found sound interludes (e.g. “the car’s on fire, and there’s no driver at the wheel…”), but the mysteriousness due to the language barrier works to enhance the overall mood of the drone rather than compartmentalize it into leftist rhetoric. Although it’s a mere 30 minutes long, “Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi” (which we learned from their website translates as When All the Animals Lived As Good Neighbours) is a remarkably strong album.