Zavoloka – Plavyna
Plavyna is Katja Zavoloka’s first CD release on Ukraine-based Nexsound after first having released an mp3 album on the same label. Nexsound has released work of a number of well-known and not so well-known artists over the past years. “Plavyna” was inspired by the folk music of the Ciscarpathian region in Ukraine. Zavoloka summons quite a long stretch of clicks, fragmented melodies, rhythmic particles, and various other sounds, where occasionally fragments of what I assume to be folk music from the Ukraine pop up. This wild variety of sounds is carefully assembled in a rich kaleidoscopic mixture that most resemble stuttering machines. The density and jittery movements from one movement to another resembles the work of some breakcore musicians, but Zavoloka’s work has a much stronger emphasis on melody and sounds lighter and more delicate than most releases in the aforementioned genre. A demanding release, but original in its approach.
v/a – Rural Psychogeography
Psychogeography is the study of precise laws and specific effects of thegeographical environment, whether consciously organised or not, on theemotions and behaviour of individuals.This Ukrainian compilation is a collection of field recordings fromvarious different rural areas have collected by 16 internationalcontributors and aim to highlight the specific effects that a particularlandscape and geographical location can have. Well known artists such asFrancisco Lopez, Rosy Parlane, Andrey Kiritchenko, Steinbruchel as well asa handful of others portray some of the most impressive sights ofArgentina, New Zealand, Ukraine, Switerland and much more.Perhaps this album portrays some of the true meaning of Musique concrete,taking sound from its original environment and putting in another context,i.e. onto a CD for us to listen to in a completely different space. Theclean, unprocessed recordings are largely unspoilt field recordings and tomy ears are some of the most interesting pieces of music I’ve heard. Oneis most impressed by the powerfulness of the sound of weather and all itsdiversity.There is a soothing atmosphere created on parts of this CD, the kind offeeling that you might remember getting while sitting on a balcony or atan open window listening to the rain lash down and knowing that there’snothing you can do but relax and enjoy thecalm silence of it while you wait for it to stop.Each track is roughly ended and the listener is brought into a new soundenvironment. Subtle differences and sounds creep into the landscapes andone is struck by the amount of rain that seems to be common to a lot ofthe tracks. For me the CD started off as an environmental exploit and Iwas surprised to discover that it deviated greatly from this as the CDprogressed. Each contributor brought something very new to the concept andsome tracks are completely processed and some even have an acousticinstrumentthrown in.One of the processed tracks, for example track 05 by Andrey Kiritchenko -babai, contains environmental recordings of somebody walking around mixedwith some guitar playing and complex electronic beats.The track by Tomas Korber/Gunter Muller is almost altered beyondrecognition from its original material. In fact there are quite a fewtracks that are hard to relate to their recordings and perhaps I’ve gotthe wrong end of the stick and they are not all processed field recordingsbut are just dedicated to a certain place.Either way, this album covers quite an enormous wealth of sound and musicand is incredibly diverse in it’s range and purpose. If you’re looking forinteresting and experimental variety this compilation comes highlyrecommended.
the Moglass/Tom Carter & Vanessa Arn – Snake-Tongued / Swallow-Tailed
Nexsound from Ukraine have presented a variety of electronic artists inthe past. Muslimgauze releases have appeared in the label’s catalogue, butalso a release with microsound-related artists including Kotra and KimCascone.The Moglass consists of Tom Carter, who has also previously released analbum on Kranky, Vaness Arn. Accompanying information suggests thepresence of other group members, but they are not named explicitly. Onthis release there are two tracks by Tom Carter and Vaness Arn playingtogether, where the former plays a steel guitar, whereas the latter playsa custom built synthesizer. Additionally, there are three tracks by theMoglass. The first two tracks build to a slow increase in intensity, withimprovised playing on the steel guitar and the synthesizer graduallygaining more and more presence. The music tends to attain a kind ofmysterious, surreal feel, which is perhaps due to the productiontechniques used on the CD. Anyhow, it works very soothing. The threetracks by the Moglass are more densely populated, and obviously deploy amore radical approach to sound. The third track starts with a deepdrone-like sound, with reverbing sounds and short bell-like textures onthe foreground. The fourth track contains more heavily manipulatedinstruments, again rather deep textures with a mist-like quality. Ahumming synth-like sound provides a background for drifting melodicstructures and wonderful drone-like sounds resonating. The fifth and finaltrack contains similar elements with a repeating melody giving the piece amore dramatic feel. Interesting release that will appeal to improv andguitar-drone fans.
The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows
The music on this new record by The Moglass deals with space, motion andtransformation, rail and Paul Bowles books. It consists of six tracks, twoof which are edited and all were recorded in 2001. The first track dealswith quite minimal, simple melodic repetitions with bursts of electronicclusters. Each track seems to convey a different mood.The second track being darker in contrast to the first with more distorteddelayed style guitar playing with a touch of a western film feel to itmixed with harsh sharp electronic sounds. Meandering melodies on theguitar and synth sounds add to the chaotic mood.Different elements and strengths appear throughout the CD with some tracksbeing more electronically dominant and some more guitar based. Theelectronics using repetitive organic scratching beats and also as in the4th track, quite Fm chime sounding electronics in contrast to theharshness of the previous tracks beat giving a sweeter air to the wholepiece.The second last track on this CD is heavily electronic based with arhythmic beat theme pulsing throughout accompanied by Spanish type guitarstrumming and other elements weaving in and out. This leads into the lasttrack, which is quite a complex electronic piece mixing delicateelectronics shards against a constant background.Throughout the CD one feels the tight improvisational interplay betweenthe three players distinctly.
Perlonex/Keith Rowe/Charlemage Palestine – Tensions
The lector-acoustic trio Perlonex celebrated their fifth anniversity concert with the release of a double live CD, featuring the different aspects of their musical works. Ignaz Schick, Jörg Maria Zeger and Burkhard Beins deliver an excellent set on CD1, featuring Keith Rowe. The CD heads off with a sinus wave that ends in a climax about twenty minutes, to continue with a calmness to be followed by a gradually building improvised soundscape full of tiny details. The music seems to explore it’s way, intensifying each minute. The introvert sound shifts slowly. Instruments such as turntables, electric guitars and objects can hardly be identified as such. Nevertheless there is enough room for details. CD2 features Charlemagne Palestine (piano, keyboards). The result is different from CD1. Clear piano accords can be heard on top of long drawn-out synths and peeps. Hammering accents have been set as to make the music even more dramatic. This small group of musicians deliver intensifying experience.
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.
Kotra – Dissilient
Dmytro Fedorenko’s project Kotra is already known among the insiders inelectronic music. Not just because he co-operated with Andreas Barthling,Kim Cascone and Nexsound label manager Andrey Kiritchenko, or because heplayed live at the Club transmediale Festival, the Kryptonale, Emaf orNetmage. Dmytro Fedorenko released six albums, which left quite animpression behind.Kotra investigates the possibilities of precise digital found sound. Heworks with short frequencies, most of the time high-pitched, which comeand go irregularly. Different combinations and lengths are tried and thesounds are manipulated.This way a noise palette is created. Some sounds remind of morse codes,submarine sonar echoes, or ticking clocks, whereas other moments can becompared with Tom Hamilton’s London fix album.It’s fascinating what Kotra does with his found noises. Each time he seemsto explore a different approach and technique, thus creating a differentatmosphere during the 21 short and slightly inaccessible tracks.Kotra has decided to head in a new direction, though this is just asinteresting as his material on previous releases, such as Stir mesh andFourfold symmetry.
I/DEX – Seqsextend
Remember, back in the days, when the first Clicks and cuts compilation was released, and when Pole and SND (among others of course) were delivering a new aesthetic to the world, which reacted with general enthusiasm, eagerly awaiting what was to happen with this new genre? Today, glitch is pretty much a common household product, perhaps even something to dislike, due to the endless regurgitating of the initially delivered sounds and methods that seems to be taking place. Luckily, there’s this CD by i/dex. i/dex is Vitaly Harmash, and this release appears on a label from the Ukraine, Nexsound. An unfamiliar name from a region of the world, which may be mentioned far too little in the world of electronic music. This CD stands out in a world in which there may be an overabundance of glitch artists and releases. The 13 tracks on this album stand out since they present an artist whose influences may very well have been artists like Pole and SND, but who also delivers an original interpretation. In fact, i/dex may even capture the quintessence of the work of the aforementioned artists, and can perhaps even be said to provide us with a synthesis of the two. There are gritty sounds that beautifully develop into rhythmically pulsating patterns with a dubby feel to them, lush strings, and, something I particularly liked, field recordings that seem to be carefully manipulated so that they fit into the general timbre of this otput – very well done I must say. Although the CD kicks off somewhat mid-tempo, I had my head nodding up and down on various occasions. Some tracks reminded me somewhat of the more up-tempo pieces of Jan Jelinek who released music on Berlin-based Scape. The second half of the CD features more atmospheric pieces which, yet again, display an artist who knows how to craft. Original sounds although the compositions have a familiar feel to them, but that didn’t really bother me to be honest. At least it was wonderful to finally hear someone do something genuinely interesting in this department. Not to be missed by those into the clicks & cuts releases by Mille Plateaux and fans of the label Scape. (mvk)
Alla Zagaykevych – motus
Alla Zagaykevych is a composer from the Ukraine. Among other things she has attended the annual composition course at IRCAM. She is currently a lecturer at the National Music Academy of Ukraine. This CD consists of five pieces for chamber forces of varying magnitude; two purely acoustic, two electro-acoustic and one purely electronic piece.