Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

Sonic Arts Network

I/DEX – Seqsextend

After a little research it turns out that like most electronic musicians, I/DEX also has a few other aliases such as Harmash, Mystique and of course his real name Vitaly Harmash and started on doing field recording/tape experiments around ’97 and combining them with a Sony playstation of all things. His release for Ukraine Nexsound label is a bit different from what you’d imagine and it seems that Harmash has moved into the slicker world of minimal digi-dub constructs that would fit nicely into the ~Scape catalogue. Harmash’s ability to build from the crackly minimal warmth platform of his cohorts his shown on Seqsextend. He gives a nod to the moody melodies of early the early Detroit/Berlin techno and I can’t help but think of the old Kenny Larkin and The Black Dog records when I listen to the patches he uses. Comparisons aside, this is an excellent release (but perhaps a bit too long) and will be interesting to see how Harmash’s style develops in the future.
Reviewed by Justin Hardison.

Etherreal

I/DEX – Seqsextend

I/Dex est le projet de Vitaly Harmash, musicien bielorusse qui n’est pas tout a fait un debutant puisqu’il a commence a faire de la musique il y a plus de 10 ans, dans des formations rock d’abord, avant de s’interesser a toutes les methodes de composition electronique. Apres les synthes, les fields recordings et la Playstation, le voici au laptop avec ce premier album en temps que I/Dex, juste pres un split-MP3, toujours chez Nexsound.
Harmash possede un son bien particulier, mais pas forcement facile d’approche. Les premiers titres sont assez particuliers, semblent eviter la facilite alors que les melodies flirtent avec la naivete. Rien de tres accrocheur donc, le musicien posant juste des ambiances, dessinant des paysages aux couleurs douces a base de motifs repetitifs, d’elements rythmiques timides, sourds, et d’une foule d’etranges bruitages, certainement soigneusement selectionnes parmi ses enregistrements en pleine nature. Apres cette premiere partie flottante, reveuse, le son s’eclaircit doucement sur Rand, et la rythmique ressemble un peu plus a quelque chose de connu, mais le style de I/Dex est toujours la, gardant cette meme legerete.
Et puis on bascule dans un autre univers a partir de .Doc sur lequel le Bielorusse se concentre sur le traitement du son avec une atmosphere plus sombre. Les souffles deviennent regulier, tout comme les craquements, les clicks, et notes feutrees qui nous rappellent la vague dub-electro menee par Pole il y a quelques annees. Une musique ambient douce, parsemee de cliquetis, presque sautillante sur le syncope Recor, et lugubre sur Evox, a la fois point d’orgue et charniere de l’album.
Mais petit a petit s’amorce un retour a la lumiere. La brume s’estompe sur E_Caps, des bruits d’animaux et autres chuintements signalent le reveil de Mere Nature, tandis que de petites notes creent une ambiance paradisiaque. On imagine une grosse creature qui emerge d’un long sommeil sur Scalene, alors que sur pres de 8mn des elements plus classiquement musicaux s’echappent d’un magma de souffles et claquements. Le soleil se leve sur Eunet, et la vie reprend son cours, une superbe journee commence avec Comm, le tube electronica de l’album, efficace et concentre sur le strict minimum. C’est serein et repose que l’on quitte Seqsextend avec Outsert, retrouvant notre legerete et laissant derriere nous les contrarietes de la veille.
La musique de I/Dex, c’est aussi ca. De l’Intelligent Listening Music, legere sans pourtant etre facile, car ne laissant guere de points d’accroche a l’auditeur. Un disque deconcertant de laptop music qui devrait plaire aux amateurs de pop.
Fabrice Allard

hybridmagazine

I/DEX – Seqsextend

Larry: Byelorussian electronic soundscapes. Downbeat, offbeat, arhythmic, textural, fascinating, low, chimy, interesting, a bit loungy.
Darrel: The least amount of noise you can make and legally call it music.
Daryl: Very laid back, sedate, ultra techno lounge.
Dick: Remember the center groove on vinyl? This uses that for the rhythm tracks. It’s cool.

Indieville

I/DEX – Seqsextend

It seems Nexsound, the impressive Ukrainian experimental electronic imprint, can do no wrong. I/DEX’s Seqsextend album is Nexsound’s eighteenth release, and it is living proof that label owner Andrey Kiritchenko is still on top of the glitch scene. I/DEX’s Vitaly Harmash, hailing from the fine country of Belarus (or Byelorussia, depending on your preferred Cyrillic interpretation), is Nexsound’s latest find, and yet again it’s a doozy. Seqsextend will be classified as glitch, although its strong compositional structure makes for a remarkably accessible listen. Harmash is no stranger to rhythm and melody, and while these tracks are often experimental in many respects, they still turn out very listenable. The I/DEX style is typically quite relaxing, filled with comforting synths and lush, pulsating rhythms. Even the most avant-garde moments tend towards accessibility – “Doc,” as an example, confronts the listener with layers of shifting electronics, but is still somewhat tuneful and [beatlessly] rhythmic.
It is easy to say that most glitch music is boring, and to some extent it is quite true. However, if anyone can honestly pass on Seqsextend after giving it a concentrated, thorough listen, they need to seriously reexamine their priorities. Albums from Belarus are rare, but albums this good are rarer – I/DEX has produced something infinitely listenable with a genre that often strives to ward off most audiences … take notice.
88%
Matt Shimmer

Wet-Works Electrozine

I/DEX – Seqsextend

I/Dex is my first exposure to the Ukrainian label Nexsound. I/Dex is the project of Vitaly Harmash who has been actively recording experimental electronic music since 1997. Harmash loves subtle moments, which he displays here to perfection. Over the course of 13 tracks (just over an hour of music) you’ll be treated to a mixture of light glitches, tape hiss, bass tones, static, minimal beats and atmospheric textures, which all collide into pleasing compositions. The track “CIQ” even adds in a nice minimal lounge influence that had me so relaxed I almost forgot about the headache I had most of the day. Other songs like “Rand” demonstrate a very child-like vibe, similar to the way I feel after listening to Boards Of Canada (albeit a more minimal techno version of BOC). I actually tossed “Seqsextend” in tonight while playing a round of Splinter Cell and the music fit the atmosphere of the game perfectly, which says a lot about the soundtrack quality of the release. Recommended chill out music for sure.

absorb

I/DEX – Seqsextend

i/dex’s seqsextend is rather a lovely piece of work whose thirteen tracks are composed of predominantly muted, somnambulent tones. this music could be your progress registered in the rustle of leaves, big shoals of them, in autumn-time. it could be the sound of blood pumping round arteries or the chimes of viral detection systems in unspecified locations. there’s a techno feel to these tracks, but the kind of techno that doesn’t stomp around the room, but instead settles upon the furniture like flakes of snow, gradually accumulating until familiar objects become unrecognisable, almost nonexistent and melded to their surroundings. seqsextend is the gradual accumulation of calcium in your kettle, the myriad deposits gathering into little stone-like hardnesses, furring up the element and causing pale flecks to float in your preferred beverage. seqsextend is the static that gradually builds up until there’s enough latent electricity to power a lightbulb, it might be a dim light but it’s enough to illuminate your room and its yellowness might just give you the illusion of warmth. reviewed by colin buttimer

Grooves

I/DEX – Seqsextend

That Seqsextend begins with a track entitled “Texture” is entirely apt, as this recording is swathed in billowing, gaseous layers. On that opener, a descending bass line motif can be glimpsed beating underneath the dense, cycling clouds of hiss, hum, and crackle but just barely. I/DEX is one Vitaly Harmash from Byelorussia, and Seqsextend is his debut on Nexsound, a Ukrainian label that’s previously released material by Muslimgauze, Francisco Lopez, and Kim Cascone. Harmash is no novice, however, having recorded since 1997, and he clearly knows his way around this particular IDM territory. Song titles are perfunctory at best and suggest a kinship with Arovane and Autechre who share a similar penchant for cryptic, abstract titles. But the similarities don’t end there, as Harmarsh’s debt to Uwe Zahn (aka Arovane) especially goes deeper than titles, judging by the music. “Rand” and “Ciq,” for example, are textbook Arovane, with glistening keyboards, ambient textures, and clicking beats serving melancholy melodies and dreamy atmospheres. The addition of an Eno-like squiggle in “Rand” does, however, differentiate the song from its otherwise pure incarnation of the Arovane style. Other songs pursue more propulsive ends. On “Recor,” Harmash deploys surging waves as propulsive complements to his house-flavoured techno rhythms, the resonant, burbling keyboards channeling gorgeous strains of classic Chain Reaction. Seqsextend is enhanced by Harmash’s decision to leave no gaps between tracks, resulting in a seamless one-hour set of thirteen tracks. Doing so gives the recording a stronger fluidity and cumulative impact it would have lacked had the tracks been presented separately. The recording’s also deceptive in that-like Arovane’s music-its quieter, ambient leanings camouflage the accomplished but subtle detailing that Harmash creates throughout. On the down side, as expertly crafted as it is, Seqsextend is hardly innovative, as it advances little upon a style established by others. (Grooves Magazine, Issue 13)

Tollbooth

I/DEX – Seqsextend

Coming out of the Ukraine, Nexsound Records provides some varied electro music. Now here’s. Seqsextend is something interesting, simple, yet good. The atmospheric feel is quite well done. It brings back the times out on the road. Whether or not the listener is currently on the road, it’s got that filling feeling of travel music with lush electronic beats. The music is down to earth with no vocals, which may seem interesting to some, and not so interesting for others. Len Nash 4/5

 

Phosphor

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)

Ultra WWW Magazine

I/DEX – Seqsextend

Another delicious release on Nexsound, the Ukraine label run by Andrey Kiritchenko (cf. U0311). Vitaly Harmash from Byelorussia makes dubtech laptop electronica but he’s better at it than most artists in this genre on the verge of exhaustion. I/Dex has got that indefinable ‘soul’ quotient and knows how to rise above the genre’s traps. As the album progresses towards its highlights “.doc” (droney), “Ciq” (whispulsating) & “Recor” (groovy), one realises that even if some of these tracks sound a bit deja vu, they’re very delightful all the same. But the journey is well-planned: further down the album’s road, “E_caps” (fabulously ominous – a weird machine pulsing rhythms over at the Hammer House of Horror), “Scaleine” (reminiscent of the Irresistible Force at his best, around ’92-’93, but richer and more oceanic) and “Eunete” (slightly remniniscent of …EU) convincingly add new textures. “Comm” is less original but beautiful as well, once again a la EU. “Seqsextend” isn’t Harmash’s debut, but he’s a fine discovery after all. (pv)

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