When it comes to Ukraine, you know you can count on Andrey Kiritchenko and his label Nexsound to provide you with interesting and surprisingly well produced unknown bands, or even to release some really good material with his Nihil Est Excellence and Sidhartha projects. Here is another proof, with this little and nicely designed split 3″ CDR. The first three tracks were written by The Moglass (don’t ask anything about them, I have no idea who they are). Anyway, as far as I am able to discern what the sounds on these tracks are, The Moglass sems to be working with accoustic material, tweaked, slowed down and edited to produce short encompassing tracks full of little variations. The sound is ample, clear and atmospheric, with a nice use of the sound spectrum. It is all very experimental but short enough not to get boring, and the three tracks are rather well done, my favorite being “Agitur”, which sounds like an old outtake of Einsturzende Neubauten going amok in a warehouse. Things are scratched and thrown, producing a nice recurrent grinding sound. On his two tracks, Andrey Kiritchenko brings back Nihil Est Excellence and its long drony ambiences. Enriched with field recordings, the tracks are supported by long and slowly evolving basses. The atmosphere is very “spatial” on the first track, and more electronic, but it all stays very calm. This material is really fine, but it requires that the listener actively listens to it to show its density. Short but varied and well composed, this 3″ CDR is a success for Nexsound. Nihil Est Excellence is supposed to re-release some old recordings on CD soon, and I recommend everybody to be sure to check out this very good project. The Moglass sounds interesting too, and, all in all, this disc is a very nice little thing
the Moglass/Nihil Est eXcellence – split
I have no idea who The Moglass are, but they have three tracks on this split 3″ CDR with Nihil Est Excellence, so each eats about 10 minutes. It seems to me that The Moglass are into sampling. The first piece is called ‘Guitar’, but I don’t think I heard one through the sampled choirs. ‘Agitur’ may use guitars, but maybe also a violin, plus maybe some sort of computer processing. Or is that the high end distorts. The third track is darkly toned and densely. The prize winning piece of the entire release… Nihil Est Excellence is a guy from Russia who presents us two ambient like recordings, with some dark synths and what could be environmental sounds. Though not bad as some background music, but not very interesting as these pieces are mere layers of sounds, rather then interesting compositions. They don’t seem to go anywhere.
the Moglass/Nihil Est eXcellence – split
Tasteful packaging on this 3″ CDR from Nexsound, the shaped cardboard foldout slipping into the vinyl glove like an executive into a Martini – as in slickly professional. Once past the surface cosmetics, the listener becomes shrouded in obscured and reversed soundscapes, evocative harmonics that swirl intoxicatingly around the distant lights and the waking dreams of a banking clerk dozing over some ancient organge CRT. The two artists are simialr enough in approach to make this seem more like a collaboration instead of a split. Slowly evolving constructions constantly changing form and focus.
The disc opens with three tracks from The Moglass, the first of which is wet sounding, like the mandibles of a hoofed animal chewing on fresh bone. The animal can be seen as a silouhette out the doorway from a darkened cave above a burning city. I find it rather drug like myself, the backwards threads leading into the echoing chimes of the second track like an unexpected psilocybin resurgence. There are no voices but the atonal shifts around the sphere of vision evoke after images of eastern chanting. An extremely adept mixing of elements here, constants against variables like electrode to nerve ending. The third track from The Moglass uses what sounds like either a filtered arpeggio or a step quantized effect patch to add a tingling intelligence to the shimmering mist left by the vast chordal work. It just takes over the air around you, not in an asphyxiating manner but more like the way the negative ions from a coming storm set your hairs on end. Electric. From there it’s a slow, cautious build into the Nihil Est eXcellence material. The most notable difference is in the frequency spectrum used. It’s as if suddenly every odd harmonic has been ripped out, giving a very cold and indifferent feel to the tracks. Medical beeps suggest that perhaps your surroundings are but a mental projection to protect you from the reality leaking through the windy, filtered modulations. A definite feeling of malevolent science or imminent surgery here. Digital choking opens the final track, the air starved composition getting more and more agitated, grasping limbs flailing about in a desperate attempt to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain until warm light washes away all memory of pain.
Evocative ambience from both artists makes this quite a successful little EP. I really like the pacing here, just enough movement to keep the plan working but not so much your eyes have trouble tracking and I find I can listen to the disc on repeat multile times without tiring. The result is the kind of atmosphere you suck deep into your lungs lest any of the precious vapour escape, as effective at subtle volume as blistering sound pressure levels (though the latter much more satisfying of course). From this EP and the recent Kotra effort, I’d recommend the Ukraine electronic scene and Nexsound in particular as a point of current interest.