Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label


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Kotra – Stir Mesh

With a steady regularity, Andrey Kiritchenko’s Nexsound label keeps on propulsing to the world some new and interesting musicians from his ukrainian homeland. It is this time the turn of Kotra, a project from Kiev whose album “Stir Mesh” comes in an elegantly packaged white and silvery case.

“Stir Mesh” seems to me to be a very accurate name for this CD. What we have here is extremely far from every sound I have heard elsewhere. The frequencies are totally saturated, yet stay precise and relatively quiet. Obvioulsy not produced with a normal synthesizer or sampler, this reminds me more of what a damaged audio file might sound like, or a text file transfomed into an audio one. The sounds used here vary very quickly and are all scraping and grinding, saturated to the limit of what your loudspeakers are able to render.

But don’t imagine “Stir Mesh” as some kind of loud, noisy and blurry chaos. The tracks are very sharp and precise, and these weird digital frequencies are used more as clicks than as scapes, making the whole thing sound closer to Oval or to some click’n’cuts release than to harsh noise. This doesn’t mean, however, than “Stir Mesh” is sweet and soft, the sonorities and tones used being really out of the norm, and the album being totally atonal.

Far from sounding too abstract, Kotra manages to create an enjoyable album that will still make a lot of exebrows raise with surprise. This is the perfect contrary of droning, a game a microscopic and sharp clicks, of mastered saturation and defitinely something that opens new doors.

Kotra – Stir Mesh

I was first introduced to Ukraine outfit Nexsound via their Alphonse de Montfroyd co-release with German label Ad Noiseam. That outing is one of my personal faves of the last year so I was definitely keyed up when this release appeared in my PO Box. Kotra has their embedded microprocessor firmly soldered into some malfunctioning Gameboy, the material here somewhere between gritty Nanoloop and pure system reset. It’s glitchy but in a very low level, crude assembly glue manner. Instead of pristine artifacts and polite silence, kotra uses sounds straight off the bus, raw and aliased, sharp and bursty. It’s still pretty glitch in that most sounds have extremely short, squared off amplitude envelopes with spark gaps inbetween but I find the approach here not unlike listening to a Suffocation album in that it’s got that same “let’s play all the damn riffs” density to it. No shortage of sputtering, strangulated little noise constructions and seemingly no end to the shifting variations, linearly applied as the laser follows the spinning disc.

Although in many ways sonically related, this album is the total opposite of the recent Mugen “770” release. Both artists work with cold little bits of machine language, repetition and sparse, wide strokes of the printer head. However, where Mugen worked with steady, metronomic constructions, kotra is downright frenetic, a mix of attention deficit disorder and building pressure in some overflowing disc cache. Keeping the nature of the material in mind, “Stir Mesh” is crammed to bursting, a relentless stream of code fragments, malloc()’ed bytes off the heap and long lost clusters. No bit of data seems to be considered crucial over any other, lifespans here often measured in mere seconds.

The disc clocks in at 48 minutes, spread amongst 13 tracks though you will be hard pressed to find all the markers if you are facing away from the CD player display. Structurally, it’s maybe 30% sinewave, 70% high frequency burst. Not a lot of low end focus on this disc, the restricted bandwidth of an 8 bit device supplying the formants almost exclusively. A lot of the sounds sound like normalizations of ancient PCM artifacts, like cranking up the volume on the death of reverb trails or the last millisecond of a digital answering machine message. It also has a strong non-audio data feel, like Sound Forge let loose on the operating system itself. Zero emotion of course, Borg-like detachement making this one more like a nature trip into deep space vaccuum, the sights taking the form of life stilling radiation and hull puncturing micro asteroids. Very strong on curiosity and satisfying like a machine room full of fan hum. Kotra have definitely succeeded here, the listener’s eyes almost stinging from the acrid burnt circuitry smell wafting out from “Stir Mesh”.


Kotra – Stir Mesh

Ok, wer denkt in der Ukraine wurde nur Elektronika produziert oder vielleicht mal ein Technotrack, stop. Hort euch das mal an. Hitechkratzburstendigisound der besonderen Art, der stellenweise knattert wie ein in die Chips geladenes Maschinengewehr, dann fies in die Ohren sticht wie ein Eispickel, dann zwischen verschiedensten Medien breakt als ware es alles nur eine Frage des Packetswitchings, der Subsonischem den Hals, Hypersonischem den Himmel abdreht und am Ende auch noch so tut als war das alles ja doch nur Funk. Spassige digitale DSP Helden Platte fur Freunde von Musik jenseits von Mego etc.


Kotra – Stir Mesh

Another release on Nexsound is by Kotra, aka Dmytro Fedorenko from the Ukraine. His sound is definetly more noise and electronic oriented. Using elements from techno, industrial music and clicks and cuts, he creates his own thing. In general the pieces are quite slow and overall there is no 4/4 to be recognized. Harsher edged sounds make this much more into an industrial version of Oval and a less swinging Pan Sonic. Although 14 (untitled) tracks are listed, they flow into each other. Unfortunally some pieces are too static to hold the full attention, even when it comes to a few minutes per track. The limitness of the sounds used overall is what makes this product into a too long thing. The 3″ size would have worked well here. (FdW)


Kotra – Stir Mesh

A glitch-filled collection of electronics, this disc by Ukrainian artist Dmytro Fedorenko sets out early to hit you heavy and hard. The glitches are raw, the beats are sparsely constructed poundings, and the accents are high-pitched squeals of aural mayhem. It’s all far too much to take in a single sitting. Here we have close to 50 minutes of similarly constructed tracks, and there is no respite from the noise whatsoever. The sounds lay heavily on one’s ears, and no matter what volume the disc is played at, the intensity is unavoidable. Everything glitches, everything is interrupted, nothing is left to linger. Rhythms start and stop whenever they feel like it, leaving me with little time to get acquainted with them. There is no depth to the production: nothing to fill the air with any amount of hope. There is only glitch, beat and noise, the only elements present that combine to make a frustrating and disappointing experience. [Vils M DiSanto]


Kotra – Live Session

Kotra is the moniker for one Dmytro Fedorenko from Kiev. This release is a collection of pieces from various live performances made at Clubtransmediale Festival in Berlin, Garage Festival in Stralsund and miscellaneous shows in Kiev. Kotra works in the field of digital noise-sharp textures and frequencies that are akin to scraping your eardrum with a razor. Kotra takes such sounds and beats them into shape creating loops and repeating motifs. The first 12 tracks here are all around a minute or less which depending on your pain threshold might be a good thing. The last 2 tracks are longer pieces and i think here is were Kotra starts to really develop his ideas into what sounds like binary heavy metal-riffs formed from digital errors with enough testosterone to get your fist pumping into the air. These 2 tracks would make an impressive single. (JS)