Nexsound – experimental, ambient, noise, improv record label

Review

WIRE

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Ukrainian electronic musician Andrey Kiritchenko conceived of True Delusion as an album exploring the harmonic overtones of guitar and piano. While these instruments do provide a musical and emotional framework, Kiritchenko’s album is much more about the abstraction of these elements alongside commonplace incidental sounds, quiet rubbings and field recordings of domesticity. In fact, Kiritchenko is not a very good guitarist at all, never venturing beyond a chord or two, which he plucks with Ry Cooder’s sense of space. But what he does with that empty space is captivating, as the quiet tinkling of cutlery, the hushed rustling of a cat scratching its ear and the crickets under the floorboards appear delicate and magical due to Kiritchenko’s care and subtle DSP trickery. Once shifting to the piano, Kiritchenko’s musicianship is far more confident, presenting a polyphony of cascading notes that he in turn blurs into a miasma of ringing minimalism recalling the excellent Vrioon collaboration between Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Jim Haynes

Igloo

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

“Scope of My Perception” is a very pretty intro of off-centered guitar strings that just dance in a pale light. True Delusion is contemporary folk music that uses the guise of noise and various samples that include feedback and the openness of a room capped by a chaotic open mic that wanders, gets dragged and plays with the Polaroid quality of field recordings. The crickets, digging in the dirt and other activities are rigorously tended to as Kiritchenko strums his strings on “Both My Sides.” The piano on “Illusion of Safety” is not as threatening as it is quite lovely. Tells a story of quiet patience, anticipation. The story changes to something of a spiral staircase snow-globe of lost control in the startling “Illusory Self-Motion” that is just raw, unrefined and sudden. ‘True Delusion’ winds down with delicate, repetitive melodies that toy with a far more sleepy side of this album. “Agravic Illusion” is the static foam produced by the last lapping waves of Summer. Low tide drifts away, in it the memories of all this play.
TJ Norris

MusicBoom

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Nuovo lavoro per l’instancabile Andrey Kiritchenko che aggiunge, con questo nuovo album edito dalla Nexsound e SPEKK, un ulteriore tassello ad una discografia gia vastissima. Questo True Delusion segue molto da vicino lo stile evidenziato col precedente Interplays, in-between, superando le derive del glitchcore piu estremo – che caratterizzo i primi lavori – e giungendo ad una personalissima proposta musicale che, pur continuando a strutturare i brani a partire da forme di microsound, alleggerisce una elettronica difficilmente assimilabile con inserti musicali e samples d’ambiente. I brani vengono strutturati lentamente e in maniera progressiva, sovrapponendo a ‘sottilissimi’ layer elettronici alcune delicate melodie prodotte da chitarra acustica e piano. Dalla commistione elettro-acustica che ne deriva, emergono poi intime registrazioni d’ambiente che, allontanando ulteriormente la proposta da un contesto freddo e inaccessibile, amplificano le capacita interpretative dell’ascoltatore, piu vicino – rispetto a quanto accadeva in passato – al punto d’osservazione dell’artista ucraino. Kiritchenko riesce a trovare un sorprendente punto d’incontro fra le ermetiche soluzioni di una avanguardia elettronica isolazionista e un ambient elegante e inaspettatamente spontanea.
Francesco Gemelli

Neural

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Non ha certo bisogno di troppe presentazioni Andrey Kiritchenko, uno degli artisti elettronici piu significativi che l’Est Europa puo vantare, ucraino, attivo sin dai primi anni 90, prima come cantante e compositore in una rock band, poi come dj radiofonico specializzato in musica techno, con uno show anche televisivo (‘Vilna Zone’) dedicato a quelle nuove frequenze, fino ad abbracciare ambiti maggiormente sperimentali nell’investigazione di sonorita assai scarne (microsound), assecondate nella produzione digitale anche dalle influenze d’elettroacustica e musica concreta. Nel corso degli anni non deve stupire abbia accumulato cosi oltre 16 album, su label come Ad Noiseam, Zeromoon, DTA Records, Retina-Scan, Thinner/Autoplate, Notype/Nishi, Soulworm, FGLC, WAN, Tiln, Nexsound, con apparizioni in oltre 20 compilation, segno di una densita d’idee, applicata nel caso di ‘True Delusion’ a strutture minimali ed armoniche, ottenute nell’iterazione di una chitarra acustica, di manipolazioni digitali, assieme a registrazioni ambientali (principalmente domestiche oppure effettuate in contesti naturali). In aggiunta, solo successivamente, quando il progetto era ulteriormente progredito, Kiritchenko ha operato secondo modalita similari al pianoforte, con un suono lento, melodico e dilatatissimo. Il risultato e pregevole, elegante ed austero, affatto distante da una percezione partecipata che riconcilia gli avanguardismi estremi con i sensi piu spontanei che vengono attivati nella fruizione musicale.
Aurelio Cianciotta

Loop

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

This time the Ukrainian musician Andrey Kiritchenko has incorporated acoustic instruments like the Spanish guitar and the piano, so there is an emphasis in the organic sounds thta is complemented with the digital processing, and even incorporating the electroacoustic music by using domestic objects. This album took 10 months in the making to this young musician from Kharkiv and during the first six months, he spent his time meditating, travelling and the rest of the time he experimented recording instruments in such spaces as the kitchen and the quarters, as well as making field recordings with rural sounds. The idea was to take sounds with few guitar notes that were transformed into harmonic tones, but to this minimal atmosphere a subtle piano unfolds beautiful melodies which evoke Frenchman Erik Satie. Few instruments and the sonorous conception that shaped Kiritchenko after the contemplative stage that he had in this album, is the creative raw material that allows to produce an intimist atmosphere, and a state of mind to the listener, suggesting images with the sounds that surround us, and specially as opposed to the development of few elements, where we have imperceptible resonances. and timbres, and some few notes and chords, there are are sufficient to be able to find extreme gentleness in the work of our protagonist.
Guillermo Escudero

de:bug

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Wieder mal eine ziemlich magische Platte von Kiritchenko, der hier mit vielen Gitarrenklangen arbeitet, die dem ganzen so ein Gefuhl von Folk geben. Klar liegen auch hier viele digitale Klange druber und drunter und knistern, fliesssen, rauschen leicht, bleiben aber immer sehr flussig und wirken so fast wie ein Grillenschwarm aus einem anderen Planeten. Die Einblicke in Urainische Kuchen zwischendurch sind auch ziemlich gelungen. Sehr subtile fast heimliche Platte.
*****
Bleed

Vital

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Of course the name Andrey Kiritchenko is familiar to you. Apart from his own music and his own Nexsound label, he also plays with Critikal, Sidharta and Nex and is at the forefront of experimental music in the Ukraine. His previous releases on Ad Noiseam displayed an interest in glitch, ambient and rhythm, but that seems all far away when playing ‘True Delusion’. The record falls apart in two parts, each of them having four tracks (and noted as ‘side a’ and ‘side b’ on the cover, very odd for a CD). In the first four tracks environmental sounds and guitar play the leading part and on the second four the piano plays the same role. Playing around with overtones is what Kiritchenko had in mind when he started working on this record. Despite the computer-processing that no doubt went into making this record, both guitar and piano are clearly to be recognized. They play a set of simple tune and the overtones of both instruments are clearly worked out. Rhythm and techno influences are no longer there. Unlike Boca Raton’s new CD on Spekk, this new Kiritchenko certainly qualifies as ambient glitch music, although it’s less minimal than some of the outings on say the Line label. Kiritchenko keeps his own tunes together, plays around with them in his own way and at that he does he very fine job. A fresh start, perhaps? (FdW)

DIGIMAG

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

Come in molti altri casi ormai, l’apertura contemporanea e il rapido accesso contribuiscono a rendere visibili zone d’ombra del pianeta, mettendo in luce nuove sensibilita in grado di combinare deviazioni locali e tendenze globali. Andrey Kiritchenko e consapevole di questo aspetto, e lo assimila nel migliore dei modi; egli e personaggio noto in circuito sperimentale, ha collaborato con parecchi nomi di punta della scena elettronica contemporanea e degli anni ’90, Kim Cascone su tutti, ha pubblicato per Ad Noiseam, Zeromoon e per la label personale Nexsound, a cui lavora dal 2000, e il cui scopo e quello di creare una “piattaforma per la produzione di musica sperimentale dall’Ukraina”. True Delusion e il suo ultimo lavoro, proprio per Nexsound, e indaga un’aspetto piu folk del suo agire musicale, meno sviluppato ad esempio in Interplays, In-Between (Ad Noiseam, 2004) dove era il territorio glitch-ambient ad essere messo in discussione. “True Delusion” e esplicitamente diviso in due parti: la prima ha come elemento cardine la chitarra acustica, la seconda il pianoforte, ben riconoscibili talvolta, ma poi fusi in magma corposo fatto di field recordings ambientali, glitch e momenti noise. Si indaga il duplice significato delle cose in mancanza di un contesto che le renda tali, la percezione soggettiva di queste e l’intervento dell’illusione come agente di cambiamento di uno stato. Un lavoro intimista, si evince da queste note testuali riportate nel booklet, ma soprattutto dalle note musicali, anche laddove field recordings domestici (l’appunto vocale, infantile, di Both My Sides ) si fondono allo strumento, quest’ultimo rapportato sempre ad una dimensione ristretta.
Txt: Simone Bertuzzi

Cracked

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

The illusions start at the most physical level. Some medics argue that hearing is the first sense an unborn baby develops. Nothing is for sure and nothing is granted. But this CD is a true beauty. Intricate in the best sense and impressive even though – in contrast to what might be expected – there are no full force noise attacks here, but exactly the opposite. Based on piano and guitar notes, combined with organic sounds of the biggest creature known to mankind – the ecosystem – such are the connotations of this true piece of art. Did I never use the word enlightening or enriching because I don’t like superlatives and don’t want to wear off words for profane reasons? Maybe I should think about it.

Andrej Kiritchenko is the most prominent avant-garde musician from the Ukraine I know (which, I admit, are not so many after all), and he is the founder of the very interesting Nexsound label (which he now runs together with Dmytro Federenko aka Kotra). Releases on Nexsound are always worth listening to, because as far as music is concerned, which challenges the way you listen on an everyday basis even weeks or months later, as well as challenging your expectations of live and society, every release on Nexsound I have heard so far served more than ordered. (Check the reviews to Kotra and Zavoloka for more info.) Kiritchenko also has an enormous range of music he is working on and “True Delusion” is a great testament to that. I rarely ever do this, but this time around I want to copy-paste the info on this record to give you the artists idea of what he did: “The very idea was simple at first. I meant to play the guitar experimenting with minimalist harmonic overtones. Meanwhile I tried to take deep rhythmic breaths timed with guitar sounds. The result was almost meditative, as the guitar buzzing sound was slowly fading out and the body felt close to hyperventilated. : Later the album progressed in terms of the similar use of the piano. It was not exactly harmonic overtones, but the sound was slow, melodic and minimalist, so the album can be conventionally divided into two parts.”

The result, actually, is a lot more than the meditative minimalism hinted upon in this description. It would be doing great injustice to this music to describe it solely in the terms of slow, longwinding, meditative drones with parts that use instruments in simplistic ways and others that use gentle noises and the washing sounds of atmospheric disturbances. Because this record can really get a grip on you, or at least it got on me, when I listened to it first and then repeated listening to it for the rest of the afternoon. The last time this happened to me was with Marsen Jules “herbstlaub” and both records share an atmosphere of consisting outside the constraints of time in a near complete static balance, which to me defines at least one part of true beauty. But Kiritchenko’s work lays importance on two sides of the human spectrum, hinting at the dark as well as at the light. “True Delusion” is a lively discussion with tonality and harmony about the most essential aspects of life. The echoes of field recordings mixed with the sounds of breathing, aesthetically modified and elevated by the harmonious sounds of the piano or the guitar build a complete whole of surrounding sounds which at the same time soothes and frightens the listener. An environmental sound installation that flows and sparks with life, reverberates the tension that (conscious) existence brings along. The ambivalence of human lifes, with all its threats and joys, pain and happiness is reduced to the most basic level or existence – breath in / breath out – which like tidal movements still retains that certain ambivalence.

Using acoustic instruments is a new and maybe dangerous path for avant-garde-musicians, but new and dangerous should be the obvious choice for anything calling itself avant-garde (otherwise it’d end up as status quo). There seem to be more and more avant-garde artists taking that way and they have nothing to do with the settled avantgardists on these instruments (like Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne, Marc Ribot, to name some I still like) but using these bitparts together with the results of the electronic experimentalists from just around the corner of musical history, be they from the harshest noise sides or the ambient drone sides. That makes for an interesting mixture. First glimpses could be seen with Sylvain Chauveau or David Balula, but now I have the feeling that there is more and more of that, which exchanges the interest into the gigantic soundwalls with an interest into the more subtle and smaller differences. Maybe I am wrong and only deluded by my own perception, which is solely based on the music that comes my way, which of course is only a miniscule part of all the music around. Which brings me neatly to mentioning that there is a lot more to “True Delusion” than music.

The second side of this record is the very interesting theoretical background. We here at Cracked Headquarters know and have always put forth the thought that the whole world is actually an illusion. Not so much in the solipsist way of imagining everything out there but in the way that our sense shape the way we perceive the world (phenomenology), our minds shape the way we create the world on an individual basis (constructivism) and how our relationships to other people shape the way we behave in this world (sociology). In other words, we consist of ratio, emotion and socio and don’t you ever forget that. From the little blind dot in your eyeball, whose left out visual signals get interpolated and calculated by the brain very much like CD-error-programms have algorithms to calculate the missing sounds and you never notice, to the way our current social position and pressures make us behave (good example: George W. Bush, what power and drugs can do to the perception of the world), this is not at all a new thought. But an exciting, startling and haunting one each time I think about it. Most people live their everyday lives feeling they are in control of their lives. Of course, those are small lives with petty problems, especially in a rich and well-fed country such as Austria, but it is an illusion nevertheless. It takes only a few minutes and the coincidence of some far away factors to make you completely lose everything you ever had. Some CEO in another country decides to restructure the strategic direction of some side-parts of the global company he works for and suddenly your job is gone. A cardriver slides off the street and hits you or your partner straight with full power. A lightning strikes an electric pole which sets of a chain reaction and a whole city goes dark for hours. Warren Buffet decides to earn a few million dollars by a little currency speculation and destroys the economic system of a small country. And to think about the vast logistical system working on market forces and governmental forces it needs to feed a city of a million people, most of them working office jobs. “Illusion of Safety” for sure.[1] Most people have no idea of what is really going on and why some things are working the way they do. I wonder if there is a single person at all. Our society, from the economic basis to the fashion trend surface, from the milk delivered to the supermarket to the designer iPod bought via the internet, is so unimaginable complex. And we wallow through this complexity with our ancient mammal brains trying to find known dots and lines within the chaos that help us along, all the while telling ourselves that we have a grip on everything, when actually we should be screaming, banging our heads and run back to our primeval caves to hide in.

Luna Kafe

Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion

It’s always exciting to receive letters/small packets from the Ukraine. Big brown envelopes. Huge stamps. I think Eastern block governmental issues right away, from out of the foggy past. Before everything totally turned over and changed. Walls turned down, borders opened. And finally the velvety ‘orange’ revolution of last year comes to mind. Situated in the south-eastern part of Central Europe Ukraine borders Russia, Belorussia, Moldova, Slovakia, Rumania, Hungary and Poland on land, as well as to Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Roumania and Turkey via the Black Sea. The land are mostly a treeless plain, a ‘steppe’. Then there’s the Crimean peninsula down south by the B?? Sea. Then you’ve got the Carpathian mountains in the west. The main Ukrainian river is the Dnieper (one of the longest rivers in Europe), splitting the land in two. And to the east…Russia. This time the letter frmo Nexsound held Andrey Kiritchenko’s True Delusion, which is a cd presenting (according to their site): “Minimalist harmonic overtones made with acoustic guitar; slow, melodic and minimalist sound of piano; recordings of rural nature sounds; digital treatment and concrete noise”. Quite accurate. “True Delusion” holds ambient noise not being noisy. Slow-flowing abstractions of minimalism and repetition. As an artist Kiritchenko sort of explore and challenge the contemplative and meditative. And his compositions make me think of some minimal tribal music. It seems to be a disc touching the theme of illusion. The illusions of life. Man-made or mind-made. I’m not sure if I get all of it but True Delusion is quite a fascinating listen. And it makes me indeed relax. Maybe the whole record is an illusion? Tracks of illusion.

Page 1 of 212