This compilation is the follow up to the first compilation, the difference being that volume 1 was a CD focusing on artists from Ukraine, while this second edition expands to feature artists from Russia, Estonia, and Belarus and is released in mp3 format with a pdf cover. This is a nice way to learn about artists that do not get enough exposure due to their geographic locations. For the most part the artists here work in the area of IDM/experimental digital musics, and its quite a pleasant mix. All of the tracks display strong compositions and enough individuality to encourage one to seek out more of their works. Included are artists such as Eloshnye Igruski, Klutch, Ambidextrous(who provides a pleasant track with his unmistakeable analog keyboard melodies and who just now has a release on BipHop), Novel 23, Infra Red Army (with a very effective track based on themes by Henry Purcell), and other Nexsound stable artists Kotra, the Moglass, Alphonse de Montfroyd, and Andrey Kiritchenko. (JS)
v/a – Fourfold Symmetry
Let the good times roll. A project like this finds it’s origins in ‘Distruct’ by P16.D4. Various bands mailed their sound material to P16.D4 who built a new piece of music from those sounds, by combining the various inputs. ‘Distant Structures’ it was called. A project that took some time to realize, since everything was done on cassette tapes and reel to reel tapes send back and forth. How unlike today, when you put your sounds on an IP server and someone else downloads it and uploads his results in a matter of seconds. The number of exchange levels increase by factor uncountable. So ‘Fourfold Symmetry’ is one such meeting of two Russian guys Andrey Kiritchenko (who runs the label who released this) and Kotra (aka Dmytro Fedrorenko) and Norway’s Andreas Berthling and the grandfather of microsound Kim Cascone (who seems to having a lot of fun doing projects like this). These four people exchange their digital sound files through the net, and from probably the smallest sources they re-create their own new works. I am wondering however about the result, which is not a bad one, but maybe also a bit faceless. Everything hisses and scratches and the Max/Msp software works well for everybody. No matter what the input is, the output sounds the same altogether, even when this set has fourteen tracks, which may sound all a bit different. Cascone’s pieces may be more along the lines of ambient and Kotra more along the lines of rhythm and loops, but in the end it’s all digitalia. With a project like ‘Distruct’ one had the oppurtunity to recognize the various bands’ inputs (ah that’s the Nurse With Wound bit), which is entirely gone here. That is a bit of a pity. Otherwise it’s just a nice CD that goes down well with the current microsounders. (FdW)
the Moglass/Tom Carter & Vanessa Arn – Snake-Tongued / Swallow-Tailed
A split CD between two kinda similar projects, or at least they run similar ideas. Tom Carter (known from the ‘improvising psychedelic folk’ group Charalambides) on lap steel guitar and Vanessa Arn on the triwave tone generator versus The Moglass, a post-rock group from Ukraine. Both dwell on ‘sustaining sounds’, but these sustaining sounds are generated on guitars, at least most of the time. The triwave generator is a self-built synthesizer and sound in combination with the lap steel guitar sound really beautiful. The sound is very open and spacious, while long sustaining sounds float by like silent space ships or falling stars. Music in which nothing much seems to be happening, but which has a great impact.In The Moglass sound guitars play an important role, but also one can synthesizers, taped radio sounds, all of which are created via improvisations. Instead of leaping into a bunch of noise, they create dense but gentle clouds of atmospheric music. Maybe some of the improvisations are a bit too carefully constructed, in which they take too much time to make their point, but the space is weightless enough here. Both projects play around with the notions of ambient post rock music with a cinematographic edge. Perfect music for a roadmovie. (FdW)
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 – Sparrow Juice
‘Sparrow Juice’ is the sixth full length release by The Moglass, a trio from the Ukraine. They play a variety of instruments, such as electric and acoustic guitar, bass, computers, synth, voice, treatments, field recordings and alto saxophone. The Moglass are perhaps best described as an ‘improvising post-rock’ band. Everything they do is based on improvisation, but they always try to play gently and melodic. Most of the times they are trying to create textured, atmospheric sounds which are drone related, but in a rock context. Post-production plays an important role for them. Once the recordings are made, everything is treated on the computer in order to edit, combine and reduce sounds and to come up with what is on ‘Sparrow Juice': their most refined work to date. Softly speak the humming of guitars, synths wail about, and occasionally there is hum and distortion to be discovered, but they fit wonderfully into the mix. Cut into no less than nineteen tracks, there is a great sense of homogeneity in these recordings. The Moglass have invented their own form of post-rock. Not endless clusters of guitar drones, or krautrock like drones; not jazzy inspired songs, but a powerful yet ambient rock like sound. An almost cinematographic trip of music. Very, very nice. FdW
The Moglass – Telegraph poles are getting smaller and smaller as the distance grows
There is something in common with the gaps of time Dr. Who onceexperienced that cavorts with this new recording from this Ukraniantrio. A heightened sense of proper weight carries each measure andstuns the ear with its sweet bass drones. A surrealistic blend ofuntailored improv, with a film noir edge. ‘Telegraph’ is The Moglass’post-rock take on modern sound by these guys who have been around fora handful of years reconstructing guitars into atonal minimalism. Ilike this record because it utilizes guitar in a way that the beefyinstrument doesn’t have to take center stage. The darker lines ofobservation grow and grow on track four where the haunted chamber ofbraided electronics surrounds and envelops you. The mix is ananalytical search and destroy approach to its own past. These gentshave taken fair risks in implementing something this freely informed,but there are moments where the repetition just goes on a bit toolong as on track five where the patters avenge my nerves. The damage,if it were, is made up as the thirteen minute closing track is justan investigative sonic pleasure. The strings bow with taut curiousityand tenuous mediation. Playing with fire could get you burned, ormight make way for a greater elemental magic. This sizzles slowly.
the Moglass – Kogda Vse Zveri Zhili Kak Dobrye Sosedi
My Russian these days is not so well anymore these, they don’t teach it anymore in our schools, so I can’t relate to the title of the cover. For some reason the titles are A1, A2, A3, B1 and B2 and with the length in mind, I expect this was originally intended as a LP release. I don’t know if this never was released, or if this is a re-issue. The Moglass are a three piece group announcing themselves as a free improv/postrock trio. The six (!, despite the five) pieces on this release are more less free improv and more post rock, or even better, drone rock. Multi-layered atmospheres of guitars and synths, which are fed through their self-built effect boxes. the whole package (cardboard) and music, reminded me a bit of Godspeed but less the drums and the drama, but it could have been one of their off-shoots for the real wicked drone heads around. And that’s not the worst thing to be compared to. (FdW)
Saralunden + Andrey Kiritchenko – There was no end
Might of course be just me not knowing much, but the name Sara Lunden is new to me. She plays synthesizer, vocals, guitar and recorder and composes songs. How she recorded this album with Andrey Kiritchenko (objects, drums, field recordings, programming, electronics and editing) I don’t know. Did they sat together and made or did Kiritchenko add his part later? In any case, that is not of real importance, the music counts. A lot. Lunden’s voice is alike Portishead and other trip hop like artists, but the music is not like that all. Melodic and melodramatic glitch pop music. There are elements to be recognized from the abstract clicks ‘n cuts music, but the overall emphasizes lies on popmusic. Maybe the voice is a bit too much like the triphoppers of this world, but throughout I must admit I thought this was a highly enjoyable release. Careful, vulnerable popmusic with a great modern touch.
Frans de Waard
Perlonex/Keith Rowe/Charlemage Palestine – Tensions
A celebration calls for a party and then you invite friends. Perlonex, the German trio of Ignaz Schick on turntables, objects and electronics, Jörg Maria Zeger on electric guitar and Burkhard Beins on percussion and objects exist for five years (in 2004 that was, next celebration coming soon) and they invited Charlemagne Palestine and Keith Rowe to play with them. Perlonex is known for their careful improvisation built around their instruments, and with Keith Rowe, it is like having a fourth member. On the first disc we find the four in carefull mood, and no instrument is the boss. Each plays it’s own role and the only tension to be found is in the music itself. A free form play of sound, in which all of the possibilities is explored through their respective instruments. With Charlemagne it is a bit different. His keyboards lay down a brick work, the fundament over which the improvisation follows. Palestine strums his piano and Perlonex as a trio is in more sustaining mood than with Rowe. Perhaps lesser known to be an improviser, he guides Perlonex. However in both sets Perlonex show that they are capable of handling any situation. Two great concerts, a celebration to remember.
ok01 – various
Ok_01 – Oleg Kovalchuk who is a member of the Moglass band, responsible for their synths and self-made effect boxes actually does the music under this moniker since 1998. Using hometaping techniques, his custom and unique sounding effect boxes, soviet drum machine with altered DAC and sometimes playing guitar and synths himself in two hands he creates very worm and touchy lo-fi music about his life. The ep greets us with a shortwave melody, a pleasant wake up call filtering in through the static. The morning sun peaks through and bird songs tweet over a dusty out of tune guitar with added analog electronic wonderment, reaching an almost Faust-Tapes like quality. The third track finds us outside speeding down icy slopes, a ski version of Autobahn with glitch rhythms and flashing pulses of a metropolitan landscape. Mass transit for the mind. The fourth track is a dead ringer for the old Insane Music group Pseudo Code with the over flanged guitar and analog drum machine-a wonderful composition. The ep ends in a similiar spirit, music from a different era in a different place. (JS)