Andrey Kiritchenko – True Delusion
Ukrainian sound-artists Andrey Kiritchenko had a different perception of how new technology could aid in the act of music making. “True Delusion” is in fact equal parts field recording, real instrumentation [guitar and piano] and computer processing. All of these elements are wrapped in a warm, soothing blanket that invites the listener to repeat the listening process again and again. The album starts off with warm guitar plucking that sounds as if surrounded by an aura of humming or buzzing. Minimal plucking is what Kiritchenko had in mind all along. His vision was to bring a meditative glistening to the recording, something that is immediately apparent. With tapes of crickets, dim nightfall and sounds of something that resembles dried leaves, the music [whether processed or not] gives an appearance of something that is embracing and natural. Though much of Kiritchenko’s sounds fall in the serene category, he’s still successful at retaining a factor of underlying tension. From one moment to the next, the listener is unable to guess and predict what’s coming up next. Will the sounds continue to caress the ears or will the change in direction be so drastic that we’ll sit up and take notice of the strangeness factor? His experiments with piano are especially welcome. Half-way through the record, it’s the piano in fact that takes over as the predominant instrument. “Illusion of Safety” [not to be confused with the band of the same name] features wads of light keys clicking. Though pleasant at first, the sound appears to be shrouded over with a mysterious substance, almost like an oily filter that leaves a dirty sound behind. The beauty in all of this is how well the sounds flow from one point to the next, from one idea to the next. Kiritchenko is teasing listeners with an intense game of connect the dots. Everything is logical and nothing sounds false or contrived. Almost like a little kid who’s connecting large dots on a piece of paper; like an artist who’s filling his blank piece of cloth with paint, listening to Andrey Kiritchenko’s “True Delusion” is like watching someone give birth to their newborn.
– Tom Sekowski
Alphonse de Montfroyd/Nihil est eXcellence-defect analysts
Although the name may sound French Alphonse De Montfroyd is actually a pseudonym of Alexey Pilipenko from the Ukraine. Silence is his debut release and is also the second in Ad Noiseam’s Dark Ambient Series. Defect Analysts is a split release on Ukraine label Nexsound featuring 3 tracks from Pilipenko and 1 longer track from Nihil Est Excellence. Superbly packaged in a clear plastic sleeve with printed translucent inserts, Defect Analysts reflects a progression in Pilipenko ‘s work between this and his Silence CDR.
Silence is a simply packaged hand-numbered 3 inch CDR in a printed blue gatefold slipcase. None of the 5 tracks have titles but are all in the dark ambient vein. Track 1 resonates with high-pitched whirring alien-like tones while Track 2 has a plodding bassline over fizzing static and a constant oscillating tone. Track 3, the shortest of the tracks on this CDR at 1:25, features an eerily slow radar-like blip against the insectoid sounds of a tropical night. Shifting the pace up a little is Track 4 with its relentlessly mechanical thuds and animalistic wails that have an air of anxious urgency about them. Closing the single is Track 5 and its throbbing reactor tone over the whir of distant machinery.
In contrast to Silence, Defect Analysts shows another aspect of Pilipenko’s work by introducing a lighter more melodic element to his work. “Purple Shell” for example still has the resonating drones and futuristic pitched tones but also introduces an orchestral type warmth and serene melodic element. “Le Dialogue Digital” is completely different, featuring occasional bell-like booms and frantically bubbling digital bursts punctuated with silences. The last of Pilipenko’s trilogy of tracks, “Japan Night Bomber”, returns to a tropical bird song backdrop with almost tribal horn sounds. Closing the CD is Nihil Est Excellence’s single almost 10-minute track entitled “Wan-Vex”. Taking an increasingly low mechanical grind over minute scrapes and oddly manipulated fidgeting sounds, Nihil Est Excellence use silence and space to great effect as nightmarish drones, textures and wails permeate the latter half of the track.
Pilipenko’s tracks are textural and drone-based but skilfully executed. While his work is loop centred, it also subtly shifts, evolves and mutates as it progresses, each subtle becoming more absorbing. His work provides a futuristic air of tension, anxiousness and foreboding that is a good indicator of a quality production of this type. Nihil Est Excellence have a similar approach but adopt a less loop-based style, opting instead for the use of space and more miniscule sounds to add atmosphere. For fans of ambient or textual drone artists, both these releases are certainly worth seeking out and as a newcomer to the scene, Pilipenko has a great future ahead of him.
Alphonse de Montfroyd/Nihil est eXcellence – defect analysts
Another split 3″ featuring Nihil Est Excellence (see also Vital Weekly 310), this time featuring also works by Alphonse De Montfroyd. This is the nom de plume of Alexy Pilipenko from the Ukraine, who was before in a band with the same name, whom I never heard but who sound gothic from the descriptions. He offers three tracks. The first is a violin loop that is hummed away in drones. The sound sources for the “Le Dialogue Digital’ is not be defined, but is a dark howl, fed through or by some sound effects. Lighter tone and shorter in length, but with the same source unknown is the third piece. Nihil est Excellence is Andrey Kiritchencko (also from the Ukraine), and he has one piece of laptop crackles and feedback. Apperentely he takes his sources from concrete sounds, recorded with a microphone, but he knows well how to hide his sources. A sturdy piece that fits with the best from the west. (FdW)
Alphonse de Montfroyd – Silence
Silence is the first release by Ukranian Alphonse De Montfroyd, another of the recent 3″s to be released on the Berlin based Ad Noiseam label, following the LS-TTL release 43Hz as a contribution to the dark ambient series. Each track is notionally untitled, referred to on the sleeve by a sequence of dots to indicate track order along with the duration of the piece. “.” starts as a swirl of sound, mounting as it continues, diffusing in its layers. Balancing levels of whistling and oscillation, spiralling into an overall pulsation, with high-toned edges that flirt with being piercing. Details of micro sound and turned waves work through the core sound, giving a more textural effect. “..” has a grindier bass feel, flat with squelching pulses to go with that. The thump of the bass rises as the piece continues, with a more distinct bass pulse humming along, to form the slow oscillation of a spiral. This is starting to gain a vague impression of being claustrophobic, the timbre of the bass pressing in. The piece has a progressive intensification, which marks this as being more memorable than the previous track. Becoming almost a looping stroke in form. “…” begins with electronic drips, extending into repeated sonar pulses, with a little wind catching up and behind that. This gives a certain dankness, which insect pulses call out from. “….” is scraping with the rise of its electronic lines, and vague echoed effects. Coming up in looped peaks, struggling to the top, sliding down, and again. A granular tunnel effect is established, with a shuttled stroke going back and forth along its length. There is a particulate grit and increasing focus on the layers of sound that we are hearing, tending towards a more chaotic and organic system in the process. “…..” is the last piece, which mixes a warm vibe with a breathy flow and a regular ticking effect. The result works as an intensifying sustained drone, with slight details patterning its dimensional scale. The chopping tick has become more tack, more striking, periodically significant within the mix.
Alphonse de Montfroyd – Silence
This 3 inch CDR EP from Alphonse de Montroyd creeps in glacier slow. With three computers in near vicinity it took a good minute and 9 seconds before I realized that the ambient PC whine was not just particularly loud today and that instead ‘silence’ had swelled over the banks into my perceptable foreground. Medical grade scientific instruments calmly tracing the smooth contours of rising and decaying waveforms, much of the movement originating underground or in the ionosphere. Extremely frigid ambience that throbs with a cold blue light. 5 tracks, one short moment and the rest hovering between the four minute and five minute notchs. One nice aspect of the ‘Silence’ approach is the apparent restraint used here. Track time is kept long enough to establish presence but not so run on as to get lost in the noise floor of distraction. Progression is via low speed vectors with no abrupt transitions, compacting the layers into a cohesive sound mass but with a low enough density to allow lateral movement through its structure. Overall, this release has the antiseptic pallor of a microwave tower. The lack of overt biology is less pure intent and more just an uncaring and emotionless side effect of the radiating inanimate technology. At times the rotations are macroscopically rhythmic, hypnotically soothing much like the scent of gasoline. At other moments more like the oscillations of a high wattage filament just before its white light burns into infra-red atomization and then afterglow into blackness. Together the result is like running high tension wires for thousands upon thousands of kilometers, the ozone hum making inner dialogue the universal language. One I am definitely pleased to now speak.
Alphonse de Montfroyd – Silence
While the title might be a touch misleading, it does nonetheless give an indication of the intricate subtleties that this mini release encompasses. Given this is the debut release for this Ukrainian artist, 5 short(ish) pieces are showcased, and while they have an allegiance with darker forms of ambient music, they also teeter at the edge of an experimental framework (partially akin to the direction that Hazard has taken since signing to A.S.H International). Pulsations, drones, textural sounds, faint rhythms etc are explored here in a minimalist vein, focusing on subtle shifts rather then grandiose movements. Melody is also a foreign concept here (as are organic sonorities), instead the atmospheres are quite clinical and digital which gives partial recognition to the laptop experimental scene (yet I have no idea by which means these pieces have been created). Essentially representing a taster for this artists material, it will be interesting to see how he progresses it with future releases. Oh, and this particular release is limited to only 50 copies.
Alla Zagaykevych – motus
Alla Zagaykevych is a composer from the Ukraine. Among other things she has attended the annual composition course at IRCAM. She is currently a lecturer at the National Music Academy of Ukraine. This CD consists of five pieces for chamber forces of varying magnitude; two purely acoustic, two electro-acoustic and one purely electronic piece.
Alla Zagaykevych – Motus
The Nexsound label may have released a whole bunch of different music on MP3, CDR and CD, but so far they didn’t touch the serious avant-garde. But with the release of ‘Motus’ by Alla Zagaykevych they do. She is from the Ukraine and studied at the conservatorium in Kiev, composition and orchestration and later on at the IRCAM in Paris. In 1998 she set up the Musical Electronic Studio. Her works is both for chamber ensembles, solo instruments aswell as electronica. This nicely packed CD contains five of her works, of which the title piece is a strict electronic composition in the best IRCAM composers tradition. On the other end of the spectrum is ‘Gravitation’ for two violin-cellos and ‘Sans L’Eloignement De La Terre’ violin, guitar and accordion and for both no electronics. The two other pieces combines instruments and electronic. The nicest piece there is ‘Pagode’ for block-flutes (which I thought were called ‘recorders’ in english) and live electronics. Here both elements blend together and acoustic instrument becomes one with the electric charges – or perhaps vice versa. The serious composing of the aforementioned ‘Sans L’Eloignement De La Terre’ and ‘Gravitation’ is probably done nicely, but the kind of music is never well-spend on me. I guess it just makes me nervous, but perhaps this works better in a concert auditorium. ‘Heromeya’ works stylistically in the same way, but the electronics take over and makes this into a highly complex but great piece. The title piece is a bit of an odd-ball in this collection with it’s serious connotations, but it works well. I guess a good introduction to Zagaykevych’s work and surely I’d be interested in hearing, especially the electronic work. (FdW)
Bluermutt-Decivilize after consumption
Some time ago Nexsound have added PQP to their sublabel routine which marked the leave from the harsh and extreme noise experimental side and the introduction of what might be called pop in the overall context of Nexsound. This release by Bluermutt marks a sort of slight return or rather connectivity to the dynamics and chaos of earlier times, but not in extremity or harshness of sound. Mostly probably just because Bluermutt is not song-structured, but track-structured. On the other hand, disturbing dynamics, weird collections and juxtapositions of sounds and structures and a shifting of expectations has been a basic framework for Bluermutt on older releases as well, and within the roster of nexsound the Italian one man multiple helpers project has been the softest but in no way tamest artist.