CD, Auris Media / Topheth Prophet, 2006
Tel Aviv’s prolific Igor Krutogolov not only releases in his own right but also as Kruzenshtern & Parohod and the toy orchestra Igor Krutogolov’s Karate Band. He has also collaborated with the likes of Chaos as Shelter, Aagnivolok, Bastard Noise, Tidal, Darkwood and others. Aside from this, he is also the house designer for Topheth Prophet who co-release “White” with Auris Media.
One of the immediate striking features of this release is the white theme; the sleeve is completely white with barely visible print of a tree and a horse on the front. The tree becomes a recurring image throughout the artwork, printed several times on the sleeve and on the accompanying booklet. The booklet itself contains just blank white pages, perhaps an invitation to draw your own conclusions from the music contained on the album. It could be that the tree has some symbolism too; maybe age, wisdom or consistency? No explanation is offered, leaving you to make up your mind and theorise about what the album means or inviting you to give it your own meaning.
The single musical piece split into seven untitled tracks are composed, produced, mixed and almost entirely played by Krutogolov himself with a little help from Ido Azaria on bells and Yariv Talmor on “rain”. Amongst the many instruments the multi-talented Krutogolov plays are the bass with bow, various string instruments, keyboards, flute and assorted other objects. He also utilises bird, found sound samples and his own voice into his music.
Musically, Krutogolov’s work is warm, gentle and radiant but also possesses a slightly melancholic reflective side. His use of traditional instruments gives his music it a warm, human side while the electronics provide slow undulating tones and atmosphere. Sampled voices such as a woman’s singing, children playing and prayer chants along with the sound of birds give his music a further sense of presence and environment. A recurring theme throughout the album is rain, and heavy stormy rain at that. Indeed, the entire duration of the final track – over thirty minutes – is dominated by the sound of rain and the water running off roofs. All of these factors combined create a picture of Krutogolov’s surroundings and everything around him, almost giving an insight into his state of mind and mood whilst recording the album. Even the final track with just the sound of rain occasionally punctuated by short silences or brief spells of instrumental accompaniment has a sense of belonging and ability to portray images through its simplistic form. From the constant droning churching organ backdrop to the occasional Eastern prayer chants through to the ever present rainfall and creative use of detail such as bell chimes and duck call, Krutogolov seems to have a vision of the imagery and mood he wants to create from the very start. At times melodic, at others reflective, but always warm and enveloping, “White” invites you to sit down, listen and experience.
— Paul Lloyd