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Kotra & Zavoloka – Wag The Swing

Kotra & Zavoloka - Wag The Swing

CD, Kvitnu, 2007

“Wag the Swing” represents approximately one hour of audio insanity. If a Ukrainian Folk festival were to be hijacked by Cevin Key, and all the participants force-fed amphetamines, the resulting sonic chaos would be a fair approximation of the chaotic noises generated by Kotra and Zavoloka on this release.
Once the initial shock wears off, I’m left in awe at the skill exhibited by these two. As a studio-bound producer, I have masses of respect for anybody willing and able to throw themselves on the mercy of a crowd and generate fresh, creative sounds from scratch – no midi, no sampling, just their eclectic list of “instrumentation”, including bass, empty vinyl player, blank CD matrixes, voice and other machines. Quite cryptic, don’t you think? This bizarre ensemble notwithstanding, the pair manage to jam together some of the most unique arrangements I’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of listening to. The most impressive thing for me was the apparent ease with which they juxtapose completely incongruous ranges of sounds – like the melodic bass stylings of the opening track, “Out of Nowhere” compared to the post-industrial lunacy of “Analogue Tender” or “Hidden Fields”.
The other aspect of this album that really strikes a chord with me is its tongue-in-cheek attitude (like the eleven-second track, “Long Story Short”): Kotra and Zavoloka are more than creating music, they are actually playing it, and enjoying every minute. Also, the presentation of the album – both in its superb, clear mastering and its playful, unique packaging – is a great reflection of the energy and drive they bring to experimental music. This recording is definitely worth investigating further, especially for fans of glitch and IDM, or just connoisseurs of everything avant-garde.


— David vander Merwe

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