Digital, Occasion, 2011
“Live for Food and Culture” is a seamless blend of seven previously unreleased tracks recorded live on 17 April, 2011, at Bufet, a small café located in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Now digitally available, this latest effort from musician and sound designer Stanislav Vdovin – known for his work as Unit 21 and association with the respectable output of the Lagunamuch Community – brings together delicate ambient and soft drones in a meticulous balance, full of texture and free of tension.
Vdovin’s habit of micro-sampling old Soviet vinyl recordings has here been elaborated upon with acoustic instrumentation and synthesizers, to superb effect. In the absence of rhythm, he constructs long tones and drones, lighter than air, which float effortlessly and are, at the same moment, embedded with small clicks and blips, minute vibrations that anchor the gauzy fluctuations. “Mandarins” begins the release in this manner, its drone seemingly crafted out of tremulous light, accompanied by a barely-there high pitch of pure energy. “Cold Part of the World” carries over the selfsame drone, but brings it into deeper (i.e. ‘colder’) territory, while the following “Cells” adds mellifluous notes in slow succession, moving from expansive drones to more airy ambience.
In this way “Live for Food and Culture” progresses, its space-gazing predilections tickling the senses with quivering sound and rich, gleaming atmospheres. The release is a celebration of imperfection, its sequences of slight differences indicative of those minute anomalies in larger patterns which are, in many cases, hardly noticeable, yet form an essential component of the universal structure. The virtually subconscious transitions ensure that it is listened to from beginning to end, a fluid reflection of sleepless natural processes.
Vdovin crafts drones that are diaphanous rather than weighty, ones that uplift rather than submerge, and laces them with instrumentation for purposes of articulation rather than density. Piano notes dropping singly in “Freight / The Sky Moves Faster” transition to gorgeous chord progressions in “I Gather Sounds”, while faint, playful brass notes are heard in the background of “Things Change”. At once attractive, minimal and melodic, “Live for Food and Culture” foreshadows more good things to come from this extraordinary artist.
— Dutton Hauhart