CD, Kvitnu, 2007
With “Viter,” Ukrainian experimental electronic artist and designer Zavoloka begins a series of four concept releases dedicated to the traditional four elements of nature. Dedicated to the element of air (the title means “wind” in Ukrainian), “Viter” is the first installment of this tetralogy.
Though short in duration (20 minutes), “Viter” is nevertheless a true breath of fresh air. In a musical field that may well be on its way to becoming full of insipid and soulless robotic artsy compositions, it is an auspicious sign to find talented artists that can skillfully combine electronic and analog instrumentation as well as seamlessly merge modern and traditional music elements. At all this, Zavoloka and her collaborators – Olga Potramanska on violin, Anton Zhukov on contrabass and vocalist Dania Chekun – excel in a release in where crisp and delicate IDM/glitch compositions compliment diaphanous string arrangements to create what is a thoroughly uplifting and soulful body of work. This is further enhanced by the addition of traditional Ukrainian singing (for example, “III. Inhale”).
Last but not least, though actually the first attention-grabbing detail, is the design work – and expense – that went into making the packaging of this release, seemingly allusive to the sky at dusk. While packaging is obviously not replacement for the contents of a release, it can well be a very welcome compliment, and that is indeed the case with “Viter.” Despite this, on occasion, I also find it vaguely reminiscent of medical propaganda packages.
While “Viter” can easily stand on its own as a creative and talented piece of work with excellent production and design work, it is as part of a collective body of work (still under development) that it must be appreciated. If “Viter” serves as indicator, Zavoloka’s ‘four elements’ series is definitely something to look forward to.
— Miguel de Sousa