CD, Mechanoise Labs, 2006
“The Perpetuum Mobile Space Vehicle” is the latest eclectic release from Mechanoise Labs, a peculiar collaboration of long-standing St. Petersburg industrial/noise project Bardoseneticcube (Igor Potsukailo and Sergey Matveev) with local saxophonist Igor V. Petrov. Bardoseneticcube is often defined by musical surrealism. Thus it is unsurprising that “Songong,” the opening track, rapidly devolves from a brisk piano cadence into a menagerie of environmental noise, including such elements as splashing water, the muffled sounds of children playing, an electronic beep like a life support machine, and what might be a dental drill. It is exactly this highly textured palette of discordant found sounds, combined with a ghostly saxophone (at times almost obscured by the opacity of dissonance), that best exemplifies “The Perpetuum Mobile Space Vehicle.”
There exists a well-conceived opposition between harsh and mellow in Bardoseneticcube’s work. Interjections of recognizable instruments, such as piano and saxophone, contrast with machined drones, electronic distortion and various vocal recordings. At about forty-two minutes, “The Perpetuum Mobile Space Vehicle” has a relatively short duration, but in that time the album effectively creates a dark, intangible film noir atmosphere. The experimental jazz undercurrent of Petrov’s spectral saxophone certainly develops a significant portion of this classic, claustrophobic genre essence. For instance, the mournful blues articulated by him in “Patriot” play counterpoint to what seems like television or radio background chatter from the neighboring apartment, buried within layers of noise.
Similarly, “Shkapina St.” is full of the bustle and hum of urban sounds – it is restless with clicking percussion, laughing and singing voices, flowing water, calling birds, plush bass and twitchy electronics. Comparing the blasting fanfares of buzzing static and chiming bells in “Brownend” with the aggressive drones and palpable tension of “One,” Bardoseneticcube can be declared both surreal and unsettling. Finally, the metronomic plodding of the closing “Logosax” instills apprehension, even as melancholic saxophone notes drift through like calming ether. “The Perpetuum Mobile Space Vehicle” (which, incidentally, has nicely rendered and imaginative cover art) thrives on abstract sonic collage and sketches cinematic contrasts of deep shadows and raking light.
— Dutton Hauhart