CD, Zhelezobeton, 2008
Cyclotimia is the brainchild of Max K. and Leonid M. from Moscow. The prolific duo has been releasing material for about ten years and is billed as one of ‘the best recognized, well-known Russian projects in the electronic scene today’. Their catalog is nothing to scoff at with nearly a dozen releases to their credit on almost as many labels.
While their newest release, “Music for Stockmarkets”, has 32 tracks, it is by no means, a long player, clocking in at just 64 minutes in length. As a general rule, this reviewer is apt to write off albums with an excessive number of tracks as patronizing and slightly pretentious. That being said, it is, after all, a concept album in three parts and quite deserving of fair audience. The artists seem rather obsessed with financial affairs and indicate in promotional materials that the record is intended to be, ‘regarded as liturgical background for the sacred business procedures’. All of this sounds rather serious and unsexy. But then, the realization dawns on this reviewer that the ebb and flow of the stock market has a sort of rhythm and pattern of its own that could potentially be tied down to score; programmatic language is present in both music and mathematics.
So what then, of the music? The artists admit that the album is a major departure from previous releases, that it is ‘not familiar’. If you want a tag, I’m going with experimental ambient. It is a challenging soundscape which succeeds in creating a certain mood. In other words, it’s the music I’d toss on the player for my epic rocket trip to outer space. While this may not be the most sustainable record in my collection, it does have some excellent moments of chill, dark electronica featuring the unique sounds of vintage Soviet equipment and field recordings. It’s like the reserved, avant-garde cousin of Oil 10. The guy that sits in the corner somewhere on the edge of serenity and anxiety while everyone else is out back having a beer. Quirky time signatures, unique sampling, and lots of blips and bleeps make it seem more like a science experiment than a record, but don’t let its difficulty keep you away for there is a certain tense beauty which can be unearthed if you listen carefully. Pick up this limited edition release if you can appreciate an ontological experience beyond the traditional definition of music.
— Shannon M.