CD, Impulsive Art, 2008
With quite a few IDM-influenced downtempo releases coming out on a regular basis, it is quite easy for one to become jaded about this subset of electronic music. From time to time, however, something comes along that stands out from the crowd, actually sounding fresh and genuine. Born out of the talented and creative mind of Moscow-based artist Ivan Proskurin, “Symbiosis of Contradictions” belongs to that category. It may also be worth noting that, while having a distinctive identity of its own, Prokurin’s work shares some ground with that of other Slavic electronic artists, which may merit some research if one finds this album enjoyable.
From the beginning, ‘introspective’ is the defining word for the moods conveyed in this album. Proskurin presents the listener with a series of highly involving pieces, in which he consistently achieves a very delicate and elegant balance between gently evolving ambiences and rhythmic structures, with the occasional organic and very human touch of acoustic guitar melodies. “Symbiosis of Contradictions” seamlessly combines the best of both worlds, in more ways than one justifying its title, and flawlessly progresses in a very subtle and fluid crescendo from the opening “Correction” to “Meteoric Rain”, before closing with the aptly titled “Calm After the Storm” (not counting the remixes here). Finding highlight pieces proved to be something of a fruitless task. Each additional listen, rather than confirming any previous impressions, merely tore them apart while revealing heretofore unnoticed aspects of other pieces. Technically superb and rather enjoyable as a whole, “Symbiosis of Contradictions” will certainly age quite like a fine wine, which, with time, develops new and unexpected flavours.
A separate note should be made for the presented remixes. Mobthrow’s dubstep remix of “U-boat Performance”, in stark contrast not only with the original piece but also with the rest of the album, actually proves to be an interesting complement, while Abstractive Noise’s remix of “Correction”, slowly deconstructing its beginnings, effectively brings the album full circle.
Without a doubt, “Symbiosis of Contradictions” is a superb release and, if one is to judge from it, Ivan Prokurin is an artist definitely worth looking out for in the future (whether as IP Neva or by any other alias). Also, as a first release for the young Greek label Impulsive Art, this album raises the bar pretty high for upcoming releases.
— Miguel de Sousa