CD-R, Dars Records, 2007
Singing is not an easy thing to do. Some special combination of natural talent and dedicated practice is required to do it well. On this album, Elena Zubacheva and Tanya Marushkina alternate tracks, singing operatic classics with beautiful and accomplished voices. Composing and recording electronic music could arguably be an easier feat to accomplish, although it presents many different problems to be performed to a high standard. The main man behind this project, Dmitriy Zubachev (husband of Elena?), has produced eight tracks of quality electronica, ranging from subtle dark ambient moods to more intense pieces bordering on industrial.
So where is the problem? The problem here is that it sounds like we have two separate albums playing simultaneously. The vocals are often quite crudely shoe-horned on top of the music, generally out of time with the rhythms and occasionally also in a different key. This is very frustrating and it is hard to understand why this could be allowed to happen, and it really is a shame.
The ambitious concept does not always fail, fortunately; on track three, “The Autumn,” there is a definite moment of success where a stirring rhythmic section comes to an abrupt halt, and out of the brooding background sounds a rendition of a J.S. Bach aria emerges hauntingly, guiding the track well until the music picks up and the annoying clashing is felt once more. “The First Lilly Of The Valley” has wonderfully ominous tribal drums building up below sinister glassy and metallic noises, and again pauses to let the vocals commence, but this time the Chrisanidi melody just doesn’t seem quite dark enough to match the original composition. On “Barcarolle,” by Offenbach, the girls perform an excellent duet, and this one treads the line between complimenting and contradicting the incredibly dark musical backing, the harshness threatening to engulf the delicate singing.
So overall this is well worth a listen, and perhaps I have been too strict and others will find this album works perfectly. I would like to think that T.D Blacksun will make the expected effort for their next piece and resolve the discrepancies between vocals and music to produce something which should then be of a really high quality. One to keep an eye on, then.
— Nathan Clemence