CD, Muzyka Voln (a sub-label of Zhelezobeton), 2008
The Russian label Zhelezobeton decided it was time to create a new sub-label. It is unknown what the speciality for this label will be, but its first release is an ambient/drone sampler presenting 12 Russian composers doing their thing. And what mighty fine things they are…
The CD actually doesn’t have a single dull moment during listing, and for a sampler covering different styles that is a very positive feature. The various styles are ranging from oldschool ambient to isolationist soundscapes to minimal drones and manipulated fieldrecordings. Not the cheeriest of styles, but it all fits within my personal taste.
Several of the names sound or are familiar to me, and little research shows that five projects already have had a release on Drone Records (Bardoseneticcube, Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, Cisfinitum, Hum and Closing The Eternity). This knowledge will already give you an indication in where to place the contents and direction of this release. From the other names only Instant Movie Combinations is known to me for the recently reviewed “Shipyard”.
Quickly going through the tracks: Kshatriy opens the CD with a nice flowing drone with loads of overnotes. Exit In Grey shows a way more ambient approach; at moments it sounds like a huge kitty-cat snoring in the front of the audio perspective. Closing The Eternity gives you manipulated field-recordings over massive bassy structures. As with extreme sounds, and a positive point I might add, sometimes they hurt, a hum created a track with weird sounds which could have been used in an old science fiction movie – it sounds like being on board the S.S. Discovery while searching for the origin of the monoliths. “Necropolis” is the track which made me feel the most uneasy, with minimal atonal reference in an isolationist atmosphere.
Next on the CD is Cisfinitum, a well known name already and definitely a name to remember. His track is a heavy loop based drone with added field-recordings, slightly incremental towards the end. Anthesteria Feat. Kaj? is the project you might find ‘unfitting’ in this collection, as it exists from mostly guitars and it almost sounds folk-like in some way. Lunar Abyss Deus Organum opens with a mouthharp, maybe the most non-droney sound one can possibly think of and the track itself becomes a collection of sounds, reminding me of some things of Ghédalia Tazartès, albeit it way less cut-up though. Instant Movie Combinations’ track “Boiler Pipe” is a nice and minimal analog sounding drone. Compared to the beforementioned CD it has a clean approach to the sounds and should be labelled minimal experimentalism.
Almost at the end of the CD we find Bardoseneticcube with bassy layers, nice and full sounding and very well produced. Bardoseneticcube delivers the longest track on this sampler. What to say about “Polaris”? Probably the one track you have to decide for yourself. For me the most ungraspable track in here… And the CD ends with Remoteband who created a nice and easy finishing of a great sampler. Maybe Remoreband doesn’t deliver the best track on here but it is a valuable addition to the ‘whole’ for creating an overview of Russia’s best sound-sculptures of the moment.
— Bauke van der Wal