Chaika – Inspirations From Jacques Offenbach

Chaika is a one-man project from Russia, organized by Nikita Soldatenkov, who was greatly influences and impressed by the music of Offenbach and Stravinsky. This fact gives an exhaustive explanation to how he entitled his album, released on INQB8R netlabel: “Inspirations From Jacques Offenbach”, and I think, it is a worhty homage for this remarkable composer. The album consists of three tracks, the first of them – “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (The Tales Of Hoffmann), named so in the name of Offenbach’s opera, which is based on stories of E. T. A. Hoffmann – here the project Chaika intented to unbosom his own vision. It starts with murmuring noises, gradually passing into stable drone with some repeating reversed vocal phrases. The sounding is rich and dense, as if it is a rock mass, though it is rather movable; also it has a distinct structure with introduction, the proper body of the track and conclusion – everything, characteristic of classical music. “Le Mariage Aux Lanteres” (“The Wedding By Lantern-Light”) also refers to Offenbach’s creation, and here Mr. Soldatenkov shows his specific approach – through vibrant layers of drones, soft sweeps of noise, which after the middle of the track turn into slightly vocalized fluxion. “Le Papillon” (“The Butterfly”) begins with some mechanical sounds, or maybe hyperbolized representation of a butetrfly’s flapping, alternate with a dog’s barking; later it leaves space for a flying ambience, where that mechanic knocking turns into some kind of chaotic breath-like sounds against the background of peaceful and majestic drone. Well, in general, this album leaves a great impression, and I hope, that ambient lovers will enjoy these inspirations.

Official release page

Meczûp – Hanging from the Purgatory’s Pendulum

Now you’ll have a unique opportunity to listen to a Turkish musician Cihan Gülbudak, whose experimental project Meczûp and his album “Hanging from the Purgatory’s Pendulum” is based on the sounds, produced with the use of termenvox – a musical instrument, invented by Léon Theremin at the beginning of the XX century. The album starts with “A Tale For Lancinant Screws” – with its gentle and tragic mewing sounds, sinking in infinity; the author succeeded in creating a very mournful atmosphere, which sets the tone for the rest of the work. It should be noted, that an oriental kind of notes’ selection is obvious here and then  – it is an evident oriental music. “Kwaidan” continues the line, which began in the first track, developing the tensity and the depth of the author’s feelings. In the last half of this piece a supporting background appears, increasing the effect of estrangement. “Puriest Morning Of All Times” represents a movement from the night darkness into the first rays of the sun, which is supplemented by a crystal drone, closer to the end – as if it is vesiculated by some kind of flickering gas. “Blossom In Cemetery” depicts the coexistence of the dead and the alive – in spite of the same tragic mood, you can hear some shades of everlasting Being – nothing and nobody dies, the life is endless, though it may be not happy sometimes. “The Ribald Genie” is a case of using distortion effect for a termenvox – you can find this phenomenon between the 5th and the 7th minutes of the track – it truly shows, that musical creation has no borders. “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, is a less melody-orientated thing on the album, as the sounds are long-drawn and they are more alienated and of low-tone. So, enjoy the termenvox revelations by Meczûp.

Official release page

Meczûp on MySpace

Marta Kubišová – Modlitba Pro Martu (A Prayer For Marta)

For the first time on Agniworld a piece of music, which doesn’t officially belong to experimental music, is reviewed. It is a song by Marta Kubišová, a Czech singer, which flew to the open world in the hard 1968, at the time of the so-called Prague Spring, when the whole world froze in fear of the beginning of a new armed conflict, or even a new world war. This song became an anthem for this period and that generation of people. I won’t go deep into this, as the History will tell this story much better than me. In this article I will pay attention to some certain music and sonic features, which made such a strong and heartfelt song. At first, the voice of Marta – it is perfect and it is unquestionable. Here – I want to accentuate the organ sound, which appears to be the decisive element of the composition – I think, that many musicians can envy this rich and profound sounding. As you can notice, the song consists of three parts, all of them have different moods – in the first part the organ is turned into the “church” mode, then comes some kind of a “jazz” mode, and, at last comes the “psychedelic” mode with cloudy vibrato and wider projection. These parts are different, but their difference doesn’t inerfere with the entire unity – they represent a very successful case of compositional harmony and the harmony of moods – though they [moods] are interflowing into one – as for me, I’ve got very complicated and versatile feelings, when listening to “Modlitba Pro Martu”, but I can confirm, that these feelings are not simply full of light – they ARE light! I’m not surprised, that this masterpiece managed to inflame many thousands of hearts during such indefinite, stirring and hard events, which happened in 1968. Those years and those events are behind, but I believe, that this Prayer is able to become a sonic Prometheus nowadays, it is able to inspire to find inner peace and to seek for the outer peace. Three minutes of this song contain a big dramatic situatuon in the past and the faith in the Better Future. So, let’s join Marta’s Prayer.

Listen to “Modlitba Pro Martu” and watch some slides on Youtube

Marta Kubišová’s unofficial site

Marta Kubišová’s official site

Akinesia – Each Flower Is Love

Now let’s proceed to one of Akinesia’s albums, which has a very poetic and philosophical title – “Each Flower Is Love”, released on DNA Production netlabel. The album is represented by one track, with total duration of almost 23 minutes – it may seem a little bit short, but it is rather enough to realize the beauty of this ambient creation! Swelling like the light of the rising sun, the first sounds are an indistinct drone, but some seconds later you are sure to recognize the succession of liquid loops, which then are supported by a covering fire of a linear atmosperic sound layer. Somewhere between the 8th and the 9th minute you’ll hear the transition to the music of another characteristicts: now the ambience has diminished its frequency – it is like breath, and this ergonomic rhythm brings you into a condition of comfortable suspension. From time to time you can discern some accompanying sounds of strings, which carefully lead the whole somposition to the outcome, when the initial liquid loops are rolling again.  This single track seemed to me analogous to the flight of the airplane – with its takeoff, the very flight, and the landing. By the way, at the “landing” of the composition you hear a vague female voice, telling us something about the sense of the whole idea of the album – I can’t recognize the words exactly, but first the voice uses the English language, and then comes to maybe Latin American languages, and maybe French. Then, the track abruptly finishes, leaving a small tail of residual echoes or reverberation. The whole work is quite in accordance with its title – it is a real sound flower, which, in its turn, is love. Truly, if we use the metaphysical approach to the title, we can agree, that in some way the growth of flowers is closely connected with such a high notion, as love; flower, and any other plant – is the earth’s attraction to the sky – it is the realization of their deep feeling, combined with their beauty and openness. So, make some observations of love in the nature with Akinesia’s album.

“Each Flower Is Love” on DNA Productions netlabel

Akinesia on MySpace

Tile Shore – Tile Shore

Starting with flanging sounds, as if some kind of transport is sweeping past you, the album by Tile Shore, with the same title, opens the slightly interrupted thick layer of ambience – the track, called “Orpheus”, saturated by succulent noises of different shades. The commencement is then replaced by “Exosphere”, the bright mass, full of whale-like howling and other sounds of unknown origin and belonging. Undoubtedly, this track reveals space of colossal volume, corresponding to the title of the track, “Exosphere” is the uppermost layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, which becomes to be the first to meet far away radiation and guests from unknown corners of the Universe – it is the first stage of the border between our planet and the outer space, and the track perfectly depicts this absorbing and soaring feeling, the discrepant feelings of maximum rarefaction, weightlessness and proximity to the planet. “Tile Blog” is represented by the complete system of sounds – from irregular and movable – to almost static or slowly gliding. I would say, that it is a sonic cocktail, constituted by wind rushes, hovering massive clouds, flickering patches of sunlight and inconceivable flows of flower fragrances. “Shades Of Drafts” as if continuing the previous mood, supplements and develops it – into a certain state of celestial cerenity, with its imposingly approaching and flying away rags of gentle sounds and sudden, but not irritating ringings. “Swamp Smoke” reminded me of the ambience, which could exist during the ancient times, when extincted animals were living – like dinosaurs, gigantic dragonflies and so on – because of the chirring and fullness with strange voices, which initially (in the process of recording) could be the human voices, but later the authors changed them out of all recognition, so that they become like voices of huge reptiles. Though, of course, I can be wrong with this association. The completion of the album, “Outflow” is a pleasant smooth ambience, which is interlaced with some field recordings of something metal, light-heartedly tinkling in the beginning of the track, giving a way to the main vibrations. Tile Shore is a Russian ambient project, consisting of two members – Anton Berkov and Serg Alexeev, who felicitously combined the music with a nice set of photographs to each of the track. The cover literally reflects the title of the album – it is the sea shore, divided into tiles, which are black-and-white in the peripheryand almost the whole picture, and coloured in the center. So, find time to enjoy this magic place, “Tile Shore”.

Tile Shore On Liminal RECS netlabel

Occurrences In Rain – Climbing Ladders Into Falling Objects

It is great, that nowadays creating music became available to lots of people, who truly are capable and like to write it. More means of creating, recording and extracting of sounds are opened for us. And I’m glad, that the project Occurrences In Rain used this oportunity. Now, we shall proceed to its fresh album, called “Climbing Ladders Into Falling Objects” – a very abstract title, which makes us imagine some kind of a Sisyphus, who tries to climb higher, but as the top of the ladder is tending down, he stays on the same place. The title track, which occurs to be the first one, is represented by widespread mild drone, presumably of string character, with slight changes in its run, but in spite of this minimalism, the track exposes rather picturesque mindscapes, giving a start to a meditative listening, conjugated with deep thoughts. The next track, “Suppressed Panic Upon Approaching The Kuiper Belt”, suggests, that here the author narrates about a long travel in space. As in the case with the albums of the project Kalte, here I also had to consult the Internet regarding the Kuiper Belt, which appeared to be a large asteroid belt beyond the Neptune orbit, so I clearly understood, why the “suppressed panic” should come while approaching this region of cosmos, because asteroid clusters are no good when flying on a space ship. The whole track is of low-toned drone, having some oscillations and damped slow pulsation; at the end of it you can hear a distant melody, with blurred structure and irregular composition – but it is evident, that it symbolizes relief – maybe the passing through the Kuiper Belt finished without any loss. The next track, with the title “As Velocity Increased Time Slowed Then Passed In Reverse”, with its swelling rush of a bass drone, tells us another part of this voyage, when the wanderers came across some phenomena, emerging at a speed of light, and some new phenomena, up to now unknown to the modern science. This album is like a science-fiction story or even a novel with a plot, which, however, assumes freedom for a listener’s imagination. Thus, I won’t decipher the rest of it, because everyone must get his own story. Anyway, this is a very nice and educative album for an ambient lover – so, enjoy it!

Enjoy this release on Bandcamp!

Sinexoid – Mute

Sinexoid – is a project of Alexey Rodin (also known as Adaptcore, Hydrocore Wise, Human Terminal), a musician from Moscow Region, Russia, whose albums emerged on such labels, as Dark Winter, Benekkea, Rec72 and NoiseKoncept. His newest work, called “Mute”, which will be reviewed here, Alexey released by himself, and, as it can be understood from the listening, he really knows what to release, what to present to the listeners.  Starting with soft piano attack of “Awakening” with its pure and weightless substance, “Mute” opens its doors, but the first thing you can see after awakening is “Melancholy”. I must admit, it is not a black melancholy – it is a rainbow feeling, full of airy sounds. Maybe it is also a preparatory track for a listener, because in a melancholical state you can perceive more sides of Existance, than you can, being in euphoria – because you are opened for impressions and thoughts of opposite orders. Then comes “Time Of Dissolution” with its a little bit brittle rhythm, though good preserved by tranquil melody and mild riffs. Listening to “Avoiding Me”, I saw some influences of maybe Ulrich Schnauss, in “We Have No Choice” – influences of Boards Of Canada, and on some other tracks. We often are afraid of this notion – “influence”, but in some cases, to which Sinexoid belongs, we must be proud of such influences – just because they are good and beneficial. Of course, I can be wrong in defining those influences, but I can’t do anything with my subjective approach. Now, let’s make a jump over some tracks and come to “People Are Fragile”  with its considered architecture and atmosphere. For me this track seemed a sum of the means and ways, used in the entire album – it is evident, that the author put the larger part of his creative mood into this piece. It isn’t very powerful as some previous tracks, but its power is hidden inside and in its title, I agree, that people are fragile. But it is wonderful, that some of such fragile people can make such great music.

Sinexiod’s official site

Download and enjoy “Mute”