Remastered 2015 deluxe book edition re-release of the seminal 1985 LP by this project from Grenoble, France. Forget "industrial" and whatever exhausted imagery it summons, this is pure machine music, an orchestra of raw factory sounds conducted by a futurist maestro.
Surprisingly less rhythmic than the opening track would lead you to believe, Wasteland Raga is marked by a strong sense of nostalgic sadness with its bright melodic tones, cloudy drones and exhausted pulse. Dirges for English industrial decline.
Introspective and well executed cosmic drift / cinematic dark ambient from Olegh Kolyada, head of the Old Captain label, known for its high quality re-issues of out of print post-industrial releases. File somewhere between Loki Foundation primordialism and glossy Cryo Chamber productions.
Rerelease of the 1926 film "Kurutta Ippeiji" directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, with a new soundtrack performed by Vetrophonia in 2012
"Kurutta Ippeiji (A Page of Madness)" is a silent film created by the Japanese director Teinosuke Kinugasa in 1926. The screenplay was written together with Yasunari Kawabata, a celebrated representative of the avant-garde literary movement of Neo-Perceptionists known as "Shinkankanu", who would later win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. Considering the overall traditional orientation of the Japanese cinema of that time, the film greatly surpassed all concepts about experimental art and made a big sensation among critics although remained almost unnoticed by the masses.
The story unfolds in a mental asylum where a woman is kept after her attempt to drown her own daughter. Her husband, a former sailor, takes a job there as a janitor in hopes of eventually rescuing his wife from captivity but soon he himself starts loosing his mind… The film includes striking scenes of the emotions of characters, also those of asylum patients whose insane visions are shown using unconventional analogue special effects, which still produce quite a psychoactive impact even on the modern viewer.
The short film screening in 1926 was accompanied by live musicians playing and comments from "benshi" - professional narrators who have put semantic accents in the story, but there is no information about the original music score. At different times several soundtracks for the movie were composed, all in different styles - from classical taiko drums and jazz interpretations to indie rock and experimental electronics.
Backed by the successful experience of recording soundtracks for silent cinema (let us recall "The Space Voyage" from 1936 directed by N. Zhuravlev), St. Petersburg's duo Vetrophonia continues to contribute to the legacy of avant-garde cinematography in its trademark retro-futuristic style. With the use of electronics, archival samples, classical strings, brass and self-built metallic instruments Nikolay Sudnik and Alexander Lebedev-Frontov managed to create a sound canvas ideally fitting every scene of the film. The soundtrack is made both with meticulous approach and light humour, it follows all changes of moods and guarantees a truly unique watching experience enhancing both visual and emotional sides of this masterpiece of the Japanese silent cinema.
Reutoff is a strange beast. Despite being one of the most well-known names of the Russian post-industrial scene with almost 20 years of releases on labels such as Ewers Tonkust, Hau Ruck!, Drone Records and Cyclic Law, they seem more interested in creating uneasy and drowsy moods than methodically sticking to the sort of implicit codes of the genres they operate in.
"No One's Lullabies" is their 9th full-length album, and its title perfectly captures the seasick and sleep drunk atmosphere here: drowsy drones are interrupted by industrial strength rhythms, slurred waltzes and confusing robotic textures. None of it is accidental, every single sound is there for a purpose. Expect anything and nothing, from funeral music box melodies and futuristic doom jazz to android slum dirges. This is the sort of exercise that would be fastidious and completely pointless in less capable hands, but is a blessing from these veterans of bizarre sounds.
This veteran Russian duo with releases on Hau Ruck!, Der Angriff and Kultfront returns with an unexpected and initially disorienting work.
"Thresholds" incorporates dynamic rhythmic constructions into their icy ambient and mechanized drones, giving us a hybrid blend of industrial techno that wouldn't sound out of place on a Kangding Ray record or a CLR mix and of the sort of dramatic electro-industrial ("Pain") you'd hear on Chu Ishikawa's less percussive tracks if they were re-interpreted by Reutoff. What could have easily been a tedious entryist mess ends up being a successful step in a different direction, past a new set of thresholds.
14 years ago, when I was still a student running a Paris bedroom label in the prime years of the now forgotten CD-R label boom, I received a package from Russia that contained a split release from two St. Petersburg projects cryptically named Kryptogen Rundfunk and Rupor Udara. It was the sort of earnest and vigorous industrial noise that I still love to this day, dynamic and with a sense of emotion and atmosphere.
Later on and after continuous contact with M.M. of Kryptogen Rundfunk, I released his first solo full-length album titled "22.SZ", a process during which the pressing plant kindly informed me that each CD copy was placed by hand inside a plastic sleeve by a detainee at a women's prison.
M.M. has been far from inactive since then, and the years have been marked by many memorable collaborations, side projects and compilation releases which I've carried in my mail order. His own Zhelezobeton label and later its drone/ambient sister label Muzyka Voln became prominent fixtures by not only releasing essential material from Russian noise, drone and post-industrial projects, but also by distributing thousands of other CDs, CD-Rs and tapes both from and to this scene's listeners and actors.
Consistent with his work, this second album uses analogue synthesizers, signal processing and captured radio noises to create a glowing stream of sound that radiates with varying intensity, but always carried with a generous amount of calming low-end. Gentle, soothing pulses at one point and white-hot incandescent electric noise at others, this torrent of static, ground hum and fried frequencies is expertly controlled to create a hypnotic state of bliss. Shock Music for Shock Workers.
Label info: Hattifnatter is a collaboration project by Evgeniy Savenko (Lunar Abyss, etc.) and M.M. (Kryptogen Rundfunk) formed in 2007 for free-form exploration of psychoactive electro-acoustic ambience and only now matured enough for this first full-length studio album. The material has been recorded in 2007-2013, infused and distilled, redefined and again sent to distillation and transformation to finally form into six compositions full of weird oneiric images.
Through the clouds of omnifarious rustles, hisses and crackles one can see the landscape built by analogue pulsations and multiplied echoed acoustic percussion clatter. Swarming in the bush of field recordings and random sound combinations are the little voices of the unknown creatures. The air of atonal guitar drones is soaked in melodic tunes, feedback and colorful multi-layered effects... Just like the doctor prescribed... Soulful mastering by Kshatriy.
Hypnagogic ambient from this project by Sergey Suhovik, also behind the memorable sounds of Sister Loolomie and head of the Still*Sleep label. Two 20-min long collages of carefully layered radio noises, field recordings, emotional guitar tones and gentle rustling drones that are perfect to lose yourself in. Nihil perditi.
Label info: "Eis" is the third CD in the “Znaki” series tracing the “parallel life” of Zhelezobeton and kultFRONT label residents. This collection of Anthesteria works includes compositions created in 2003-2010. Some of them were released on various compilations, others were published by the author in his web diary and some of the tracks are released for the first time. All compositions are woven into a single semantic stream showing the cardiogram of the author’s experiences. These are contours of images surrounding the musician during seven years of activity. Since 2010 the project has been de facto “frozen” except for work on the track "Alone" for which Sergey Vasilyev (“Insane Pierrot Cabaret” / “Electrocabaret”) read the poem by Edgar Allan Poe in 2016.
Anthesteria is the music of St. Petersburg – the dusky city standing on water and wind where most of the year one has to know how to keep warm. The theme of Winter is heard in every composition of the album in one way or another. Winter is either already here or inevitably comes in the future. Whether it is the opening autumnal track "Eidolon II" or the track "Exodus" dedicated to the Chernobyl disaster. This part of Europe knows what “nuclear winter” is… However Winter here is not only a sign of desolation and death. Rays of the frozen sun in "First Winter Day" find a direct way to the eyes of the listener who is enjoying the laughter of happy people in "We Are So Inspired That We Glow" and feeling the fresh breeze from the Gulf of Finland…
Second collaboration album between Bardoseneticcube from Russia and Shinkiro from Japan, following up the Four Noble Truths CD released as Bashin on Athanor back in 2011. Still inspired by the basic teachings of Buddhism, this is a contemplative affair that dwells on the subject of inner and outer space, perfectly suited for its sedated metallic drones, morphed voices and strangely liquid and shifting textures. Initially thick but never muddy, the sound takes on a more rarefied and cosmic tone later on in the album, with "Afterglow" being an amazing piece of crystalline beauty surrounded by sheer astral darkness.
In the Strugatsky brothers' Roadside Picnic, the extraterrestrial visitation occurs in six different locations across the Earth, resulting in the abnormal areas known as the Zones.
For obvious logistical reasons, the 1979 adaptation by Andrei Tarkovsky sets Stalker in some unspecified location in the Soviet Union, and filming was done 25 km from Tallinn in Estonia, giving the film its signature timeless setting.
Picture one of the other Zones, one somewhere in East Asia, possibly in some depopulated city in Thailand gradually being overrun by nature and strange phenomena. This album would be its soundtrack. Glowing, luxurious and profoundly organic ambient that meshes together the best aspects of the new Russian drone scene with elements of Voice of Eye and Ure Thrall. Highly recommended.