Resonance Moscow News 12/18
TBR: 28th December
The Resonance Moscow radio show on Megapolis 89.5 FM has been instrumental in the flourishing of the Russian and former Soviet nation electronic music scene. Piping cutting edge and modern dance-floor filling mixes and rhythms to the masses has reflected the very best of what this cultural block has to offer. Since things have been so good recently, Resonance Moscow's own Nikita Zabelin has decided to expand into producing records. Fortifying the scene's up and coming talents and sounds in packaged instalments will definitely help to cement the work of these prolific artists into the halls of fame.
Beginning with Guys Call Me Dude and a track called Relaxing, smooth vocal lines and chiming synth sprinkles a sunny energy into the room. Sun-lit corridors of sound span out, melody begins to create a distinct flavour. Soon, a crackling electronic static begins to build in behind and it muddies up the water. The track breaks down at this point and unleashes the second number. Kvarta's Afraid and Run begins with a tense rhythm and pounding bass tone. A distorted percussion thrashes out a tinny melody while kick drum and rim-taps craft a snaking journey. The element of rhythm is really strong, there is a grabbing sense of movement in the delivery, squelchy bass and sonic rumbles add an extra dose of sonic depth.
Thorj with IDGAF is up next. An eerie and frantic synthesiser rhythm spans out in a pulsing bass and wandering melodies in the treble section. Once we grow accustomed to the levels of strange, a bass drum begins a quick timed pulse through the middle. It stitches everything together tightly, leaving little space for inserts, the melodies and drums crinkle up into a homogeneous mass of moving sound that would be extremely difficult to not dance to at high volumes. It grows in intensity and then draws back, settling on a crazy piano that tinkles in and out of time, throwing jazzy elements in for fun. A new even quicker rhythm is injected and everything falls back into a dancing number once more.
A moody and industrial hum with clicking beats grows from the frantic echo left behind by Thorj. With Junction by Molodoy Chelovek, a gloomy and dark audial space is created, the walls quaver and shimmer in adjustments of resolution. Mechanical grumbles creep in the shadows while the sound of moving metal greets electronic engineering. Deep and throaty under-currents of tone give an appearance of long and reaching shadows that stretch from low lights embedded in distant corridors. It fades into static drones which crackle and distort, making way for the next track. Uasmi Nasser brings The One I See In The Mirror. It's got a quick bass drum that has a snap to it, it beats in a timing with a staggered 1,2,3, in the bars, although it's in 4:4. This makes a snaggy catch for dancing, giving revellers a chance to perhaps be a little more creative in how they choose to move. Repeating melodies and subtle trills into the sky from a synth gives it a spacious and open feeling.
Next, another mechanical sounding rhythm begins to churn out the sounds. It's joined by a rapid firing cymbal that tingles on the tip of the revolving underwork. A snare brings a stable and easy to dance to rhythm right in the middle of the sound, and it's joined by a strange sample which drags everything into a sonic mire. It breaks down, revealing a ghostly pang that's greeted by a stabby yet soft synth tone which begins jumping around in circles. More rhythm is piled in, bringing it back to a dancing number, revolving beats and repeating compositions become almost hypnotic in their delivery. Confluence by Vsu Nezhno has a house and techno heritage yet with dreamy additions there seems to be some shoe-gazing going on. Maybe just not in the way we're used to.
Ваня Лимб is next with Синяя Петля. It seems important to remain in Russian script for this artist, and as it opens, I can see why. An almost romantic nod towards classical composers is revealed as a sudden and hearty bass tone is pulled from a chorus of cellos. Violins add another layer to the sensual ocean of vibration that's built from so many self-similar yet uniquely moving parts. This track takes us to the other side of electronic music composition, the harmonic and arranged music brings a whole stringed orchestra into being. It's slow and moving, full of drama and intriguing waits for the next section. It builds us up in energy and tension, allowing Yung Acid to fall into place with Shorty.
Scatty beats repeat and revolve in a feedback of rhythm, new tones and drum sounds are given to the mix and they all begin to follow their own related journeys. A bass echo begins to spell out the bones of the piece and everything slides neatly into place. As we get used to the flow, a new double-timed drum begins and it heats everything up until it changes state. Vocals start, rapped lines and frantic builds on dance music drums invigorate and enliven the album. It's very much a 90's clubland revival anthem, with jungle style rhythms and up—beat sonic staircases. Crop by Diloveje is next. It starts straight away with a catchy beat and spacey sounds which resemble antique sci-fi. Glowing apparatus and analogue readouts spring to mind as the sound-track to a rocket-ship journey into the unknown unravels.
The next track opens with a distant static and twisting sounds that seem to create a strange tune. Perhaps we can hear a television in another room, or a show in full swing across the street, for some reason it's not clear what we can hear and it feels as if we're trying to work it out. As we approach, odd fair-ground like chimes begin to play out of tune melodies and furious exclamations of intruder as we amble by. Awkward rhythms cast a spell of uneasiness while the archaic instruments do their best to form a reasonable attraction. Charity Apes by Stas Karpenkov is an interesting number, and one full of experimental ideas.
The album ends on a throw-back to some 1980's late night bar. Hushed male vocals sing a balladic tune to a slinky sleek drum which is dressed in haunting vibes that glitter by dimly lit lamps. Layers of vocal build new harmonies that paint a slowly moving picture, the sounds suddenly get stripped back to reveal the passionate yet controlled quietness in the words. AL-90 with Prokhor Song ends the record perfectly, with a dreamy and intriguing peer into the timeless halls of musical direction.
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And remember, Музыка дело чести!!
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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