Crisopa – Transhumanate.

Sound in Silence come through with another delightful release, this time from Santiago Lizon, based in Madrid, Spain. Since 2005 and bringing together influences as diverse as IDM, Shoegaze, Post-Rock and Classical, Santiago has released three albums and three EP’s on labels such as n5MD, Platforma-LTW, Persona-Isla, Add-Sensor and Escala. He has previously contributed to the Absent Without Leave remix collection “Faded Photographs” with the track “Balloons in the Sky”

The label describe the album, his fourth as “a wonderful collection of seven melodic and emotive tracks with a total duration of 35 minutes. Each track is built slowly up with various elements blending nicely together, including complex glitchy beats, subdued bass, multiple layers of resonant synths and indistinct dreamy vocals. The final result is one of Crisopa’s best works to date, characterized by its beautiful chord progression and densely layered arrangements with lush shoegaze touches and drifting ambient swells.”
It’s recommended for fans of Boards Of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, Port-Royal and Tycho.

“Bird Song Reincarnation” light intertwined drone tones wrap around with melodic electronics that form into a lightly throbbing based line which are joined by handclapped adorned percussion. BOC style vocals enter the mix barely decipherable to add another element. They are effected vocoder like and follow the melodic lines. Bird sounds appear as the track varies from an ambient section to an electro section. Synth stabs, bubbling underneath electronics, vocal lines and percussion share the same space at various levels before a pastoral ambience ends the track.

“I am the Lord of the Ruins” spacey ghostly ambience swirls while a delicate crystalline Synth line starts to slowly come out of the shadows to become the main element. Brought forward in an Ambient section the percussion and Synth explode into the track with layered Synth and drones, childlike sounds and a scattered drum section. A symphonic section similar to that of the ambient section before it propels the percussion once more with the subdued vocals entering into the track with the only discernible word being “Discover”. A cut up string section adds to the layers of sound with an orchestral feel. The track enters the final section with an influx of cymbals and all the elements from the earlier sections join together and lead out with an outro of electronic and acoustic drones with the chime like sounds and faint vocals disappearing into the ether.

“Fast Dive” electronic blips and blops float up like air bubbles in a bed of ambience. Cut up percussion that rattles around is accompanied by a rumbling bass line, cut up vocal lines and vibrating electro sections. The music then turns into a muted negative sound with elements buried together before rising out with the electro section taking center stage over the percussion and ambience. A melodic section of watery Synth ambience and vocals leads to a pure ambient section that is beatless and leads to the end of the track. The track shows a nice variance of the various elements that have appeared in the album so far.

“Serene Option” looped glitch haunted tones and bird song are joined by jazz like drumming and classic BOC style Synth tones. The elements are joined by electronic percussion that gently propels the track forward and into a vibraphone like section with cut up electronics. The synths give a classic melodic IDM feel to the track that are gentle, but interesting. For the first half the percussion is more subdued, but this changes in the second half where they are more dominant and are joined by glitch beats and vocals. There is a real sense of freedom and positivity in the track.

“Melting Wax Sculptures” makes the beats the feature of this track. It starts off with beats, bass line, Synth progressions and a backwards sample to be joined by metallic percussion, more Synth and the distant affected indecipherable vocals. The beats together have an almost breakbeat like fashion to them which compliments the ambience that is created in the track with the synths and bassline, and propels the track. Towards the end the percussion returns to the jazzy feel of the previous track.

“Fluorine Cold Flames” dark rumbling industrial noises crash over Synth lines and arching drones before a funky-ish bassline is laid under broken beat percussion, distant vocals and beds of ambient Synth. The track has a subdued feeling like there is a Sunday morning coming down vibe to it. It feels laid back, but without being boring before the intensity of all the elements increase equally before it slowly starts relaxing out with Synth ripples and the return of those industrial elements from the start.

“Irradiating Nucleus” A bassline with an attached crystalline Synth drone loops along with a measured pace that is joined by percussive sounds, drum loops, vocoder affected vocals and Synth explorations. The bassline starts to get a bit menacing with its fuzzed out intensity until a cut up Synth, piano and jazzy electronic percussion section splits it up before returning it to the fore. The bassline reminds me of a Graham Massey remix of Bjork’s “Army of Me” with its almost Dubby feel. The bass has a slow, but heavy feel which holds the low-end and the percussion which has a distinct jazz like feel which gives it a rhythmical texture that compliments the bass and the synths.

There are no standouts on the album for me. That is because it is consistently good. There are elements that appear several times over (like the affected vocals) which can make the music a bit samey, but that can attributed to a fair amount artists. What Lizón has created here is an enjoyable, bright listen. It’s the aural equivalent of opening the curtains and letting the light shine in. If you like the artist references at the start of the review, then you will enjoy this album.

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Odd Nosdam – Lif.

Greek label Sound in Silence run by Absent Without Leave’s George Mastrokostas (how about a new AWL album George?) isn’t a stranger to bigger names on their roster. They have released albums by the likes of Bvdub, Strafænn Hákon as well as a bunch of other names such as Hessien, Good Weather For An Airstrike, Caught in the Wake Forever to name a few. The latest big name to add to the roster is Odd Nosdam aka David P. Madson who is best known as a member of cLOUDDEAD and Co-founder of the hip hop label Anticon. He also runs the Burnco Records label that has digitally released this with different art.

The label describes the release as “The sound of LIF can be described as the continuation and expansion of “Music For Raising“(Ed note: Madison’s 2015 album on the Baro label), blistering with analog loop chains that soak in the resonance of tremolo, tape-delay, space echo, distressors, and many other trusted devices in Odd Nosdam’s toolkit. Very little computer processing occurred during the making of LIF, relying heavily on hand triggered elements that cycle into an endless bridge between pulsing loops and shape shifting overtones. Imagine a horizon where sunrays find traces of openness around gloomy backdrops of clouds, organically centered as a jump off point into another realm of existence.” A source of inspiration was “Dlp6” from William Basinski’s “The Disintegration Loops IV”.

The album begins with “MIG” which sets the tone for the rest of the album with its hazy loops and repeating tones. Unlike the Basinski albums (which appear to be fully loop based), the album appears to be a more electronic experience with the use of echo effects and the ambient crystalline structure.

“RAI” follows the tones in “MIG” and adds a dubby feel to the music with the pulses between the chiming loops. At times the music retreats like if affected by weather. Coincidentally the album was created during January and March this year, when the Bay Area was going through a particularly wet period and this is reflected in the feel of this track.

The title track “LIF” introduces a darker atmosphere to the previous tracks with certain elements like the chimes being deeper in the mix and the haze being increased. Going with the weather/environment theme you can see a change in the surroundings. Utilizing loops there is an amount of degradation which adds to the sonic texture of the piece and follows the continuation of the album.

“AIN” is the shortest track on the album and is clearly affected by a rain storm. The predominant feature of the track is the ever present haze which is looped relatively quickly giving a pulsing wave of sound that is opposite to equally paced melodic dusty loops.

“SES” sees haunted distant tones with tremolo and echo that soar out under the dubby underground and hazy looped foreground. The use of the tremolo sounds after “AIN” gives the feel of post rain light coming through the gloom.

“KEL 1” what sounds like twangs guitar is looped alongside the dubby haze that cuts thought the track. A distorted/noisy undertone prevails and begins to cloak the track in static noise. “KEL II” is like reprise of the previous track but unlike the previous one, the static distorted noise encompasses in all making the dubby section fight for the small section that it is featured.

“REN” brings throbbing drones that sound like affected accordion or some sort of squeeze box like instrument in the way that they seem to be taking a breath before starting to again. There is an underlining static that feels random compared to the previous loops and is more of an accompanying sound that a feature.

“TRO” sees fractured ambience that has a definite nostalgic feel to it. It has chime like tones that are looped in a melodic rhythm while clipped static and haze cut through the track quite quickly breaking it up. The fractured ambience in a way can be reminiscent of Oval in it’s cut up and looped, yet melodic feel. The mix if the track allows elements to come com and centre them retreat giving it some variation to the others.

“BOM” continues with the pulsing haze and dubby loops, but is further down in the mix with a different tone front and centre. The features of the track are consistent in the loops and the pacing to the rest of the album, but tone is an ever so slightly darker one which makes the difference. I am not sure of the source instrument but it has features that remind me of small sections of “Isn’t Anything” era My Bloody Valentine guitar tones.

The nature of looped based music is that it is going to repetitive, this is a given. With this release Odd Nosdam has put his touch on it and his own impressions via the influence of the weather. Reading the accompanying text on the labels bandcamp page helps like listening notes and gives more information to the listener on construction of the album.

Sontag Shogun and Moskitoo – The Things We Let Fall Apart / The Thunderswan.

Home Normal return to the vinyl format for the first time since 2013’s Fabio Orsi and Pimmon LP. This time around it is a collaborative 7″ by New York trio Sontag Shogun and Japanese sound artist Moskitoo. The 7″ designed for the Portugal/Spain tour of Sontag Shogun comes in an edition of 500 copies and Digital and is released on November 15.

For the uninitiated (myself included) Sontag Shogun is a Brooklyn based “collaborative trio that makes use of analog sound treatments and nostalgic piano compositions in harmony to depict abstract places in our memory. Textures built from organic materials such as sand, slate, boiling water, brush and dried leaves, both produced live in performance and recorded to weathered 1/4″ tape, warm up the space between lush piano themes. All of which is abstracted coolly in the reflective digital space of treated vocals and a live processed feed from the piano.” Moskitoo is a Japanese sound artist and vocalist. So far she has released two albums on Taylor Deupree’s 12k label as well as collaborating with FilFla as well as contributing a number of remixes.

Home Normal describe this release as Post Classical / Electronic Ambient and that is truly what this release is, a combination of both those genres. With the exception of Ian Temple’s piano playing and Moskitoo’s vocals it is hard to attribute who is creating the remaining sounds. Jeremy Young uses oscillators, tapes and piezo mics, Jesse Perlstein on laptop, field recordings and Moskitoo on organic instruments. But together the four artists create something quite special and fluid.

“The Things We Let Fall Apart” – The track starts out with an oscillating drone that is joined by minimal piano before manipulated electronics and field recordings join in to give the piece a real feel of the fusion of the genres. Leading up to the introduction of Moskitoo’s vocals, the level of ambient drones and crunchy electronics increases, with the vocals being initially manipulated like the electronic component. Moskitoo has a breathy vocal style that has a distant feel and nostalgia to it which allows it to appear of floating above the music. The vocal section itself is not long (it is roughly the final minute of the piece that the singing really takes place) and could probably have music either side of it, but it works perfectly with the mix. Piano, electronics and field recordings add extra innocence to the track (especially if you are not fluent in Japanese). Listening to the track you realise that all the elements contained in the song are all included for a reason, there is nothing superfluous in the piece.

“The Thunderswan” starts with Temple’s solo piano with its rich melancholic tone that is accompanied by fragile electronic glitches and pieces of manipulated piano. Moskitoo’s vocals float in as the electronic filigree increases in its presence. The tones from each part – the piano, electronics and vocals are all separate in their mood, texture and color. The electronics start filling up the sound with a grainy, glitchy swarm like feel. The piano increases in intensity as does the manipulated sounds which are presumably processed via laptop. The ambient component comes from Moskitoo’s vocals which eschew words for a section to created stunning vocal drones, before returning to conventional singing with the vocal drones accompanying the singing. The electronics start to become noisier in nature and come from a different perspective to that of the piano which has become grander in nature and has started to be played in a rolling style. Musically this track is quite lush, epic and uplifting.

On this single Sontag Shogun and Moskitoo have ably demonstrated how to collaborate. The way they have been able to fuse their music together and construct it results in an enjoyable listen. Hopefully this is not the only collaboration that the four of them come up with. Totally Recommended.

Sontag Shogun

Moskitoo

Home Normal

https://soundcloud.com/homenormal/homen106-sontag-shogun-moskitoothe-things-we-let-fall-apart-the-thunderswan-album-sampler

Naviar Records x 2 – Gomel, 1986 / Sōzuproject “Breathe Slowly”.

Naviar Records is London Based label who describe themselves as “a community and label that explores the intersection between music and traditional Japanese poetry.” They have been releasing music since March 2014 and these two releases are their latest.

“Gomel, 1986” is an extension of the “Clouded Lands” show (in conjunction with the art collective Food of War) about the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and was “a show which aimed to raise awareness on the consequences that such catastrophic events bring in people’s culture and everyday life. For this event, Naviar’s community had to recreate sounds, atmospheres and moods of one of the areas which were mostly affected by the disaster: the region of Gomel, in Belarus

Each artist had to re-imagine the atmospheres and moods of the time and the recordings were made within a two-week period. The release is available as a limited Cd-r (50 copies) and digital.

“Black Rain” by Dirigent opens the album. Dirigent is San Francisco classically trained composer Chris Christensen who is drawn toward analog electronics and classic tape-studio techniques. The track starts with echoing percussion, water like sounds, electronics, the chiming of clocks, dark ambient drones and recordings of phone calls and media reports in Russian. I haves no idea of what is being said, but there is a certain amount of alarm in the voices, but not overly distraught. The music borders Dark Ambient and Industrial and has an unsettling edge to it. Electronics come in and or in a wave-like fashion possibly inspired by waves of radiation.

“Tjernobyl” by Robert Rizzi. Rizzi is a Danish/American Composer and Sound artist, Master of Electronic Music Composition from DIEM, Aarhus. Robert teaches Electronic Music and Sound art at SDMK Music Conservatoire in Esbjerg, Denmark. He works primarily with field recordings, found scores and improvised instrumental pieces, very often in collaborative site specific installations and compositions with visual artists. Field recordings of rain/ a storm with scattershot sounds are joined by a siren like drone, bass, minimal piano and electronics. The focus is on the field recordings, but the minimal nature of the bass and piano alongside the electronics really brings out the post apocalyptic feel of the music.

“Black Clouds” by Earthborn Visions. Earthborn Visions is a project born out of wide-ranging influences, with a particular affinity for any music that positively influences perception and thinking. They explore juxtapositions of sounds and styles, melodies and noise, planned and random acts, field recordings and electronics, analog and digital. Synth drones slowly unfurl melodically before picking up a darker wind-blown edge and giving a feeling that compliments the title. There is a subtlety to the track, so it’s not too literal in its intentions.

“Cage of Obscured Rain” by IF. IF is Matteo Gazzolo an actor, director, musician, sound designer (founder of Soundethers). He’s been teaching theatrical techniques and text analysis since 1999. He organizes trainings and lectures on acting styles. Matteo lives in Sardinia (Italy) where he plays his stage productions, focusing on the relationship between music, sound technologies (live electronics) and speech. The use of rain sounds return with a more obvious use of weather sourced field recordings. The drones that join are fractured as if they are too also affected by the weather. The drones start to build in intensity and the tone tends to go in a more screechy noise affected way. The track heads into a mix of dark ambient and more melodic fusion with the two opposing styles mixing up in layers and alternating in dominance. The ending of the track is where the field recordings and dark ambience takes hold.

“I Forgot Everything” by In die Ferne. In die Ferne’s first musical experiences date back to the late 80s — playing the guitar in an utterly forgotten noise combo that only recorded 2 tracks. He started making electronic music in the early 2000s. Minimal drones and tones are central to this track. Repetition or loops sees the motif replayed as the drones, while noisy have that classical Eno style to them. The rough / noisy is to the tracks detriment and stands out against the clearer recordings.

“Aftermath” by Jesús Lastra. Lastra aka Jalastram/Flat Stone is a Madrid-based self-taught artist from Maracaibo, Venezuela. He began to experiment with audio editing software in 2007. Then, he started composing ambient music, or more specifically, soundscape, drone and experimental music within the electronic genre. Slow drawn out drones are joined by string drones and a low rumble. The sound is full, but also mournful.With a title like “Aftermath” the artist is clearly trying to convey the post disaster desolation of the area with the heaviness of the drones, the fusion of the elements (strings, piano) and the mood of the times.

With a compilation that comes with a theme or an inspiration there are bound to be cross over of source inspiration eg: field recordings of rain, that said while there are similarities, the artists are able to put their own touches to give a little variation to each piece. The two final tracks probably act as the weaker and stronger pieces on the album. If you like thematic albums this may be for you.

Paolo Mascolini records as sōzuproject. He has released a handful of albums and ep’s. This release on cassette (edition of 59 copies) and digital is his latest. This is the first time he has come across my radar.

The label states that this was “Recorded between December 2016 and February 2017, Breath Slowly describes the composer’s experience while cycling off-road in the mysterious Italian Dolomites in 2016. Divided into two acts, the album depicts an imaginary journey of self-discovery inspired by these desolate and overwhelming mountain landscapes.

“Ascent” starts off with eerie rumbling, echoing recordings of some sort before layered and occasionally fractured drones arc across the soundscape. Staccato strings cut across before a deep Bassoon like bass drone enters and vibrates out. The music starts to fill out with the strings and the bass thump being joined by noisier sections. The music oscillates with looped electronics joining the fray. As the track continues on the intensity is lifted. If the intention is to convey the intensity of ascending mountains on bicycle and also the desolation of the area, then it is succeeded with the slow build up which dissipates to a more electronica like ending.

“Descent” the drones that start this track have a slightly croaky sound to them as if they are made of field recordings of frogs. A buzzing drone enters the picture and loops with a low-level electronic section barely audible underneath. The electronics start to build up in the mix and their fast paced nature is at odds with the slow intense drones, before they start to challenge the drones which are getting noisier and distorted. There is a subtle wall of noise/ orchestral nature to the drones in the way they sound. The end of the track is like reprise of the beginning with some of the elements featuring again with the electronics still fighting for position.

I have to admit having an expectation to how the tracks would sound in relation to the theme which was completely opposite to the end result. I expected “Ascent” to be intense , which it was, in relation to climbing a mountain by bicycle and ‘Descent” being a more laidback enjoying the scenery feel, which it wasn’t. If you like long form noisy layered drone, then this release might be your cup of tea.

Otto Lindholm – Alter.

On October 13 (Friday the 13th in certain places) Gizeh Records releases the second album from Belgium based Double Bassist/Electronic musician Otto Lindholm. Lindholm’s self titled debut came out on Icarus Records /Vynila Vinyls in 2015 and gained critical appraisal from the likes of Fact Magazine and influential broadcaster Mary Anne Hobbs.

Lindholm had this to say about the album’s genesis “My original idea was to work on the melody and the play of the arco (ed note: Arco being the returning to playing bowed after pizzicato), looking for expressive music from this combination. To do it, I first decided to work on ‘modes’ and their specific color. With these modes I could work on tensions, frictions and color shading. Working on the melody aspect, I was looking to go beyond the romantic, easy listening or sentimentalizing, trying to suggest more than an expression of concrete emotions.

The album contains four tracks with a consistent length with times ranging from just over eight minutes up to ten and a half minutes. The record comes in a vinyl edition of five hundred copies on 180g vinyl with download code and bonus 12″ x 12″ print if purchased via the labels store. It was mastered by Lawrence English of the Room40 label.

“Fauve” (a Fauve is a type of artist from the Fauvism movement that featured the “radical use of unnatural colors that separated color from its usual representative and realistic role, giving new emotional meaning to colors”). On this track slow bowed strings and monolithic bass swells are the first thing you hear, pulsing and throbbing. There is a deep dark sound to the track, but also room for melodic touches. Layers of double bass come in an out with low-level electronics and manipulated bass sounds. The more the track moves on, the more elements are added with the electronics mimicking the bass swells, but also being off rhythm to them. The tracks fluidity enables it to cover the genres of modern classical and certain elements of post rock. With the use of tones and manipulated organic and electronic sounds you could state the Lindholm has started he aim for the album straight off with the opening track.

“Lehena” (which in African names means one who refuses) arcs of bass vibrate across with a swarm like sound underneath that build up before a violin like section takes the focus before an electronic section of pulsing loops, ambience and squelchy beats provides a counterpoint to the organic sounds created by the double bass. The electronics threaten to take over the track and lead it in a more dance/electronica based vein, but while they lead the track to its finish they remain as one of the elements of the sound palate.

“Alyscamps” a deep dark drone is joined by ghostly electronics and glacial ambience. The drones intertwine with the electronics combing the acoustic with the electronic. Flickering sections lead to the feeling of a broken transmission from a deserted outpost. The flickering remains a constant while scattershot sounds with haunting presence form like a storm which is subdued just before the end for some distinct double bass. The “Alyscamps” is a Roman section in Arles, France and was the burial ground for nearly 1,500 years. The haunting music could be easily influenced by this landmark.

“Heliotrope” a Heliotrope is a popular flowering plant that happens to be a toxic plant. On this particular track the double bass recordings are deep and are used under a bed of higher at times bordering on screeching drones. While tracks like “Alyscamps” utilized the electronics in a different way, “Heliotrope” relies more on the ambient and drone elements that can be coaxed from the double bass. There are effects in the piece with juddering sounds, sounds that cut in an out, degradation of sounds, etc…. which gives it a more experimental / cut up feel.

On “Alter” Lindholm expands on what he started with on his self titled debut, but comes across more as focusing on the qualities of his chosen instrument than the electronic component of his debut. Don’t get me wrong, the electronics are still there but appear to be more of a tool of his experimentalism than as a feature. For those who checked out the recently reviewed Alder & Ash should also check out this album.

Otto Lindholm

Gizeh Records

Cicely Irvine – Excavation.

The latest Eilean Rec release (the 60th) comes from new artist Cicely Irvine called “Excavation”. Irvine (b. 1990) is a musician and sound artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has been making music and sound design for film, radio and performance art. “Excavation” is her debut release and the recordings were made between 2007 and 2017.

With such a broad time for the completion of the album you would be thinking that it would be a compilation and with the difference in the material it could lead you to different points in the decade of its genesis. However, as a reviewer you don’t know the age of the individual recordings nor their autobiographical meanings (if indeed they are there).

“Bow” is the opener with oscillating drones, field recordings, beats, haunting vocals which are built-in harmony with each other and give a dream like feel to the music.

“Sans” long drones punctuated by the glockenspiel giving glitch like sound is accompanied by the musical saw and melodica. Unfortunately it doesn’t really go anywhere, which is a shame.

“Hjärtat” (translates to “Heart”) industrial like heart beats welcome drones, presumably from pump organ alongside minor field recordings. Much like the previous track, this is more of a sketch or intro for a full piece.

“Come Around” features Irvine’s layered vocals over a buzzing drone section which ebbs and flows, but towards the end the vocals start to manipulated to glitching alongside synths as if they are spluttering, before drones bring the decay to the end.

“Eftertanken” (After the Tank) sees the introduction of minimal piano, which is probably the first track that give you the feel of the recording locations (in bedroom studios in Gotthenburg and Stockholm).

“Organ” sees the pump organ front and central. The tones generated and the relaxed pace of the music work well together and give a feeling of rebirth.

“Takten” (“The Pace”) sees Irvine demonstrate her virtuosity on guitar with a frantic section layered over the original section which has a more picked feeling. After a brief interlude the piece changes in tone and intensity and becomes almost a facsimile of itself.

“The Deer” sees slow acoustic guitar gentle pickings matched with field recordings of squalls and Irvine’s vocals, bells and drones combining in a rich sounding track.

“Genom Skogen” (“Through the Forest”) is a whimsical piece of childlike melodies of backwards loops, field recordings, pump organ, bells. Together they give an almost nursery rhyme like feel that has both innocence and a slight sinister touch.

“Heavy” affected vocal loops, field recordings, fog like drones, bells, bass thumps come together in a loop based piece that has a sound collage effect.

“Natt” (“Night”) glitchy bells with sound effects and musical of ox sounds acts as an intro of sorts for “Slutet” (“End”) which has a bell-like sound from the glockenspiel as well as long drones, field recordings of wind, distant guitar. The slow drones combine with the field recordings to give a feeling of loneliness, while the snatches of guitar sound like transmissions from a broken radio.

“Right” sees percussive guitar beating with a rippling rhythm that sounds like cassette tape that has been chewed out rewound and replayed resulting in a warped sound.

“4.38 AM” multilayered vocals each with different melodies start of this track with drones bringing in light before the vocals return over scraping field recordings and bird song as if she is welcoming in the morning and the sun is starting to rise.

“Ljudland” drones that sound like a rusty gate screaming as it is opened are joined by what sounds like melodica which has a long breathy drones, field recordings of water and bird song which lead the track out.

“Your Eyes” drones and then beats with cut up Synth sections make this the most electronica track. Synth drones buzz in and our, bell-like loops provide a counterpoint to this beats, which increase with intensity before retreating to a Dubby section. The Dubby section leads to the end and as it reaches its end the beats have a static noise feel.

I have read a couple of very positive reviews for this release, but I am not hearing what others are. There are elements that work, but the overall feeling I have of the release is one of confusion. You are not sure what sort of album you are listening to and the feeling is of sketches that are not fully fleshed out. Tracks like “Bow”, “Cone Around” and “Your Eyes” work well, while some other don’t. I think if the ideas for the pieces be more focused and narrowed down, then the future shows some promise.

An interview with Dronarivm’s Dmitry Taldykin.

Dronarivm has been around since May 2012 with the release of Star Turbines “The Sleeping Land” on cassette. From this auspicious start and with Bartosz Dziadosz (Pleq) acting as curator, the label has gone from strength to strength releasing music from the likes of Celer, Offthesky, Porya Hatami, The Green Kingdom, Caught in the Wake Forever, Guilio Aldinucci and many more. Label boss Dmitry Taldykin kindly answered my questions.

Please introduce yourself. Why did you start Dronarivm?  Did you have experience with music before starting the label? Was there a label prior to Dronarivm? 

My name is Dmitry Taldykin.  I’m from Moscow, Russia.

Dronarivm is the logical continuation of Radiodrone Records, that was focused on the Russian experimental ambient scene. After I had received the first demo from abroad I took thought to work with foreign markets. Radiodrone Records was not very successful and I decided to start Dronarivm-  that’s how it appeared. The first release was reissue on CD of a cassette album by Celer – Rags of Contentment. I just sent the email to Will Long and he gave me authorization…..it was 5 years ago, Autumn 2012.

When I was younger I played the guitar in an alternative rock group, but it was not connected with the label. It was another story from both sides, musical and aesthetic.

From the outside looking in you and Pleq have a close relationship. How did you meet/come across his music? How important to Dronarivm is he?

Continuing the story… When I was ready to take over the world J)) I got the account on Facebook, where I met Bartosz Dziadosz aka Pleq. I sent him one message: – Hi! Do you want to release something on a cassette? And he replied: – Yes, that would be great!

After that I released the split Pleq / Philippe Lamy. It was very limited edition – around 30 copies. I ordered new cassettes from USA, recorded them at home on two-cassette deck Pioneer, that was equipped with digital input. I bought it in Yaroslavl, Russian city located 300 km away from Moscow.

After some time Bartosz decided to become the curator of Dronarivm. He introduced me to many musicians via internet and acted as an intermediary in the publication of many subsequent releases. This partly remains to this day.

What quality do you look for in a release for Dronarivm ? Do you accept demos?

It is very complicated question. It depends on personal preferences. We are trying not to concentrate on one music genre. We can release drone ambient like Chihei Hatakeyama, or piano modern classical like Lorenzo Masotto. We don’t care about the commercial profit in general. We always look for completeness, perfection… Ideally an album should sound as hell from start to end as much as possible. I don’t know how to express the idea exactly… But I hope sometimes we get it 🙂

Dronarivm is interested mostly in fusion of such genres as ambient, modern classical, electronic, field recordings, experimental. Sometimes we release them in pure, but it happens very seldom.

It is possible to send us demos. But unfortunately we can’t release all we get and listen.

So far 2017 has seen 7 releases. What can be expected for the rest of the year and have you got plans for 2018? (Please note I factored in the just released omrr CD, which was wasn’t released at the time the questions were sent and the re-issued /expanded Olan Mill CD)

Frankly speaking nowadays I see only 5 🙂 Elegi, Lorenzo Masotto, Pausal, Pleq, Enrico Coniglio & Matteo Uggeri… We can also consider Omrr – Devils for my Darling as sixth, it will be issued in the end of September. By the time this interview will be published it could be fait accompli

In 2017 we are planning to release Sven Laux – Paper Streets and Aaron Martin & Machinefabriek – Seeker.

Also we have some plans for 2018. I don’t want to give any comments on that. The only thing I would like to say – these will be wonderful albums, as always 🙂 Hope everything will work out fine.

How important is the visual identity of packaging and format to the label? You have done tapes and cds. Have you considered vinyl?

I’m not sure if listener can recognize Dronarivm once looked at it. Many labels create their own aesthetic canons to make their releases appear visually recognizable, identifiable in the general flow. It is very clear desire taking into consideration the volume of music production.

As for Dronarivm, we work individually with each particular release. We don’t have any rules in design. It is absolutely up to the taste of musician and editor.

CD is the optimal format for us now. To release vinyl, I would need to move to Latvia or the Czech Republic, or somewhere else forever. In Russia, to release vinyl costs a lot of money. If sometimes it happen it will be the last release of Dronarivm 🙂 Maybe in future something will change. But while we continue to do what we do. With hope for the best …