Get to know yourself with Semena Mertvykh's debut EP

There is a sense of resigned solitude on Semena Mertvykh’s debut EP. It’s a feeling not uncommon in Russian art, where Mertvykh hails from, and it fits quite well with the thick, syrupy detuned chords that sludge their way through the EP. Those chords, echoing the same analog synth patch techniques of Boards of Canada, are sometimes harmonic, sometimes slightly dissonant, but always lonely. Perhaps it makes sense, then, for Mertvykh to not only self-release this EP, but self-title it as well. Even in the video for ‘Decay’, the airiest of the tracks that reminds me of Dedekind Cut’s more recent work, not a single soul is visible. Clearly, this is music made for the self — self-reflection, self-evaluation, self-control, self-actualization. Watch the video for Decay above, and you’ll see. Just make sure to do it by yourself.

You can check out the rest of the EP as well on Spotify, or pay what you want to download on Bandcamp.

— review by autonomy

Semena Mertvykh on the web:




Monochrome drone from Ukraine's Kuvallini

Kuvallini grew up between the factories and gates, on the frozen tundra of Siberia. He spent years travelling through places, reflecting on his own wandering path in life. These experiences have been boiled down into his own tunes which contain a neoclassical vibe, oscillating noise and swinging broken beats.

His new track ‘Exaltation’ happened from spontaneous improvisation with a piano and an old-fashioned Russian synthesizer called the ‘Lyra’ which mainly oscillates unpredictable noise and rhythm patterns. Everything was then processed through a vintage analog stereo spring reverb, the Korg GR-1. 

As Kuvallini explains: “most of the pads were recorded in reverse and added to the compressed piano with full wet reverb. The sweeping noise is just from a pedal called ‘Drone Thing’ by Electro-Faustus, which then went through a Vox wah controlled by my foot.” 

Giving ‘Exaltation’ a closer listen and a bit of patience leads to great rewards for the listener. At just over 8 minutes long the track really finds it’s stride after a few minutes in and unfolds into a moody atmosphere of film noir and dark brooding drones. Off kilter percussion gives the track a slightly dizzying feel as layers of noise encircle the cloud of sound.

Hear more deep and desolate drone from Kuvallini on the following platforms:

New release from Vancouver's Datataste

Our friends 'datataste' have just released a new album, check it out over on their bandcamp!

"Sigil Tree" represents a sigilization of sound. The source material, largely found buried in an old hard drive and in project files, had been forgotten several times over before being assembled, deeply augmented, and performed for these recordings.