It's time for a little психоделическое расслабление [ psychedelic relaxation, Russian style ! ]. Well, when I say Russian what I actually mean is Russian and Ukrainian
The Russian trance and psychill scene has seen huge growth over the last 10 years. In the psychill side of things, Russian and neighboring region artists have sprung up out of nowhere bringing a fresh take on psybient music. The number of artists gaining releases on compilations and major labels is quite impressive. In the mix I hope to introduce the Russian sound to those people who might not have had a chance to listen to it before.
We start today with a track from Shpingida [ Igor Orlovskiy & Yulia Levchenko ]. Shpingida hail from Kiev in Ukraine. Igor also goes by the name of Irukanji through which he released the Z Lisu album in 2009 on Sentimony Records. Sentimony is a big supporter of psychill music from around Russia and the Ukraine so if you do happen to enjoy this mix head over to the Sentimony site and check out their other great artists and releases. Yulia herself has gone her own way as a solo artist under the same of NeiRula.
Next is Alexandar Daf [ Alexander Ivanov ] with his tune from the Dark Room Beats compilation on Aleph Zero records. Alexander is also working out of St Petersburgh as label manager of Microcosmos Records. He has worked on a number of collaboration albums in the past. Most noteable of these being a collab with Matt Coldrick [ Pan Electric / ISHQ ] in 2009 on the All around The World album and 2010's Prism album with Microcosmos partner Aedem.
Kyoto , apart from being a short train ride from my hometown in Osaka, is also the nom de plume of musician Vitaly Zenkov. Vitaly has been working as an ambient producer since 2004. It was not until 2009 with the release of the popular album Forest Trip that he became more widely known. He states his influence are Pink Flyod and Tangerine Dream. This in reflected in his complex layered and atmospheric psychill creations.
Ambient project MindGum was founded in 2008 by Sudarev Eugene from Moscow. His first experience of writing music came in 1998 using the well loved tracker software Fast Tracker. Years passed and Eugene changed sequencers and music styles. Some ten years later, Eugene discovered all the facets of psychill and ambient music. The Mindgum project was developed as way for Eugene to express how the he though his own past styles could play along with the new psychill and psybient music he was hearing. This tune comes from a collection of free promo tracks that you can find on the Jamendo website.
Next up is Chinese Pineapple by Ukrainian duo Solcast [ Konstantin Savchenko and Valeriy Kuznetsov ]. This tune skillfully blends the sounds of traditional Chinese stringed instruments with synth layers and bass to produced a somewhat unique sounding tune. Reminds me a little of Chinese Radio by Puff Dragon in that regard.
Following Solcast we have Unstable Elements [ Andrew Epifanov, Maxim Kornev ] from Moscow. The UE project was created back in 2004 with an intent to create serious psychill or psychedelic ambient music. Their tracks are filled with beautiful and positive melodies, a lot of breaks, groovy beats and psychedelic effects. Unstable Elements are a member of the Moscow psytrance promotion society called Voice Makers Group, making trance parties and open air festivals. They are also into djing and play morning fullon psytrance at such parties. This tune comes from their Technical Illusions debut album on Kagdila records in 2006.
Harax is an artist I have featured a number of times in past episodes and is one of the artists who really turned me on to the whole Russian psychill and psybient scene. Harax is solo artist Denis Botsvin. Denis along with Solcast member Valeiy Kuznetsov make up another group simply known as Sol. Through his Harax solo project Denis released the critically acclaimed album Inly in 2008 on Up Records. Since then he seems to have been fairy quite - let's hope it means his is hard at work on the next chapter in the Harax story.
Orthonorma [ Anton Rudeshko ] follows up next with a cracking tune from his 2008 debut Time 2 Wait. Anton was born at Northern Caucasus, Russia in 1990. He studied at music school in violin class for 9 years. Anton also plays piano, guitar and has some basic skills in flute. He started to compose his own music in 2003 with his computer-based studio. He discovered psychedelic trance, goa trance, chillout and ambient music recently with his friends Chronos, Zymosis and through listening to great artists featured on Ultimae Records, France. His inspiration is nature, people and everything close to his heart, like good friends, movies and his family. He's a sensitive skilled musician so stay tuned for his next releases. Great album this one - highly recommended.
Astropilot [ Dimitry Red'ko ] comes from Siberia, Russia. Dimitry For the past 7 years he has been experimenting with music and sounds. His fabulous music is the direct outcome of not only his gifted talent, but also his true passion to the music and a lot of hard work in the studio. Astropilot has become one of the major players in the psychill scene in Europe. His music is a reflection, and combines the culture, sights and sounds from his homeland. Dimitry manages to generate a considerable buzz in Russia and is constantly grabbing attention from multiple directions. He enjoyed listening to The Future Sound of London and The Orb as a little boy and has been inspired by the writer Vasily Golovachev and alike.
His first album 'Fruits Of The Imagination' was released on Avatar Records in October 2007. Somewhat surprisingly he released no less than four album in 2010 on Altar records. Now that's what I call productive ! His latest release, Here And Now, is an attempt at reflecting the current global social climate through psychedelic chillout sounds. It's a mighty find album and one which I also highly recommend for any ambient trance fans.
Chronos is a project begun in 2001 by Nikita Klimenko from Moscow. Since then Nik has been quite busy - making 35 tracks for compilation and album releases. In 2007 Nik released his first solo Chronos album - Steps To The Great Knowledge on Canadian label Sunline Records. In 2008 he teamed up with CJ. Catalizer [ Dimitriy Neschadim ] to release the modern psychill classic Quid Est Veritas?. Nik is also involved in loads of music production for various soft synth makers, media production companies and is also member of a live band setup. His new album Inspiration Power was released late last month on Beats and Pieces records. I can't wait to get a chance to hear it as I'm sure it will be as golden as everything else he touches.
A few past episodes have featured tracks from our next act, Koan [ Daniel Roeth & Vladimir Sedov ]. Koan reached a level of fame back in 2005 with the release of their debut album Talking Stones. Since then their sound has matured considerably and they now sit at top with the world's leading psychill artists with a sophisticated sound that many find hard to match. Be sure to check out their latest CD When Silence Is Speaking on Blue Tune Records. Also keep an eye on the guys as it looks like they are going to have many tasty releases for us in 2011.
Zymosis [ Dmitriy Lihachov and Grigoriy Sobinov ] is a psychedelic music project which has brought a bright light to the psy culture over the past 10 years. Zymosis is composed of two people who share their minds and souls to make you fly into the depth of trance. Dimitro and Gree Shanti have devoted themselves to music and they continue to expand consciousnesses everywhere. It is difficult to pin down their style, mixing elements of psytrance, downbeat, and ambient. Zymosis is known not only in Ukraine, but has also featured prominently in a number of international music events. I really dig these guys - I like the way you can hear a bit psytrance riffing through their ambient tunes. All that squelchy squisshy static sometimes just sounds so nice in a bit of psychill. Nowadays Dimitro & Gree are also working on goa-trance project Alienapia, which has already been released on a number of popular compilations and is quickly becoming much in demand.
Heinali is the work of Ukrainian minimalist composer Oleg Shpudeiko. Oleg had no formal music education and is completely self taught. Starting out in 2003 he experimented with different genres and styles. His earliest releases were in the psybient and downtempo fields, later on moving to experimental dubstep and ambient. Recently he has been into post minimalist, modern classical. In 2009 he joined the Soloma art group and since then he’s composing music for art performances and installations. Today's Heinali tune comes from 2007 off the Sentimony Records Fantazma compilation.
Aquascape was created in 2004 by two Moscow musicians Andrey Kostomarov and Anton Salikov. Having years of experience in live underground music, they felt necessary to bring their inner imagination and creativity to the vast fields of intelligent electronic music.Their richly atmospheric music is often used in science and nature films and documentaries. Since the beginning of 2009 the group had three commercial releases on Sunline and Altar records. In 2008 Aquascape was joined by Valery Gorick, which brought some elements of classical melodies into the Aqua-sound. They also added the amazing vocalist Anastasia Migova from Moscow. Now Aquascape is working on their debut album and actively plays at different parties and festivals.Their live act is an incredible mix of psychedelic video installations and deeply psychedelic melodic music, live singing and playing live with synthesizers and guitars.
Following Aquascape is Konstantin Terentev under is Aedem alias. Aedem is a side project to his Medea trance project ( note the reversal of spelling in those names ! ). Konstantin was born in 1983 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He has an education in classical music and piano as well as sound production techniques. In 2007, as Medea, he became a resident of Moon Station Records, the sub-label of Sun Station records. In 2010, on Microcosmos Records, he released the “Prism” album with Alexander Daf [ see above ].
Next up is Irukanji [ Igor Orlovskiy ]. As I said earlier in this post Igor also works in the group Shpingida. Irukanji is his solo project through which he has just the one release, Z Lisu, in 2009.
CJ Catalizer [ Dimitry Neschadim ] gives us the rather excellent 2012 from Altar Record's Earth compilation. Dimitry just released his latest CD last week titled "I'll Be There". You can find it online at the Altar Records website. Personally I don't have it yet so I can't comment on it but the samples I've heard sound amazing. Kind of points towards the Ultimae Records type of sounds like Aes Dana. Very, very nice indeed. Full on broody atmospheric head trips to space. Can't wait to pick up a copy.
Getting close to the end now and we have the mighty Spectrum Vision [ Alexander Timoshkin, Ivan Uzdyaev ] with a track from Time Loop - Beyond Borders compilation. These guys surprised everyone with their 2008 release Lost Space Device. Almost as if out of nowhere these guys appeared with a freaking amazing album that has since become a firm favorite in many a psychill fans record collection. The album was mastered by Igor Orlovskiy [ he seems to be everywhere ]. Since then the group has been pretty quite - releasing the occasional track on a compilation here and there. I hope they get around to making another album as good as the LSD release.
Finally, and I do mean finally - my fingers are worn out - we have last year's shining star, Scann-Tec [ Vladislav Isaev ]. Unlike many other artists, who are mostly influenced by other people's music, Vladislav finds inspiration in many other things. Examples of these things include the sounds around him; people, movies, books, the sound of walkie-talkie conversations, regardless of what the people are actually talking about. His favorite instrument is his digital Dictaphone.
He loves to record people's voices, especially the voices of unusual people. This brings another dimension and atmosphere to his music. He is also obsessed with fat basslines, atmospheric pads and psychedelic sequences that take listeners to other dimensions of sound.
Another big influence is PC games. "There's so many exciting and inspirational things about them", Vladislav says. "The sounds of monsters, the ambient sounds in the game...even the images and the lonely feel of abandoned castles." In one way or another, the images from the games help him compose his music – he loves to transfer the visual atmosphere into aural. Do check out his awesome album of 2010, Facial Memories. I haven't got around to doing a 2010 album ranking yet but I suspect it will be in the top 3 by the time I do !
That's it for this week. The Russian mix. Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I did creating it. There really are some super talented musicians within the psychill and trance scene in and around Russia. Check them out if you get a chance, I'm sure you wont be disappointed. До свидания! Счастливого пути!
Track / Artist
- 01. Over The Depth - Sphingida
- 02. One Point One - Alexander Daf
- 03. Walking On The Sky - Kyoto
- 04. Sunrise Breath - MindGum
- 05. Chinese Pineapple - Solcast
- 06. Artificial Sense - Unstable Elements
- 07. Nearby - Harax
- 08. Time 2 Wait - Orthonorma
- 09. Answers - Astropilot
- 10. spiral clouds (kumharas edit) - Chronos
- 11. The Island of Deceased Ships - Koan
- 12. Summer Twilight - Zymosis
- 13. Endless - Heinali
- 14. Vacuum Fields - Aquascape
- 15. Rain In My Head - Aedem
- 16. Hybrid Seven - Irukanji
- 17. 2012 - CJ Catalizer
- 18. Sympotronic - Spectrum Vision
- 19. Aviator - Scann-Tec
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