Gultskra Artikler

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Lusha (2005), 6/10
Pofigistka (2006), 7/10 (EP)
Kasha Iz Topora (2007) , 7.5/10
Qwerty (2010), 7.5/10 (EP)
Galaktika (2010), 5/10
Abtu (2012), 6/10 (EP)
Destroy Music (2015), 6/10
Industria (2016), 6/10
Blue Forty-two (2022), 6.5/10 (mini)

Russian duo Gultskra Artikler (Alexey Devyanin and Dmitry Garin) debuted with Lusha (2005). The EP Pofigistka (Lampse, 2006) contains four Devyanin compositions and four remixes by other musicians. The fragile constructs are roamed by ghostly found sounds, emanate the intimate and pastoral feeling of folk music and hint at other dimensions (whether psychedelic or not).

Devyanin crafted dark and expressionist atmospheric electronica with samples on Kasha Iz Topora (Miasmah, 2007). A detuned guitar intones the Slavic litany Po Derevne over the mousesteps of the digital percussions and an eerie choir. A string instrument that sounds like both a violin and a didjeridu struggles to utter a melody in Begushemu Vpered and succumbs to a chaos of metallic percussion. The intersection of chamber music and musique concrete is also at the core of the witty Slovami Poeta. The yearning Krovinka Moya, instead, loops a melodic fragment to establish an atmosphere similar to Pachelbel's Canon and then disintegrates it with a loud drone and a collage of radio voices. Potemnelo even seems to deconstruct a folk fanfare within the odd pile of incoherent sounds. Repeated guitar tones create an idyllic and even pastoral atmosphere in Votpusk. Viceversa the scant distorted guitar sounds in Vechnost, coupled with a grotesque crowd of sonic events, create a gothic atmosphere.
Any narrative pretense is abandoned for the lush abstract digital soundpainting Kartoshka and the dreamy alchemy of Kuraga. These free-form pieces are just decontextualized ungrounded physical experiences. Further down the line are sparse dissonant essays such as Rak Pushka and Medicinski Rabotnik that are basically the laptop equivalent of free jazz.

Pofigistka (Lampse, 2006) is basically an EP with some remixes.

The EP Qwerty (Mille Plateaux, 2010) offered six hyperkinetic vignettes of futuristic digital soundscaping, notably the industrial glitch mayhems of q, the galactic soundtrack w, the ebullient industrial cacophony of e, and the haunting cinematic fantasy t. The physical intensity and the metaphorical otherness of this digital suite constituted a new form of progressive rock despite the absence of rock instruments.

Far less ambitious, Galaktika (Other Electricities, 2010) was an astronomy concept that veered towards much more stable and linear structures. After the wavering overture of Galaktika, that plays the role of a cosmic tuning "om", the jarring glissandoes of Solnce coalesce in a choir-like drone, metaphorically bridging the supernatural and the human. So does the rumble and the drilling noises of Nanorobot, whose ending is even more explicitly a monk-like choir. The choir becomes part of the texture in the poignant Sputnik, the best update of Klaus Schulze's cosmic music to the digital age and the album's highlight. The choir is the main presence in Asteroid, and it soars along string-like drones that seem to represent orbits. No wonder than that Angel closes the album with a colossal mass-like harmony of voices. Too many of these pieces, however, sound trivial. And the continued reference to Gregorian chants was neither original in 2010 nor particularly creative.

Gultskra Artikler, which by now was the solo project of Alexey Devyanin, Abtu/ Anet (Miasmah, 2012) collects two EPs, Abtu (2007) and the unreleased Anet. Berezka/ Birch-Tree is a gentle pastoral elegy. Intensivnost Otrajenia/ Intension Of Reflection is a warping of folk music for guitar and harmonica. A short composition for percussion, found sounds and electronics (reminiscent of vintage electronic poems of the 1960s) is mainly notable for the lengthy title: In The Middle Of The Sixteenth Century In The South Of England A Group Of Orford Fishermen Caught A Strange Creature. Its Form Reminded Them Of A Man Completely Bald, But With A Long Dense Beard. They Put It In The Governer's Castle In The Dirtiest And Most Suffocative Dungeon, And Fed It With A Crude Fish, Which It Kneaded In Hands Before Eating. The Women Have Started To Have Strange Dreams, As If The Newcomer Comes To Their Bedrooms At Night, And Looks At Them In The Moonlight With His Empty Eye-Sockets, Filled With Cold, Demonic Laughter. The Next Morning They Found Their Beds Wet, Shrouded In Sea Water And Seaweed, And After A While It Appeared That All Women In The Castle Had Become Pregnant. In The Throes Of Agony, They Gave Birth To Ugly, Scaly Babies. In One Day The Creature Escaped From The People, Back To The Sea, And Nobody Saw The Babies. But Sometimes, When The Ocean Rages, Its Hoarse, Spiteful Breath Is Again Audible In The Dungeon, And The Women Have Those Same Dreams. Bojestvo/ Divinity is an evolution of that synthesis towards an atmospheric form of musique concrete. Anet contains generally bolder sample-based compositions: the slowly rotating fanfare of Sea Monster's Occular Fundus, the pseudo-ragtime sonata Give Me Coal, the foggy sound collage Vessels Accident, etc.

Destroy Music (Umor Rex, 2015) is a sound collage in 12 parts: A1 D is a pressing crescendo of minimalist repetition, A2 De is a pulsating decomposition of vocal and electronic signals, A4 Dest is a sonata for gentle guitar and snippets of voices, A5 Destr matches a marimba melody with a horror-movie rhythm, B1 Destroy matches dancefloor polyrhythms with an ambient undercurrent, B3 Destroy Mu is tinkling aquatic electronica for Zen meditation, B4 Destroy Mus is an emphatic "om" with thundering percussion, etc.

The cassette Industria (2016) offers a more adventurous sound collage, this one built around field recordings of machines. The 12 movements are simply titled according to the main constituent, although the result is often not intuitive. For example, "distortion" turns out to be a techno dance, while "melted percussions" sounds like cosmic music, "phone hum" is another pulsing dance track, although a syncopated one, while "rust and drop" sounds like a dadaistic ballet and "shipping details to track 1" is an even more surreal ballet. The noisiest musique concrete "exercise with metal" and the most abrasive sounds appear in "beams of light through the cloud of dust".

The cassette Ya=Ti/ I=You (2020) explores a range of atmospheres, from the symphonic Na Rechke/ On the River to the bucolic Voda/ Water and the catatonic Please Wait, and attains maximum pathos in the cryptic Time I and the sinister ambient And.

The six-song EP Korolev (2021), dedicated to the industrial city named after the rocket scientist Sergei Korole, father of the Sputnik, contains two of his most futuristic vignettes, Maxazin and Xorolevx.

The cassette Blue Forty-two (2022) contains the brief System Audio 20151019 1558 and the 25-minute sound collage System Audio 20151019 1532, one of his most tense, cryptic and metaphysical compositions.

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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