TITLE: "COLOURS OF BLACK: Russian dark scene compilation" vol.2
CATALOGUE#: SPR 025
FORMAT: 2xCD, jewel case
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:
RELEASE DATE: 21.05.2006
STATUS: in stock
OFFICAIL SITE: http://cob.shadowplay.ru/
"DUST" (first compact disc)
01. TUNNEL - Rusalki
02. ANTISISTERS - Out Of My Head
03. NECRO STELLAR - Only Moon
04. PURPLE FOR SIDE - War In My Head
05. DASHA BASKAKOVA & LAUREN VORSE - Erotic Tea
06. DEVUSHKIN SON - Kamni-Kapli
07. INTERACTION 5 - Rainbird (Il Mafioso rmx bu Requiem For FM)
08. ON-MOY - Electrosvyaz
09. T.3.R. - FWWM
10. MAGIK BRITE - Sleep
11. THE-PULSAR - Wolf (Black Colors rmx)
12. N-616 feat. REQUIEM FOR FM - Smile
13. WAVEFALL - Eclipse
14. COLD DESIGN - The Shorter Pain
15. BLOOD TRANSFUSION SET - Body and Soul
16. FLAMMENFORM_36 - Speed Ov Dark
17. CISFINITUM & V.EPIFANTSEV - Zhit Horosho!
"ASHES" (second compact disc)
01. CANONIS & EMILY A SAAEN - Apple Of Discord
02. TALISMAN TALES - Higher
03. KALTER GLANZ - ...and always...and lust
04. CHILDREN OF THE GUN - Ride The USA
05. TEARS OF JANNET - The Wind
06. DOPPELGANGER - Democracy's Undead
07. SPINEFISH - Shattered 21
08. LACKLUSTRE MIRROR - Golos Iz Hora
09. DODECCAHEEDRON - Medieval Hexen Rite
10. VISHUDHA KALI - Pamir Witchcraft
11. MAJDANEK WALTZ - Hamlet
12. ANNO DOMINI - Ode To Emperor
13. ÒÅÀÒÐ ßÄÀ & THEODOR BASTARD - Zavershenie Vershin
14. MOON FAR AWAY - An Invisible Step of World History
15. AETERNA ANIMA - Gurvastaka
16. DECEMBERED - Rex Tremendae
17. STILLIFE - Departed
Not so much time has passed since the first "music diaries" of the Russian dark scene began to appear and the music once concealed began to belong to show-business. We could hardly realize how the underground became the property of the multitude. But it did and the t's were crossed. Such radical changes occurred before our eyes that we, because of our naivety, could not even imagine. The young Russian scene lost its originality in chase of the global standards…
But still there are people who are much more interested in the music that belongs to where commercial logic doesn't work. In spite of the fact that sometimes it's not very qualitative in terms of sound and often recorded in home studios with the use of lo-fi equipment still it has one advantage: it is made by those for whom the feeling of creative excitement is more important than material welfare. The second volume of Colours of Black as well as the first one consists of the artists who are not interested in how many copies of their records have they sold, how many complimentary reviews and comments have they received and how major their labels are. They are not the worst or the best as music has never been sport…
Our compilation is just an attempt to define what the true independent Russian dark scene is like now. This music is still a requiem for the multitude…
The strangest thing about one of the finest underground labels in the world is that that here they are trying to interest us in the wide variety of hugely talented artists in Russia and actually many of the tracks are so orthodox and familiar, in terms of style, with the vocals in English, that there really shouldn’t be any problem whatsoever. It’s more for the world to catch up and realise that this music is being made with a higher intelligence, and therefore, artistic, level than most scenes as everything tends to even pout or go bland eventually, but Russia’s musicians are still striving, and therefore thriving, creatively.
On the first ‘Ashes’ side (the second CD being ‘Dust’) Tunnel’s ‘Rusalki’ seems quite a clattery old school industrial jumble reshaped with wild keening vocals; stirring stuff with levels of churning activity. Antisisters’ ‘Out Of My Head’ allows the electronics and guitar to form an android Goth pulse, and Necro Stellar’s ‘Only Moon’ is feisty fun with manic male vocals swooping and female swooning and purring. A brilliantly catchy murky mazurka in space it gives way to Purple Fog Side’s tingling ‘War In My Head’, interesting, slender electro pop with a sad refrain. Dasha Baskakova & Lauren Vorse’s ‘Erotic Tea’ is also intriguing, as it isn’t quite so decorative as much displayed here. Dasha has apparently been compared to both Grace Jones or Nina Hagen which is a bit rough as she certainly didn’t bore me. This tense mixture of wispy keyboards, sour rhythmical prowess and imaginative singing grabs hold viciously. Working in calmer territory Devushkin Son’s ‘Kamni-Kapli’ takes the mood down breathily into a gorgeous Euro triphop euro descent, and we do seem to freefall into the lighter side of electronics for this side.
Interaction 5’s ‘Rainbird’ (given a Il Mafioso remix by Requiem For FM) has fragrant piano to cut through the disembodied grace and seems almost too clean for a band who evidently did gigs where they turned up and made music up on the spot. (They almost had their debut album finished when the singer left for the South Pole, and don’t all bands hate it when that happens?) On-Moy's 'Electrosvyaz' is cool, in a crafty dance way, but T.3.R.’s ‘FWWM’ is lightweight and dopey considering their controversial past, being very standard clubby fare. Magik Brite’s ‘Sleep’ has serious gargling vocal intentions but it’s mainly more of the same mild pottering synth with nice squiggles of sound. The-Pulsar’s ‘Wolf’ displays the best understanding of tense dance, as a scalpel is taken to the rhythm, and the scathing Industrial variety Wavefall offer with ‘Eclipse’ also works. N-616 featuring Requiem For FM have plangent synthpop in ‘Smile’ but Cold Design’s moping Industrial may seem lively throughout ‘The Shorter Pain’ but it isn’t convincing, just as Blood Transfusion Set have a nice rattling synth beat in Body and Soul but it’s pretty dull. Flammenform 36’s ‘Speed Ov Dark’ has a hard pushy rhythm and choppier dance push but leaves few impressions, and it’s only with the closing dark ambient of Cisfinitum & V.Epifantsev’s ‘Zhit Horosho!’ we rediscover some music which isn’t trying too hard to be loved.
Over on the ‘Dust’ CD things do get tougher, or genuinely more affecting. Canonis & Emily A Saaen make for a great combination with their ‘Apple Of Discord’, which is wonderfully moody indie music of passion and subtle melodic contortions but while noting how brilliant it is, comparable with something like Collection D’Arnell-Andrea, or something of that ilk, and maybe it was a touch too long. Talisman Tales’ ‘Higher’ is electro pop to drool over with its demure commercial heart.
Kalter Glanz’s “and always...and lust” will slay newcomers to their sound; warmly fetid for all its crouched but invigorating sound the sweeping synth and doomed vocals have a crafty bite and is casually brilliant Goth. Then Children Of The Gun’s ‘Ride The USA’ rolls sweetly along on simple Goth charms with willowy, unfurled guitar and happily trilling, fulsome vocals. Tears Of Jannet have more heavenly Goth inversions, like early Cult brought screaming up to date in ‘The Wind’ and Doppelganger’s ‘Democracy's Undead’ is heaving around with a stately attack, compelling through its dramatic steps and rolling bass carpet which rolls you along effortlessly. Cutely playful, it has a mean side that lures you in like the coolest Goth.
Spinefish has something still and attractive in ‘Shattered 21.’ Wistful ambient with a recurring shimmer it’s quite delightful and some of the best music here, for all its quiet simplicity, and we’re definitely hitting the art trail, because Lacklustre Mirror then rise brightly into the intensity of ‘Golos Iz Hora’ over relaxed and beautiful keyboards. Dodeccaheedron offer an acceptable, smooth drone in ‘Medieval Hexen Rite’ but the plinky-plonky new agisms of Vishudha Kali’s ‘Pamir Witchcraft’ did nothing for me. Similarly, the easygoing plain indiefolk of Majdanek Waltz’s ‘Hamlet’ was interestingly sparse but I was happy when Anno Domini came along. ‘Ode To Emperor’ is unusually and imaginative crossing from searing and inspirational to quite dense, lit up by snaking strings.
Theatre Of Poison & Theodor Bastard create tiny magic in the hushed ‘Zavershenie Vershin’ almost on a sub-dancey level with holistic female vocals fluttering up and away past the sterner man as the keyboards bounce, but the ending is dreadful. By comparison Moon Far Away are majestic throughout ‘An Invisible Step of World History’ teasing out interesting brassy shapes over what could be classed Industrial pop? Aeterna Anima have very formal electronic music in ‘Gurvastaka’, close to weary industrial. Decembered’s ‘Rex Tremendae’ is again very attractively morose, with distinctly Russian tones, bound up in evocative indie serenity and Stillife’s ‘Departed’ is dank, bewitching indie with elegant strings and dark slow vocals. Strangely, this reminded me of Army Of Lovers
Another fabulous compilation then, this is probably more of interest to those on the electronic scene as there are less characters here, so in that way it helps them spread the reputation of Russian music, which is fine. On the other hand given what I say, quite intentionally, about this generally being so much smarter than the music coming from other, more settled, scenes I figure everyone should want to have a listen.
(I’d love to hear more by Tears Of Jannet, Kalter Glanz, Teatr Yada and Anno Domini. Do they really have no websites?)