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(38:39; [addicted label] )
When I am sent music by this label, the only thing I can guarantee is that it will be often quite different to anything else I have been listening to, and that is the case again with this St. Petersburg-based duo. Everything on the album (fretless bass, drums, Fender Rhodes, Korg ms20, guzheng, 12-string guitar, banjo, etc.) was played, recorded and mixed by Boris Shulman and Sviatoslav who formed the band back in 2012, who at the time were both members of the hard rock outfit The Flash Fever. According to their Facebook page they are proud purveyors of klezmer doom, and as that term was new to me off I went to Wikipedia and discovered that Klezmer music is a style of music derived from and built upon eastern European music in the Jewish tradition. So, there you have it. What we get is a group who for the most part comprise drums and heavily distorted bass (Chris Squire being taken to a whole new level), then adding vocals and other instruments on top. The use of bass as a lead instrument, heavily distorted with long drawn notes is quite dramatic on its own, but then over the top we get psychedelic harmony vocals, so the end result is like nothing else I have heard. At times it is incredibly commercial, bringing in elements of space rock when the time is right, while at others it is really hard going, which makes it interesting all the way through. This is their second album, following on from their 2013 debut, and whereas some Russian music is quite hard to obtain this has been put up on Bandcamp so is easy to search out and have a listen. The drums are often light and providing the pace, while the bass is far slower, and the use of a fretless means plenty of opportunities to slide when the time is right. It really is a hard album to describe as they also bring in Eastern influences, especially on “Dnaa”, and provide way more lightness than what one would normally expect from a doom release. To my mind it is more stoner than doom even though that is how the band describe it, and the complex mix is at times quite compelling. This is an album which I found incredibly difficult to get inside, and it was only on the third or fourth listen that I started to enjoy it, so this is definitely one of those that rewards patience.
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