Grundik + Slava - ...for Electronics and
By Ray Van Horn, Jr.
Igor "Grundik" Kasyansky and
Slava Smelovsky live in an interesting world. This pair of Russian musicians
dwell in such quietude and serenity it's damned enviable. Where else but inside
their comforted infrastructure could anyone possibly get away with integrating
bird chirping and lullaby-tendered instrumentation? While this duo ought to
come with a somnambulant warning label, their fourth recording ...for
Electronics and Birds offers music to challenge the discerning new
millenniumist. It's not always perfect, but there's something intriguing about
their softhearted tranquility.
The sedate and extensive opener Pattern in Time opens
a chiming portal with as many ways to tweak the familiar Three Blind Mice scale
as Grundik and Slava can get away with. It is mostly innocent and pure,
subjectively so. Virola is a bit more aggressive in an Alan Howarth
sense with high synth notes that scrape the lower ones in a strange contrast
that, combined, produces an altogether different sleepwalking effect. Lost
Fado captures Middle Eastern chant and thrusts it amidst a harrowing melody
which halts in face of the bird chirping that prevails as the stabilizing
factor on this random-natured project.
Music for Mr. Ambient sways peacefully along until
the erratic ending that reflects Air, while the transparent 1:32 Final
dares the listener into deeper meditation realized next on the organic Music
Box 1, which cheerfully utilizes Grundik and Slava's electronic tweaking to
sound like a store full of wind chimes catching gale forces from an open door.
The bird sampling afterwards is an afterthought, and if one has stuck around
long enough, Pianka Do Golenia will undoubtedly catch one off guard with
its eccentric jazz splicing that might piss one off at first, but after awhile
it begins to assume an awkward satisfaction before the next round of aviary
chatter pecks it away.
The drunken Song for Dong teeters along until the
8-plus minute Rain Music incorporates some tangible beats to its equally
inebriated melody that rambles for seven minutes before giving way to the birds
yet again. The project closes with Inarticulate Pattern, which reprises
Pattern in Time with more electronic layering. At 3:41, it is perhaps
better realized than its predecessor, if not more expedient.
Undoubtedly Grundik and Slava reside in some sort of quirky
new age nirvana when they compose together. With the barbaric world that exists
outside their two-man symposium, one can hardly blame them for consulting the
birds as their muse. They're obviously types to stop and smell the roses in a
world that ignores them until they have need of them. Grundik and Slava
seemingly need the roses every day.
Fichtenweg 38, 79682 Todtmoos, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 7674 920194