četvrtak, 29. studenoga 2012.

Love Cult - Fingers Crossed

Još raspadanja. "Devet olujnih mantri iz lijepog izgubljenog prostora". Ruski proizvod. Grouper, Yellow Swans, KTL i Basinski destilirani u žestokoj votki na zimskih -20 stupnjeva.


In the space of half a dozen releases, both reissued and original, Public Information have struck a nerve with lovers of esoteric, evocative electronic music. Their latest comes like a sonic dose of krokodil from Russian duo Love Cult, aka Anya Kuts and Ivan Afanasyev, dealing a sort of decayed chamber drone-pop and dense, stunted ambience haunting space between Bellows, The Cure, MSOTT and Indignant Senility. In other words, it's bloody bleak, yet beautiful with it. This is exactly the sort of stuff you'd imagine to come from a remote locale such as Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia - a vodka-curdled mixture of haptic textural processing, ghosted chorales and bone-creaking noise streaked with stray samples and encased in the kind of ceramic finish used to line CoH's wipe-clean out-house. As clichéd as it may sound, the mysterious Russian spirit is very much at play here, from the dilapidated weft of 'Wall Rug''s Bellows-like hypnagogic moire to the stately, ricocheting drums and wordless, Liz Harris-like chant of 'Fingers Crossed' and 'Place To Get Lost In', through the frostbitten ambience on 'Palinode' and the thrumming queasiness of 'Knowledge', all summoning that feeling of existential despair, torpor and stoic catharsis you'd usually associate with that region's art and literature. Recommended! - boomkat

Since its inception late last year, the imprint has clocked up a short but rich discography of spectral electronica and worthy reissues. Vancouver synth manipulator No UFO’s released his colourful Mind Controls The Flood EP on the label in 2011, and Ekoplekz’s frazzled Dromilly Vale EP arrived earlier this year. Electronics Without Tears, a collection of works by the great early electronic boffin F.C. Judd, is the real peach on the list, a well-curated and revelatory collection of wide-eyed electronic experiments.
The label’s latest release arrives courtesy of Russian double act Love Cult. The pair hail from Petrozavodsk in the Republic of Karelia, and have been putting out spectral electronic releases since 2009. To date, their work has centred around heavily processed guitar work and treated vocals. 2010′s wonderfully evocative Sobaki, volki overlaid vocalist Anya Kuts’ best wolf impression over a bed of feedback. 2011′s expansive Nebulaes tape, meanwhile, falls somewhere between Steve Reich’s exercises in revelatory phasing and Motion Sickness Of Time Travel’s free-floating drone fantasias.
Debut LP Fingers Crossed will feature nine new tracks of  ”lonely, strange music” from the pair. The album promises a melange of cribbed television samples, primitive drum programming and oddles of feedback and reverb. Listening to a preview of material from the record, available below, Fingers Crossed is a forbidding but texturally dense listen, primed to appeal to fans of Ben Frost and Demdike Stare alike.- www.factmag.com/

One of my favourite ever bands, Norsk-psych chameleons Motorpsycho, once brought out an album called ‘It’s A Love Cult’ and I have my “fingers crossed” that this is going to sound like them, but upon a couple of moments’ listening it’s clear that won’t be happening for me today, with the record starting with a short drone which starts changing speed wildly and disconcertingly before we’re swept into a desolate landscape of weird crackly looped field recordings, industrial groans and creaks, distant bubbling-swamp bloops and all manner of drone, crackle and decay.
It’s uneasy dark ambience but it’s never too intense or oppressive, instead opting for a slow paced dread-drift of haunted, scraping tension. If you found a box that was making this noise, you would not want to open it and find out what was inside. At some points it does become a bit more melodic, with deep organ drones and ethereal sighing female voices droning a bit higher and forming some gorgeous little chord shapes while they’re at it on the lengthy title track, which eventually sees some sparse, echoed techno beats added as the smooth textures are slowly overtaken by a gradually thickening wall of noise-scree.
In fact on the second side things continue on this slow-drifting melodic tip, like Dead Can Dance mashed off their tits on ketamine, or a more sensible description would be like Decimus gone a bit dronier and more organic. It’s densely layered, thoroughly absorbing stuff, though, and it’s sending me into a bit of a hypno-trance, only to blast me out of it every now and again with a little bit of confusing chaos before dropping me straight back into my drone reverie. As far as dark ambience goes, this is classy and accomplished stuff which will soothe and chill in equal measure when you’re blasting it through your headphones in the middle of a dark, sleepless night.  - Norman Records

Selected Discography
Love Cult
Fingers Crossed lp/digital Public Information 2012
Nebulaes cassette Brave Mysteries 2011
split with Tempera cassette Stunned 2011
Sobaki, Volki cassette My Dance The Skull 2010
split with Cursillistas cassette Blackest Rainbow 2010
split with Deep Magic cassette Existential Cloth 2009
In Russia cassette Full of Nothing 2012
Easy Feelings cassette SicSic 2011

Nebulaes (2011)

Maybe the best review of this little cassette would be the words of my mother who said after hearing side A of the tape: “It would make a nice doorbell”. Of course, in the mouth of some sarcastic, cynical blogger this might be an insult but what my mother meant was clearly a compliment – by the “doorbell” sound my mother rather described something clear, easily recognizable, warm and welcoming. Love Cult’s Nebulaes is exactly that, at last side A.
The first track, entitled “Reflection”, which features a truly minimalist series of shimmering tones played on kantele, an instrument native to Karelia, among others (the historical area divided between Finland and Russia, where Love Cult also come from). The tones are sparse and played in a simple, descending manner. The simplicity of the track is where it takes its strength from: the seemingly endlessly sustained echoes put the listener in the state of deep trance. The kantele lead is then gradually, yet gently transformed: more layers stack upon one another, new waves of delay and reverb are added, deepening the meditational state. The track’s title, “Reflection”, might have a double meaning: both a reflection of the autumn/winter sun in the clear, cold water and a reflection upon a feeling or a simple meditation on the simplicity of beauty.
Side B’s “Absorption” gets a little more lo-fi and hazy than the minimalist side A, but it’s still deep in the melodic, melancholic territory. This quiet, introverted jam (it’s a bit weird to write words “quiet” and “jam” together) is based almost solely on acoustic guitar and moaning, wordless vocals. The music wanders through the raw nature soundscapes – birch forests, cold springs, reeds at the lake’s shore. “Absorption” is an exercise in loneliness and melancholy. Not a cold, detached calculation, not a distanced look: it’s Love Cult telling the story of times bygone, the story of lost love, from their own experience: even though there aren’t any lyrics, the distant, gentle guitar and the calm vocals make listening to “Absorption” an almost heartbreaking experience. Nebulaes is a folky version of M. Geddes Gengras’ Magical Writing (or maybe it’s the other way around?). Both artists displayed on those albums their personal and introverted take on melancholy, be it through outsider guitar sound paintings or synth-driven ambient introspection. In fact, this connection is not coincidental: Ged Gengras has mastered the Love Cult’s tape before it was released on Brave Mysteries.
Love Cult can serve as a doorbell sound in my house every day; each time the guests would be thrown in a state of calm, meditative state. Not a druggy, “faded” state – Love Cult might be described as psychedelic folk, but their music is psychedelic without the use of psychedelics. Rather it’s seeing and feeling more through leaving it all behind – the drugs, the Internet, the technology, the career. Love Cult want you to simply go to the nearest woods, sit down and listen. -

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