Boomkat Product Review:
Russian electronic artist Alexey Devyanin has just gone and made one of the strangest albums you're likely to come across in 2007. Having already graced the Lampse roster with the excellent Pofigistka, the incomparable, unpronounceable Gultskra Artikler has now delivered Kasha Iz Topora, a scrapbook of odd, wintry sonic postcards. The album seems to be coated in the kind of archaic vinyl crackle and ancient hiss that Phillip Jeck and Janek Schaefer pursue, and as with those two artists, Devyanin doesn't use these sounds as a mere fast track to nostalgia. Instead, the clouds of texture and grainy noise that hang over Kasha Iz Topora make the whole thing come across as some bizarre, dusty document that's been perishing away in an attic somewhere for the last thirty years or so. In fact, you might say that the single defining characteristic of this album is that it doesn't really sound like anything so mundane as an actual author was responsible for it. While it certainly sounds like a single, specific vision, the various recorded elements and bizarre, disembodied instrumentation that shape the flow of sound on this album make it seem almost (for want of a better word) accidental, as if someone had inadvertently dubbed all kinds of disparate fragments of audio on top of one another, somehow resulting in a ghostly archive of weird acousmatics, unidentifiable bowed screeching and things that go bump in the night. You might align Kasha Iz Topora with the sort of folksy psychedelia and general fumbling around that characterises the Fonal label's output, but there's undeniably a more visionary, experimental mindset behind all this. The very fact that the album (despite being divided into eighteen discreet tracks) takes the form of a continuous whole suggests a vastness of scope, and the breadth of sources here (one moment you'll hear recordings of passing trains, or creaking floorboards, the next some lonely piano passages mauled by wayward electronics) lend Gultskra Artikler's work a sense of poetry and adventurousness. Highly Recommended.