Boomkat Product Review:
Pavel Milyakov (aka Buttechno’s) darkest and most fraught material to date, recorded to close Cyprien Gaillard’s exhibition at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris, and slowly unfurling into 40 minutes of increasingly spiky material on a tip somewhere between Suzanne Ciani, Sunn O))) and Aaron Dilloway. All label profits will be donated to Livyj Bereh — a Kyiv-based group of volunteers who help rebuild houses destroyed by the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
Dispensed by Coni’s Firecamp label, the 36 minute piece pays witness to Milyakov at a stark peak of his powers, wrangling unearthly hallucinations from guitar, synth and pedals in a way that relates to his bleakest solo sides and deployed as a mark of despair at the situation in his native Russia, which the artist has staunchly denounced. If you want to hear Pavel delve deep into his knack for atmospheric worldbuilding - this is basically as good as it gets.
From a cold rush intro of shivering arps resembling a swarm of drones sent from kosmicshe mountaintops, to its haunting outro of caressed arpeggios, the set traverses trip metal sludge into caustic, granular soundscaping with a howling, apocalyptic feel. Rhythms appear to disgorge into hellish scenes of muddy planes, arrhythmically struck percussion recalls vehicle doors slamming, all in service of ever-darkening concrète soundwalls that - only at the very end - collapse into more hopeful, open-hearted dimensions.
As mentioned, the work was commissioned to accompany the closing of Cyprien Gaillard’s recent exhibition in Paris. Gaillard is one of the most significant French artists of his generation, his broad-ranging, research-based practice encompasses installation, photography, video, sculpture and sound, proposing a radical reimagining of the relation between human and nature, with an emphasis on investigations of space, history and materiality. He has won numerous international prizes such as the Prix Marcel-Duchamp & Award of National Gallery.