Tetris

Tetris

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While electronic music is often broken down by geographic styles (U.K. garage, Chicago house), it is sometimes the lack of discernible regional differences that illustrates both the inspiring universal nature of this music and the unfortunate homogenization that can occurs. This album appears on the U.K.'s Pork record label, indicating its groovy, downtempo contents before the CD ever leaves it's case. However, once you discover that Tetris in fact a Russian group, signed to an U.K. label, one's expectations immediately grow, if for no other reason that the novelty of electronic producers from a place more exotic than the usual Western European axis. Upon those standards, this self-titled album falls short, as there is nothing noticeable in the music to separate it from the fodder of downtempo releases. But that doesn't mean that the music is not worthy of appreciation. "I've Said" uses an ethereal voice that recalls the Orb's more popular moments. Surprisingly, said vocals are not the result of sampling other records, but are, in-fact, the live throat of Tatiana Ipatova. The live-to-sample methodology continues on several other tracks that make abundant use of lightly treading congas and fairy-tale orchestral sweeps. Equally fascinating in the valve-release percussion that drives the entire epic length of "Recordsman." The rhythmically driven piece subtlety disintegrates, and then builds back up, without ever resorting to the melodic escapes found on the rest of the album. So while Tetris do not distinguish themselves as the Russian sound of electronica, they do earn notable merit for the quality of their music outside of geographical expectations.

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