Artemiy Artemiev

Time, Desert and a Sound

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After a slew of duo CDs with the likes of Peter Frohmader, Phillip B. Klingler, and Christopher DeLaurenti, Artemiy Artemiev comes back to solo mode with Time, Desert and a Sound, five years after Mysticism of Sound, his previous solo release. Artemiev is a master of Ambiguous Ambient: you're never sure if you should file him under New Age or Electroacoustics. The distinction is even more blurry with this album. The music has more bite than on previous efforts. Artemiev makes more use of computer treatments, dragging his art away from new age keyboards and closer to experimental electronica. The atmospheres are dark, disquieting, with growling sub-bass drones, eerie throat singing, and echoing "swooshes" and "thacks." "Beyond Bounds of Reality" strikes the imagination in a typical Artemiev way, but amplified. The listener is led through a desolated landscape that still bears the traces of human activity (a voice here, the sound of metal being pounded there). The triptych formed by the tracks "Time," "Desert," and "A Sound" comes closer to the composer's previous solo efforts. "Desert" features the contribution of guitarist Valery Siver, which gives the piece a friendlier mood. Vocalist Miroslav Rajkowsky is heard in "A Sound," the album's most powerful piece. The disc concludes with a 36-minute live performance of "Mysticism of Sound, Part II" with Siver again at the acoustic guitar, played like a sitar or koto. The piece is the most digital-sounding of the set; it features gritty electronic textures and layers upon layers of drones. It might not surprise listeners who have been following the experimental laptop scene, but Artemiev's followers are in for a cultural shock -- a healthy one.

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