Considering that S.B. Reda and Pamela Zero largely contribute to this album, A. Molotkov's Can You Stay Forever? could be seen as the follow-up to Discord Aggregate's The Texture of the Sky. Entirely written by Molotkov (save for Zero's "Death"), the album adopts the same scattered form as the collective's then-most recent effort. Can You Stay Forever? consists of 34 pieces ranging in duration from a mere few seconds to around four minutes. They all feature words taken from Molotkov's book Not From Around Now (Poetry for a Small Choir) -- and a small choir is almost what we have here, with Molotkov, Reda, Zero and Annie Vox reciting and occasionally singing. Several tracks are tied to each other, either through musical content, instrumentation, or lyrics, expanding or reducing themes previously heard. The vocal variety is already impressive, but the amount of instrumentation is downright staggering -- violin, sitar, duduk, contrabass, accordion, sax, lap steel guitar, flute, and various percussion -- in addition to keyboards and the aforementioned voices -- adding up to a total cast of 17 players. The result is often dizzying and strikes as quite hermetic upon first listen, but as the ear gets accustomed to the luxurious arrangements and fragmented writing, the listener is able to detect the intricacies of the work, the simplicity of most melodies, and the enigmatic poetry that is Molotkov's forte and a distinctive trait of Discord Aggregate's previous works. Molotkov's music draws from Aboriginal, Arab and Indian traditions, along with the cut-and-paste style of '80s John Zorn, and the ordered chaos ethos of John Cage's chance-generated works. Can You Stay Forever? is more than an impressive solo debut, it's in a class of its own.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture