Antanas Jasenka

Deus Ex Machina

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Up to this point in its existence, the label Electroshock had established a rather specific aesthetic for Russian electro-acoustic music, an ethos that drew part on French musique concrète and part on new age electronics. Now comes Antanas Jasenka and his Deus Ex Machina, a disc of fantastic noise art. The album goes from moments of tensed-up silences and slow-building background noises à la Francisco López to outbursts of finely chiseled harsh noise of the likes of Merzbow or Sickness. A lot of action takes place between these two poles, cinematic scenes that pair found sounds with digital treatments to produce captivating sonic environments. In "Accsident" [sic], strings, brushes, and a voice sample are arranged into a post-rock interlude that degenerates into screams, electric guitar, and another buildup of tension. Jasenka has the artistry but most of all the flair to orchestrate an album in such a way that it anticipates the listener's reactions. He is constantly two steps ahead of you. The music of labelmates Artemiy Artemiev, Stanislav Kreitchi, or Anatoly Pereslegin sounds highly distinctive because it has developed in a closed-up universe. Jasenka seems to be of a post-glasnost generation that followed the underground currents of '90s European electronic music. Fans of Doc Wör Mirran and the post-industrial, drone, and atmospheric noise scenes owe themselves a listen to this album. The only downside is the inappropriate track indexing: The nine movements of the work end up packed into three giant tracks.

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