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Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Astrowind are a Latvian duo, consisting of Kirils Lomunovs (think: Oloolo, Echochorus, Bongo, Pasaki Onkuliem Ata etc.) and Maksims Borisovs (Mahi Bukimi). This new full length (the last one, Somewhere The Music Has Been Played, was, if I’m not mistaken, released one year before this one) was recorded once again at Astrowind’s home studio (Tokctoka Studio in capital city Riga), and produced, engineered, re-edited and mixed (down from analogue tapes) by Kirils. Semikarakory comes in an A5-formatted cardboard edition, limited to 292 hand-numbered) copies, with rather strange, unusual artwork by Siyanie Art’s Sergey Ilchuk (Kshatriy, Maeror Tri, Midal E Garda, Corvuz a.m.m.).

Semikarakory consists of four lengthy pieces, all together clocking sixty four minutes. In the vein of the former material (Bandcamp might give you a clue), this album stands for a combination of hypnotic yet un-harsh Industrial Noise and weird, frenzy (Minimal) Ambient, injected by lots of samples, trancelike passages, floating ambience and (soft) electronic experimentation. As from the opening title track, it’s clear that this project does not just perform some kind of Noise / Ambient, but they create a mostly occult, mesmerizing and ritual form of it. Quite a big part of this improvised material was recorded on so-called open-reel tape recorders during different live sessions on an analogue processor and synths, so I wonder in what kind of trance these guys were acting back then – but it proves their qualities for sure. Despite the impressing length of each composition (both first tracks, for example, last for more than twenty (!) minutes), there is a constant arousal, a permanently inherent and present undefinable thing that keeps you (or at least me) attentive, attracted, alert. Minimalism has nothing to do with nihilism right here, and utter coldness has everything to do with a warm feeling, the latter being caused by the sonic beauty of discordance and discomfort. I know that this sounds like a lapsus, a paradox, a discrepancy, yet the contradictory definition sort of assembles the different layers of pseudo-emotional and multi-dimensional sonic structures.

I do not think this is an ‘easy-listening’ album, but as a soundtrack, an aural collage at the background, it will do. There isn’t enough excitement to please those listeners that rather seek for energetic experiment, but the enthralling journey surely will be adored by those who like to dream away into atmospheres of the infinite, of the unknown, of endlessness and eternity. Join us…