Monday, 13 February 2012

Abtu Anet - Gultskra Artikler (Miasmah)

Music of Gultskra Artikler is a chaos, some village with dusty forgotten things. It’s like a mosaic, fanciful designs on an old trunk. You examine it, draw something and add new elements. They shimmer in the sunlight, you feel its rough edges and specks. - Alexey Devyanin 

Alexey describes his music so well that I don't need to say another word. But I will. I'll say a few more words, although the line 'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture' never felt more appropriate. Only a musician with a grudge about music criticism would come up with that line anyway. And what do musicians know about writing anything other than music? John Cage knew about writing - he knew it could be abstract and make more sense than 'proper' writing. 

Collage...mosaic is as good a word for Devyanin's music. Acoustic guitar, piano, samples, unnameable sounds, folkloric melodies from 78s in an old trunk in the attic...the dusty cosmic drift of time...particles of sound arranged in such a way as to evoke Tarkovsky's Zone, perhaps...the artist as stalker, bringing back alien artefacts. In the locked groove crackle of this music, anything is possible...

He doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry...he's off the map in the modern sense...

This music is unstoppable, by which I mean I literally cannot bring myself to turn it off...because it is not instantly knowable...each track is a Russian doll containing seemingly infinite pieces...all of which can only be extracted by repeated plays. So I play it again. In this age of restless clicking, it's miraculous that this music  not only demands sustained attention but gets it from me. I am, as much as anyone else, a restless listener...playing parts of tracks, skipping some, almost listening to whole pieces before the thought of something else draws me away.

Time seems to change in Devyanin's world, just as it does in Tarkovsky's, and whilst he created visual poetry in 'Stalker', Devyanin achieves something like the sonic equivalent here.

You can listen here


  1. i am loving what you are doing here, actual heartfelt and though-provoking writing about music. I imagine i would dig dancing about architecture, as well. I get worked up about things. I have also dug this record, plan on reviewing it myself this coming week. Everything i've heard on miasmah so far has kicked ass!

  2. Cheers - comment much appreciated.


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