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sunnuntai 30. joulukuuta 2018

Slovo Mira ‎- Black Fjord and the End of the World

Tonzonen Records (TON048)

Black Fjord and the End of the World is the second album by Russian improvisational, experimental avant-garde jazz/psych group Slovo Mira. It is the first one to be released on vinyl and CD while the debut in 2017 was only a digital download I think. Kamille Sharapodinov from The Grand Astoria and The Legendary Flower Punk plays all the guitar on the album among some other things. The are lots of loops, beats and electronics making the music sound pretty modern. The band also has a balalaika/glockenspiel player adding some Ethnic Russian vibes, and double and fretless bass guitars enhance the rather jazzy vibe. There's also other stuff like theremin, keyboards and a little bit of voice but no actual vocals. All the music was improvised in studio without overdubs, but there must have been quite a lot of editing and manipulation in the mixing phase.

There are only three long tracks on the album. The A side's over 23-minute long piece is divided into three parts, though ("Towards The Northern Island/Multicolored Flow/Glide To Fate"). The first five minutes are spacey, weird and experimental ambient stuff but then the up-beat electronic beat makes things more energetic along the balalaika. Kamille plays some cool electric guitar as well and the bass and keyboards add more colour and stucture to the music. Towards the end the tempo slows down and we get some modern smokey electronic jazz moods. This is like nothing I've heard so far so no comparisons really come to mind. Okay, partly early experimental Porcupine Tree maybe... Let's just say that this is rather interesting! On the B-side we've got the strange and druggy title track first. It has a very psychedelic beginning and then goes into avant-garde electronic jazz. It might take a few times before you get it since this is definitely not easy listening stuff. Weird and experimental but spacey and trippy enough for me to still enjoy it. "The New Land" is a somewhat easier to digest and actually very enjoyable and atmospheric stuff although still jazzy and progressive. I really prefer the acoustic drums on this one to the previous electronic beats. This is maybe closer to mainstream post-rock or even space or krautrock (ØSC?), but especially the balalaika makes it still sound rather special. My favourite track, anyway. The clear vinyl that comes in a nice open gatefold cover with a poster is limited to just 300 copies so be fast if you want one! Also available on CD. 

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