|Home » Articles » Reviews|
|25 December 2017||
VA - Aivazovsky Waves 2017
Aivazovsky Waves was not meant to be a label. But lo and behold—Aivazovsky Waves 2017—our first digital release. The idea came around mid-2017; if there were to be a VA, it would be appropriate for our release to feature artists whose sets were published on the podcast series—inviting arbitrary producers for a release which might or might not even happen simply didn't make much sense (although back when the podcast was just starting, this was precisely the game—invite the artists you admire to a podcast with under 100 followers and cross your fingers in a hope that they won't reply with a text equivalent of laughing in your face). So, some messages were sent out, asking—just questioning—whether anyone is interested in contributing a track for a hypothetical VA, and by the law of averages it was pretty evident that at least a few would agree, but 14 really is not a number we expected. Maybe 6, or 8; 10 would've been nice, but 14? The number really stood above the initial expectations, but perhaps this should serve a lesson—if you are being nice to people, if you really are doing your best to accommodate them, chances are that they will be happy to reciprocate. Right? And we really did our best to accommodate—those 50-plus streaming services are a testament to that. Anyway, the introduction already occupies a whole paragraph of text and we haven't even started looking into the tracks themselves—so let us start.
First off, ordering the tracks alphabetically according to artists' names seemed as the proper thing to do—if only to relieve ourselves from the responsibility of making a choice. After all, should anyone get upset about their spot on the tracklist, we can simply point the finger at an alphabet and say: it's all those damn historically-arranged letters! In all seriousness however, for our VA this sort of ordering really works quite well, not only because AM.MA's Astonishing Panorama works perfectly as an opener because of its gradual unraveling with just the right amount of punch in the main sections, but also because the last number (a continuous set accordingly credited to "VA") is perfect for the final position—you wouldn't put a continuous set some place in the middle of release, would you? It would put the whole Feng shui of the album in a twist. No, a continuous set should either occupy the first, or the last slot, and alphabetically, it has conveniently taken the last one. BlackSun's reason-stimulating Digitalis Purpurea, again, sits perfectly on second spot due to its calm, experimental nature and profoundly vast, ever-expanding ambiance. At a rate of knots, Clasps' Ceregiela and Derlich's Hate hazardously accelerate the audio flow into an openly aggressive, high-energy torrent, before the VA proceeds with a more contemplative, but still rapidly spinning, low-range-pummelling stomper Autre by DJ Saint Pierre. Club-oriented HH.Prototype then demonstrates the knack that Frankie Serious has for making sharp kicks go well with haunting, chilly pads, and how he can turn things around in a blink with intrusion of warm synths, while making it sound purely organic. Being acquainted with John Ov3rblast's catalog we've come to expect wonderful things from him, but with 909 he delivered a truly transcendental work that takes dub techno to a whole new level of magical mesmerism. Numbers 8 and 9 effectively mark the middle of release, and again, the alphabet could not serve us better here because as for release's peak section, the tracks could not have been more appropriate: the album's most energetic offering in 130-BPM range is arguably ST03—a twisted banger in which Kaspiann lets a rogue, rapid acidic loop roam free against relentless kicks, and just when you thought this was the most intense track the VA could offer, Luke Lund proverbially throws a whole keg-full of gunpowder into the flame with a modern-rave-oriented, cosmic 145-BPM killer curiously named Aalto-2 (Kessler Syndrome)—an equivalent of a firepower you do not want to be in the viewing distance of, unless situated safely in a rocket launch observation shelter. With an exception of Stefano Infusino's neatly-crafted, elegant-sounding work Pendulum, the last part of our release is provided by the talented Japanese techno producers: onomono, for instance, employs surging kicks to run rampantly under peculiarly arranged hat sweeps and brilliantly synthesized pads on Cu-Sn, while Taiki Ozawa breaks conventions of rhythm in his own way on Navegante, a piece that starts fairly regularly but quickly goes off-page by engaging stuttering hats, common signature-dislocating kicks and wild, lively bells that pursue their own agenda, almost in dissonance to other elements. Unraveling at lento and utilizing epizeuxis in its title, The Human & Assets' Capital Capital takes its time to build up and unite heavy-duty kicks with reminiscent, tender melodies executed through stretching pads and resounding bells. Ending the quota of original tracks on a particularly high note, Tomo Hachiga's slick closer Concord makes a great study of how a virtually-breakless 7-minute composition can naturally progress through stages and stay effective at every moment throughout while also remaining captivating. Having closed off the main section, the VA has one last thing to offer—a continuous set that includes all 14 tracks, compressed densely into one seamless hour by the podcast curator rhetor, who does not follow the tracklist order to a T, but rather arranges the pieces in a way that serves pacing.
And that's the VA for you. We hope that you have enjoyed it and that there will be a next one for you to enjoy. Please, be sure to mention the artists and titles if you should play the tracks in sets released online; keep in mind that tracklisting is important for supporting those whose work you are making a good use of, and it gratifies the listeners for having chosen to listen to your set. Much love.
Words by rhetor.
Release Type: VA / Album
Release Date: 25 December 2017
Release Format: Digital
Record Label • Catalog: Aivazovsky Waves • AWVA2017
Purchase Link: Bandcamp
Aivazovsky Waves Podcast Series 01. AM.MA - Astonishing Panorama 02. BlackSun - Digitalis Purpurea 03. Clasps - Ceregiela 04. Derlich - Hate 05. DJ Saint Pierre - Autre 06. Frankie Serious - HH.Prototype 07. John Ov3rblast - 909 08. Kaspiann - ST03 09. Luke Lund - Aalto-2 (Kessler Syndrome) 10. onomono - Cu-Sn 11. Stefano Infusino - Pendulum 12. Taiki Ozawa - Navegante 13. The Human & Assets - Capital Capital 14. Tomo Hachiga - Concord 15. VA - Aivazovsky Waves 2017 (Combined by rhetor)