Galleri Bleue

Lost within the inner realms of recollection and the rhythmic worlds of Synaesthesia intertwined with the loud uncertainty of the outer world, wearing huge shades in order to conceal my anxious eyes… I rushed to the place where I was supposed to play, Galleri Bleue, in the outskirts of Vinterviken in Stockholm. The place was relatively hard to find since I imagined it to look like something else, but upon the arrival all my expectations were fulfilled, and more! A little cavern amidst the Nordic forest scenery, nearby the water, within the realms of public domain… thank you Sweden for allemansrätten!

The main challenge was the climbing to and from the scene. Thankfully, the rope, clearly visible on the photo, came in very handy in the process. Soundcheck and all the preparation procedures went very smoothly. Socializing… friendly and accepting atmosphere that warmed up significantly later on, given the amount of Småland beer consumed in the process. In vino veritas!

The place transformed completely when the light of the day dimmed away, giving the way to the velvety darkness of the autumn Scandinavian night. The speech about anti-rationalism inaugurated the event, the candlelight created the patterns of brilliant gold in the blackness, and the bonfire warmed up the still air around and brought the woody fragrance along with slight crackling to the main picture.

Sarianne, who I met before during the filming with Malga Kubiak, played improvisations “in-between” the live sessions of other participants. Bosse Stövare performed few improvised pieces on his Nord Stage 2 synthesizer, very warm analogue electronica with the vibe of the 60s. I performed a 15-minute set as Ars Sonor… something botched together within a couple of days, the result is available here. I should’ve been more gentle with the bass… but what was done, was done regardless. Afterwards, a film was shown… as far as I gathered, it was mostly the footage from a drone mixed together with metal music. Everyone was socializing in the meantime, I was lucky to have few very interesting conversations with the participants! One never knows indeed!

Finally, Glapp performed their, quote, “modern take on industrial music”. A flute, some noises, some very distorted speech touching, among other things, the theme of unemployment… following the steps of Throbbing Gristle straight to the 21st century.

Overall, quality prevailed over quantity here undoubtedly. This little event, among other things, proved to be a lively oasis among the choking rationality of Stockholm. And, I am grateful for this opportunity. In the end it’s all about experience… the time for the positive experiences has come, it’s far beyond the eleventh hour already. The dawn is here, bestowing the golden path from the shore to the horizon.

Meklabor: Prima Vara

Meklabor "Prima Vara"

Originally published in YIKIS, October 2014.

Bagpipe industrial? From Russia?! Sounds quite exquisite, isn’t it? According to the official history of the project, Meklabor is “Dmitry Vlasov, a sound artist and bagpiper from Russia. The starting point for Meklabor was 2004, when Werk 84 was formed. Vlasov was experimenting with the fusion of EBM, drone, ambient and kraut rock. After the first VST-based album saw the light, he decided to use hardware music equipment only. After some years of experiments with music equipment, playing at some local festivals and being active at the netlabel scene, the concept of the project was finally formed. Meklabor explores sounds of bagpipes and other folk instruments, framing it with hardware-made synth backgrounds, distorted rhythms and ethnic percussion. Meklabor is not an authentic folk project, bagpipe tunes are being used here as a tool of traditional music syntax. The project went through various incarnations, recorded some material under the name SunBurzt, released some recordings through netlabels and published a 7-inch vinyl. The project collaborated with many experimental artists in the past, for instance, i.m.m.u.r.e. (Russia) and H-LR (Israel). Dmitry got a lot of experience playing in martial dark folk group, Ostov (ex-For Faith), performing live on the same stage with Of The Wand And The Moon (Denmark), Cyclofilidea (Russia) and Noises of Russia (Russia)”. Quite a background. Now, to the EP. A fusion of Balkan-inspired folktronica and something that strongly reminds me the works of Alex Brandon… that’s what the first track on this EP is about. Plus, occasional distorted beats, occasional flute… we got something quite unique here definitely! The second track sounds more like industrial music fusion, occasional film samples never break the flow and the bagpipe sounds here just lovely. The third track develops the vibe in a little bit more upbeat way, and the Brandon-inspired bells make their return to the mix as well. The fourth track completes the circle with the tribal trance soundtrack-ish attitude and sounds like a creative remix of the first track. The rooster sample sounds really creepy here! Creepy Balkan village sounds creeping around… Things happening in this particular sound scenery appear to be quite exciting! Mixing and mastering on the recording are very good as well! Actually, one of the purposes of this review was to encourage Meklabor to NEVER give up on music, no matter how it might feel in the long run. The EP got 7 thousand downloads and counting. Even if it’s likely not 7 thousand listeners yet, still… so many, as it looks like, listen to Meklabor a lot and, perhaps, waiting for the new releases as well! So, Dmitry, don’t give up, music like yours definitely needs to be around! And, you got TEN years of experience with music. So, perhaps, something truly exciting is just on the way! [8.5/10]