CD (ltd. 500)
The project Kshatriy appeared on the Russian post-industrial scene in 2004 and up to present has participated in several compilations, as well as released some solo and collaboration recordings on limited edition CDRs. Muzyka Voln presents the project’s first "professional" compact disk with the album "Slepok Sonzaniya" (meaning "a mould of consciousness" in Russian).
This work is based on the concept of consciousness of a warrior, a galactic warrior of light, bringing to world pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, a moment of power and might, a flight of freedom, love, serenity, joy, light, unified time, eternal life, simplicity and bliss.
The music of the project can be described as fractal dark drone ambient with lots of patterns, woven from various sonic fibres: synthesized drones, processed field recordings, acoustic echoes and rhythmic loops. Calm and profound, filled with resilience and hidden power, like an endless ocean of tranquility, energy and beauty.
'Slepok Soznaniya' is the first album by Kasatriy, who are active since 2004 and who had a couple of CDRs out. This new work is 'based on the concept of consciousness of a warrior, a galatic warrior of light, bringing to world pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, a moment of power and might, a flight of freedom, love, serenity, joy, light, unified time, eternal life, simplicity and bliss', which is indeed more than a CD could carry, me thinks. To that end they use synthesizers, field recordings, acoustic echoes and rhythmic loops. Dark ambient music is the result. At the core of the proceedings is the almighty reverb unit. Every sound they produce, it seems, is fed into the reverb, trying to achieve that gloom and doom sound. I must say that is a pity. It kind of blurs the music quite a bit, making it into one uniform mass of sound. Everything is pitched to grey and black. I assume this would be a popular item among those who love all things ambient and industrial, but I thought it was just alright. Nothing great, nothing bad either. Quite alright.
Kshatriy is the project by musician from Vsevolozhsk not far from St. Petersburg. Earlier his records were released on CDr, and album Slepok Soznaniya became the first work released on CD, before it I didn't know anything about this creative unit. With his music Kshatriy creates space dark and dull as well as beautiful and interesting. In anxiously boiling sound lava there merge deep electronic drone, processed field records and also unobtrusive hissing, crack and other noise effects. Musician himself writes that his creativity "is based on the conception of warrior consciousness... galaxy warrior of light, bringing to the world clear consciousness, unlimited silence, absolute balance, a moment of force and power, a flight of freedom, love, serenity, gladness, light, common time, eternal life, simplicity and bliss...". These words sound as nothing else but an unequivocal hint at trips "inside yourself" and the state of trans provoked by music. And it is so.
Slepok Soznaniya is a huge mental reactor with boiling up fragments of dark recollections, fused and crumpled into one heavy lump which dissolved all around in impenetrable swamp of its body. Rusty, smelling with dust and dampness postindustrial spirit spreads together with these sounds to colossal spaces around. Huge volume of theses spaces is one of the main special features of this music ruining all barriers inside the dark universe, and Slepok Soznaniya became a ticket to it. You peer into the darkness and don't see any limits, as if you have fallen under ground and found an alternative cosmos there. Beautiful, charming and sometimes even epic sound design making you hold your breath in long intriguing moments and make your heart beat quickly with resounding rumble and voluminous, heavy drone. It's worth to be heard.
[...] Kshatriy's Slepok Soznaniya sounds like the unconscious in all its turbulent and nightmarish glory dredged up and given physical form.
[...] The collection is an hour-long plunge into dark ambient that Kshatriy created by working with processed field recordings, synthesized drones, acoustic elements, and rhythmic loops. Its nine dense soundscapes of disturbed design teem with all manner of whispering voices, seething winds, creaking doors, and industrial rumble. Though there's a concept driving the work (specifically the idea of a galactic warrior bringing knowledge, love, serenity, eternal life, and bliss into the world), as always one's experience of the material isn't dependent on awareness of the concept. Track titles such as “Magic Forest,” “The Spirits,” “Loki,” and “Mother-Earth” relay some hint of the material's epic and mythological character, even if they don't convey the particular kind of bleak and menacing ambiance Kshatriy favours. During “Hymn to Kali (part 1),” heavy doors clank, as if trying in vain to keep out the storm raging outside, while “Space Travel” documents a nine-minute swirl of intergalactic howl. As often occurs with such recordings, the closing track, “Moment Istiny,” brings the intensity level down to ease the listener back to a state of normalcy. That relatively calming piece aside, one might think of Slepok Sonzaniya as a stroll through the blackest underworld this side of Hades.
[...] SLEPOK SOZNANIYA presents nine tracks where dark industrial patterns create a rich and intricate web of sounds where drones, processed field recordings, echoes and rhythmic loops clashes and throb. These sounds are able to be unintelligible and involving at the same time. Some tracks have the same sound formula and for this reason the latests are less convincing but when the track list offer different sound-scapes the effect is really good.
This first "real" album - after compilation tracks and self-released works - by the Russian Kshatriy gives us amazingly high-quality dark ambient. It is like a slightly simpler version of the music of Zoät-Aon or Shrine - just as complex and clever, but just not quite as perfect. It comes close enough, though, that it is definitely one of the ambient highlights of the year. Slepok Soznaniya is cold without sounding clinical, oppressive without being clichéd, and builds up in sound waves and melodies very beautifully. The album is at its most perfect towards the end, on the tracks Space Travel and Mother-Earth, but all of its parts are really enjoyable.
Here is an artist that any fan of good ambient should keep an eye on in the future, too. In addition to buying this album at once, if they can still find it somewhere.
Within the Russian post industrial scene Kshatriy is no new name as it started in 2004 and has made several CDR’s and compilation appearances. Slepok Soznaniya is its first professional release on Muzyka Voln a label being part of Zhelezoboton.
Slepok Soznaniya means “A mould of consciousness” and is based on the concept of a warrior bringing light and knowledge to the world. Its dark ambient is multilayered with dark drones and skilful sound patterns woven from various sonic fibres and processed field recordings together with calm rhythmic loops. A relax atmosphere breathes from the music and has a calm feeling giving rest to the muscles. In fact it has all to be a great album but I got bored after a while and was figuring out what was the cause of this.
In the enormous bulk of ambient releases coming in a constant flow it gets difficult to distinct, being different and original. It is al drones hissing and oozing mixed with field recordings and synthesizer melodies. It is difficult to say what makes an ambient album qualitatively good or interesting. Apart from challenging sounds, interesting compositions and daring sound patterns it needs atmosphere and the feeling it summons are important ingredients. Kshatriy finds it self in a dangerous gap. Compositional it is al sounding pretty well with its dark electronic drones and interesting rhythmic patterns and loops together wit a lot of field processed recordings but it does not get a grip on me. Kshatriy is lacking atmosphere and depth which makes Slepok Soznaniya into a superficial album. It also does not sound very original and the feeling I have it heard all before comes up soon. Still Slepok Soznaniya is not a bad album.
[...] You feel like you are being hunted by a dark ambient monster moving throughout the corridors of death. Things really start to get interesting on the 4th track entitled “Loki”. The sonic layers feel like cutting our human skin, penetrating and invading our corpse and leading our brain to a visual impression of nihilism and desolation. The heavy sound layers are sometimes reminding me of Bad Sector, which is more than a simple reference. It proves the potential and knowledge of Kshatriy, which sounds definitely not like a debutant. “Lights” is another cut that confirms the overwhelming sound layers constructed by the project. This is darkambient from a higher level! A very last piece that left me breathless is the more humming-like “Space Travel”. This release seems to prove that Russia is hiding some very talentedambient music makers!
If the Icelandic volcano had erupted four days earlier I would have been stranded in Prague, perhaps for sometime (admittedly it could be much worse). As it is, I'm able to listen to this Russian project surrounded by home comforts, largely unaffected by the eruption, except in terms of how I perceive this. The impact of an album or even of a single listening session is often affected by synchronicity and after today's listen to "Slepok Soznaniya" I can't avoid volcanic metaphors.
Listened to loud this has a colossal, cataclysmic quality. As well as making me think about the scale of the eruption it brought to mind the apocalyptic paintings of the Victorian artist John Martin, perhaps still the ultimate portrayer of floods, earthquakes, eruptions and catastrophes often described as biblical. This is a very powerful album and actually demands full attention - played at any significant volume it's very hard to carry on normal activity at the same time. Yet at lower volumes it's still a fascinating (but possibly safer or less psychically affecting) set of soundscapes.
Sonically it veers between heavily-layered drones and more mechanical elements. First track "Put'Voina" has an occult/ritualistic sound to it, while the second, "Magic Forest" contains a massive sound similar to that made by the centrifuges used at Cosmonaut training centres. "Lights" is another dense mass within which you eventually hear a woman speaking in Russian and sombre chords that give it a filmic quality.
"Hymn to Kali" and "Space Travel" are the darkest tracks where the volcanic metaphor becomes inescapable. Kali is the Hindu goddess of destruction and the track has a hellish but compelling atmosphere. "Space Travel" is very much school of Lustmord dark ambient: hardly original but extremely well done. Like Russian counterparts Velehentor, Kshatriy deploys dense fields of desolately accumulating chords and drones, conjuring solid sound masses driven by infinite subtle changes and shifts. This is the perfect soundtrack for an individual or a culture perched on the brink of a literal or metaphorical abyss, compelled to watch as colossal and almost certainly lethal forces break through the thin crust of normality. Approach with caution and respect.
Though this debut album, this promissing Russian project emerges as a very interesting one, when we look the projection this alum has, due the intense moments and creative musical exploration developed through each one of the 9 tracks developed here. The name of the project translated as warrior (sanskrit), great warrior of the truth, which can one foughts with a thousand... KSHATRIY has been creating music since 2004, but now it arrives with a proper concept based on a perfect equilibrium between mind, body and soul, creating such vast and enigmatic passages to a cosmic dimension full of joy, liverty, light, love... tracks as "Put' Voina" and "Magic Forest" opening the album, through well structured drone ambient passages and diverse field recording creating an amalgame of soundscapes with incredible passages. Then come tracks such as "the Spirits" and "Loki", being the first one an indeep exploration to nature's world, evoking the elemental powers of water through sensitive soundscapes full of power. And more with some industrial traces and the inclusion of some kind of voices as background at the middle of the track. The other one is more dense and cryptic, full of slow agonic drone passages gathering around a vast execution of sounds converging perfectly in the atmosphere handled here. Some percussive sounds emerges too to enrich the whole atmopshere of the whole track. The suggestive trip continues with tracks such as "Lights" and "Hymn To Kali (Part I)", both of them amazing pieces built through dense drone passages, floating into obscure atmopsheres with such enigmatic touch with Characterize KSHATRIY through the whole album. This album is just amazing, this one encaptures the true essence of dark industrial feeling mixing also such in deep drone elements which incorporates perfectly for a perfect result in "Slepok Soznaniya"! An unforgetable album with very interesting moments worth to explore. Other tracks included here are "Space Travel", "Mother Earth", and "Moment Istiny"!! important to note thar Muzika Voln is a sub divison label of Zhelezobeton!
Heaving, psychonaut droning from this Russian project, Kshatriy. The name of Sergey Uak-Kib's project is actually Sanskrit, as a now deracinated caste of warriors from ancient India. Uak-Kib posits something of a balance between the spiritual and the physical in the beliefs for this class of enlightened fighters. The holistic fortitude found in that statement seems to be furthered in the glowingly psychedelic artwork that has graced some of Kshatriy's other recordings. So much for first impressions, as this is fucking bleak. Anenzephalia bleak. Thomas Koner bleak. Lustmord bleak. Thrumming drones of Vulcan intensity and Promethean scale gird the entire album of Slepok Soznaniya. The thunderous cracks that introduce "Lights" are cataclysmic in nature, tumbling from deep space and smashing into the Siberian forest, unleashing shockwaves across the curved surface of Russian's landmass and creating elegantly harmonic ripples across the swampy taiga. Iron wheels grind on long-train tracks which lead to destinations unknown on the "Hymn To Kali," which is more of a dirge than a hymn through the slow, militant pound and evolving reverberant chord shifts for an ashen, musical negativity. The almost self-evidently named "Space Travel" surfs the solar winds with echoes of distant pulsars and glowing nebula clouds flickering through the endless expanses of nothingness.
We were awestruck by the work that Kshatriy produced for the 2014 Drone-Mind / Mind-Drone III compilation; and so we're delving into his catalogue. Slepok Soznaniya was originally released in 2009 on the bracingly good Russian imprint Muzyka Voln. Not all that much in the way of distribution west of the former Iron Curtain; so this one makes for a new favorite in the radiant black dronemusik camp.