CD (ltd. 300)
If somebody still doesn't know, behind the Neznamo project stands the Moscow-based musician Dmitry Shilov who stepped on the path of ritual ambient music in 1996 under the stage name of Unknown. After releasing five albums on the "Strely Peruna" ("Perun's Arrows") label, the project temporarily fell in a lethargic sleep but woke up again in 2006 with a renewed name and approach.
As Neznamo Dmitriy has released several mini-albums on his own label Moonsun Productions, as well as a number of collaboration works with several other acts from the Russian drone underground: Misery, Bardo, Lunar Abyss, Siyanie, etc… For those interested in the project's roots and branches we can give some more keywords: Temnozor', Medve Na Meche, Peal Grim, Magickal Things.
"Aiwyâstô" is Neznamo's first full-length album and first "factory-pressed" CD. The album consists of one 42-min long composition recorded in a deep transcendental state. Covered in ornaments of unhasting vibrations, flickering and parallel sound layers, dense string drone permeates the whole track. This music is for lovers of deep inner self diving. Towards the depths of pitch-dark sound where one can see all forms dissolving in emptiness and being reborn by it again in an endless game of space and imagination.
[...] It's a whole bunch of sound layers tied together, melted as it were and slowly swirling. Every now and then you can see the changing of colours in here. These changes are very minimal yet they are surely there. Looking at the sound-file (ripping for the podcast), this piece looks like a cigar indeed: a quick fade in at the beginning and a fade out at the end and in between this slow changing mass of sound. Lots of drone sounds, coming from synthesizers and computers (maybe, I have no idea) and no field recordings, or so it seems. Quite dark, pitch black even, but not as loud as say some of the releases on Malignant Records, but surely highly atmospheric. This is not the kind of music one should be listening to on a sunny day like today, but these autumn-like drones belong to a grey and rainy day.
The shadowy figure behind Neznamo is the same Muscovite who offered up the Peal Grim cd from a couple months back. That was the album sporting the disclaimer "This record is not recommended to listening for depressively inclined persons" and Aiwyasyo is a blackened ambient record of a similar disposition. This album is not as exasperatedly bleak as the Peal Grim album, but it makes for another really amazing entry in the canons of contemporary Russian dark ambient works. Synth, guitars, and spectral emanations may or may not be in the mix for the bleak electrical pools of Aiwyasto. Sawtooth hums and buzzes gird the semi-melodic fugues that swirl, rumble, and brood over 40 minutes into this overwhelmingly sublime expanse of Ur-drone majesty that's not all that far from the likes of Troum / Maeror Tri, Aidan Baker's more turbulent solo works, and the cosmological grimness of Inade. Very nice, indeed.
No matter how hard we try to release ourselves from the protective veil, there will still be something left, a fleshly cloak to keep us from complete nakedness. Dressed up in illusion, life goes on and on, and we do not know who we really are or if we are at all.
The mystical instance when we allow music to seep into the mind is the brief instant that makes room for the absence of the self, enlightening this empty space with a sort of illegitimate bewilderment. This is the moment when one realizes how wrong they can be, even in respect of his most common and certain opinions; a fair and sharp glimpse into another reality no longer centered around the ego.
During the sublime musical discourse of Aiwyâstô, Neznamo conveys states of being related to such a delicious rapture from the prison of the self. The narration flows unhinged throughout, slowly washing away thoughts and trivialities that had been collected during daytime. Neznamo invites the listener to take a seat within himself, and accept to suffer in a strangely soothing, masochistic delight, a most natural pleasure in abandonment.
In terms of sound, every drone and ambient layer flows tenderly, melting along beauty and morbidity alike, dissolving ideas and concepts into shapeless specters. Minimal ambient lines move imperceptibly at the fringe of commotion, and as they reach each other, refusing to collide or collapse, these structures are lead through holes out of which, slightly modified, they are discharged upon dark fluid mineral deserts.
Somewhere in the middle of this one piece, Aiwyâstô, the frequencies come to a dormant point of telluric evanescence. A vision of nothingness encircles and feeds upon a dead point out of which the play of illusion regains stability and movement. A constant vibration keeps the soul and the listener’s individuality still perceptible, but with every drop of sound it becomes less credible.
The musical ambiance staggers unwillingly towards assuming form, and so the amorphous structure continues to trick the mind’s instinct for three-dimensionality. As we do not have a real measure of time, but only of the sensation of time, this musical paragraph named Aiwyâstô seems to capture a dimension where time can be measured in terms of eternity.
This brilliant ambient project can be discovered due to this release made possible by Muzyka Voln records. Neznamo is based in Moscow and Aiwyâstô is the artist’s first full-length under this moniker, a 42-minute long CD coming in a 6-panel black-shadowy digisleeve.