CD-R (ltd. 77)
After the reissue of the eponymous debut Kshatriy album last year we're glad to present you his second work, recorded in 2006 and equally little known. Back then "Mushrooms..." was spread among friends and fans in a very limited number of copies and then remained unavailable for the wider audience for a long time.
As the author says, this album is a magical journey consisting of nine pieces which emerged from the intuitive contemplation of the most secret levels of consciousness dissolved in space. Those who are familiar with Kshatriy's sound will hear his trademark features, but overall this album sounds more experimental than his later works. Instead of dense flows of thick cosmic ambience space is filled with weird abstract forms and flickering electronic collages. Psychedelic atmosphere, psychoactive sound. Remastered by the author in 2015.
The physical release is made on quality pro-CDRs in an edition of 77 copies in a sleeve of designer black cardboard.
In Vital Weekly 933 I reviewed a re-issue of the first release by Sergey Uak-Kib, or rather the one he recorded as Kshatriy. I had reviewed some of his more recent releases, but never his second release, which is 'Kshatriy And Mushrooms', which was given away in very small quantities back then. Much of his music is very drone based, very electronic and most likely originates in gathering field recordings being transformed extensively. In his more recent works this seems to be very much in a dronal meltdown that leads to very dark pictures of sound, much bass end, very little light and high-end, but in the pieces on this release, dealing with mushrooms (in all it's forms present in the title: growing, flying, curious, crying, angry, psychoactive, walking, magic and dying) there is much more light allowed. Picture hazy sunlight coming through these trees, close to each other, and you picking mushrooms in the early hours of the day. That kind of light is what this music has, hazy but light, and at times the shadows brings in a bit of darkness. There is quite some cosmic delight in this music, not of the nicely arpeggio variety, but experimental, moody and still delightful. A special mushroom indeed. It's great to see this in print again.
Perhaps we know them only by their gastronomical attire, but at least the mushroom-related metaphors can easily and introduce one to the musical realm of Kshatriy. Some mushrooms are said to have the power of paving the way from the material to the spiritual realm, and this special connection between the vegetal and the spiritual blossoms into the human psyche for proper consommation.
A first listen of the record is practically therapeutical; it cures one of prejudice and false expectations when considering a new dark ambient project. Any other plunging of the brain into the capsule where Kshatriy keeps burning their mushroom becomes musical sorcery.
The only regret I have, as vulgar as it may sound, is to have been listening to the album in a conscious state of mind. Even alcoholic drunkenness would have helped in distracting the spirit from the corruption of matter. In fact, the person behind the project suggests that the record is not the result of solely the composer’s effort , but the product of a peculiar human-vegetal alliance, “ Mushrooms and Kshatriy”. Kshatriy is a solo musical project (the offspring of Sergey) born in Russia and active since 2004, “based on drone style and ambient with noise elements” (Kshatriy.pro). What we have here, Mushrooms and Kshatriy, is a remastered version of an older CDR from 2006, released by Zhelezobeton in 2015.
Inside their observatory, amateurs of such music find delicious moments that urge the soul to sublime meditations, troublesome soliloquies trying to verbalise and configure bizarre images and imbue them with a meaning. Such is the power of analogy that the spirit is already confined in a self-imposed trap of its own incapacity to renounce objectivisation. The realm of mushrooms is reluctant to meanings, it is a space without metaphor, as in the barren compositions of Morton Feldmann; a territory that represents nothing but itself.
Kshatriy imagines nine musical pieces, each one a song inspired by an attribute of the mushrooms (growing, flying, curious, crying, angry, psychoactive, walking, magic, dying). An animistic joy accompanies the interpretation of the songs, a kind of animal delight bereft of thinking, in such a way that the music is so much foreign to the listener which has been transformed into a satisfied observer. Inside this ambiguous taxonomy, “thoughts are all but sensations” (Fernando Pessoa), allowing everyone to become a composing part of the mushroom realm.
The Kshatriy project has much more to offer, about 10 other albums that await to be experienced. High on mushrooms or simply high on music, I will spare the time and space needed for other meetings with Sergey’s music.
A new batch of releases to review has just been sent my way from Chain D. L. K. central, and this was the first one I (randomly) picked. At first unfamiliar, but the name Kshatriy seemed to jog my memory from somewhere, and then I recalled a few years back I reviewed a couple of releases on the Vetvei label on which Kshatriy was one of the collaborators. They were quite interesting as I recall, but markedly different from this work, although still in the ambient vein. Kshatriy is the project of Sergey Uak-Kib from Vsevolozhsk, Russia, and he's been releasing material since 2004. 'Mushrooms and Kshatriy' is actually Kshatriy's second release going back to 2006 that had an extremely limited release at the time (friends and fans) so most people never heard, or heard of it. This re-release has been completely remastered, and is one amazing work.
I don't think the "mushrooms" in the title have anything to do with Portobellos, Shiitakes, White Buttons or Chanterelles, but more of the Psilocybe variety. Don't worry though, you won't need to eat any fungus to appreciate this work; Kshatriy provides all the hallucinations you'll ever need here, and then some. Working primarily with electronics, Kshatriy explores nine aspects of the psychedelic mushroom experience over nine tracks - Growing, Flying, Curious, Crying, Angry, Psychactive, Walking, Magic, and Dying. In the beginning, you sense activity like something is trying to break through the surface, darkness, but overhead the cry of birds and the motion of other lifeforms. Your mind is becoming keely attuned to the tumultuous life of another realm. The claustrophobia falls away and a sense of spaciousness reaches your consciousness, open, vast and brilliant. Now the hallucinatory terrain glows with a pulsing life of its own. Things in the atmosphere once invisible are now revealed to you- subtle but still evident. The curiosity you have about them makes manifest all manner of intracasies in form; at times abstract and oblique, at others in perfect patterns of symmetry. The inner and outer worlds merge and become one. Emotion takes over and happiness and sadness become indistinguishable. It's the primordial brain at work, welling to the surface of your consciousness, unearthing visions of a past eons beyond your lifetime melded with a future you have never experienced. The "Psychoactive" component brings new information into your experience as outside stimuli (voices) creeps in. It is beyond logic and reason, just another layer to pass through. Time to move, and "Walking" through space and time seems like the right thing to do. There is no solidity, only "otherness" as you move. When yourself moves beyond your self, are you still there? Now comes the tricky part, the sense that you can do anything, be anything. Manipulating supernatural forces, ascribing meanings to symbols and signs, effecting change to your environment, moving by will that which would otherwise seem static. But all too soon, there is the come-down. The experience is fading, "Dying". As you find the alternate reality dissapating, here is a sense of both sadness and relief. Exhaustion finally overtakes you as you melt away.
This is the only way I could describe this work. Details about synths and sounds, drones and moans, ambiences and atmospheres just don't work here. You need to experience it for yourself. One of the best albums I have ever heard in the psychedelic and (slightly) dark ambient vein, I just can't say enough positive things about 'Mushrooms and Kshatriy'. Definitely worthy, and limited to only 77 copies as I understand. Do not fail to acquire one.