CD-R (ltd. 77)
"Sledy na Snegu" ("Footprints in the Snow") is a live recording of Mira Drevo made on December 25th, 2015 in the St. Petersburg Sound Museum (former Experimental Sound Gallery, ESG-21) during one of the nights of the "Alchemy of Noise" party series. This time the project performed as a duo: the permanent leader Dmitriy "Skald" who uses synthesizers, a sampler and authentic field and ethnographic recordings along with acoustic instruments (flutes, mouth harp, percussion) was joined by Pavel from the post-rock / doom metal band Sequoian Aequison, and the mild sound of his guitar brought a special charm to the overall musical fabric... Mira Drevo stay true to their folk ambient sound, their music is a journey through snowy Russian villages and vast spaces which separate them by many miles... Beautiful melancholic melodies and wavy textures pierced by meditative motifs - this is the music of a long winter, the music of the North.
Physical release available in two versions: 77 copies on pro-CDR in a sleeve made of designer cardboard, and 55 copies on cassette (even numbers on white cassettes, odd numbers on black) with full-colour stickers. The artwork features a handmade runic card with a download code. Digital version is available at bandcamp.
It's not that I copied the title and name of the artist of the cover of the release with the second new release by this label from St-Petersburg. Almost everything on the cover is in Russian, but the ever so professional people at Zhelezobeton deliver great information, so I know for instance that the title means 'footprints in the snow' and that this is a live recording from December 25th, 2015 at the St. Petersburg Sound Museum (which was formerly know as the Experimental Sound Gallery; a name change I wasn't aware off), during one of the nights of the 'Alchemy of Noise' party series. Mira Drevo is here a duo, consisting of permanent leader Dmitry "Skald" (synthesizers, sampler and authentic field and ethnographic recordings, along with acoustic instruments such as flutes, mouth harp and percussion) and a member of doom metal band Sequoian Aequsion called Pavel on guitar. I am not sure if the thirty-two minutes that is now the length of this release is also the complete length of the concert, but it works very well in terms of 'alchemy', 'noise' and 'ambient'. There is an underlying bass guitar, the meandering of hand-shook percussion, a bit of voices and long sustaining flute sounds through a bunch of reverb modules and delay pedals. I guess that's what they call organic music? There is a delicate yet rougher ring to the sound; it is a live recording after all and one that works quite well. There is very little in terms of smoothness here, but that makes that I enjoy this all the more. It's ambient music but has an occasional improvised feeling to it, which is quite spacious but not without human flaws. Highly enjoyable, and something that could have been a bit longer for my taste.
Mira Drevo is the electro-acoustic ambient project of Dimitriy "Skald" of St. Petersburg, Russia, and along with Pavel of the post-rock doom metal band Sequoian Aequison, they made this live recording titled 'Sledy na Snegu' ('Footprints in the Snow') on December 25, 2015 in the St. Petersburg Sound Museum (formerly Experimental Sound Gallery, ESG-21) for one of the nights of the "Alchemy of Noise" party series. One this recording Dimitriy uses synthesizers, a sampler, authentic field and ethnographic recordings along with acoustic instruments - flute, mouth harp, and percussion. Pavel contributes some gentle guitar, quite different from the band that he's in.
Considering that this is a single, lengthy track (a little over 32 minutes), and in all probability largely improvised, this is one remarkable piece of music. This isn't just your "drone on, and add a few other sounds to the mix" kind of ambient. This is musical ambient that seems almost an outgrowth of nature; a kind of melodic environment. And of course, performed on Christmas night (well, our Christmas, Russian Christmas is January 7th) what else would you expect but a winter piece? From the music though, you don't get the impression of icy cold, but rather a calm, placid, and nearly cheerful environment. I can picture snow gently falling, hear people walking through the streets conversing, the occasional cry of a snow-bird flying overhead, and other things you might associate with the lighter side of the season. Throughout the piece there is a slow-moving melodicism that is subtly woven through the ambience. This to me is what raises this piece above a lot of the ambient music of this kind that I've heard previously. In a way too, it is rather hallucinatory, but never what might be described as "mind-bending," but more "mind-flowing". Most of 'Sledy na Snegu' has no real rhythm track, except the last few minutes where there is a minimal beat, and the culmination of a psychedelic melody, like very, very laid back Pink Floyd. The only vocals are incidental dialogue in Russian, indistinct enough to just be part of the ambience. The whole thing is quite remarkable, and fortunately no applause was recorded, so unless you already knew (as I have told you) you would never know that it was live. This is the first and only thing that I've heard from Mira Drevo, but after this, I'm certainly up for more. A limited release available in two formats: 77 copies on pro-CDR in a cardboard slipcase, or 55 copies on cassette (even numbers white, odd numbers black). Worthy.