CD (ltd. 300)
‘Monochrome' is a eulogy to Dmitry Vasiliev, a music enlightener, a label owner, a journalist, an ardent devotee of experimental music. Initially the composer Eugene Voronovsky conceived 'Monochrome' as a futuristic 'hi-res' mass, an alchemical fusion of angelic chorales and dub techno pulsations. A dream-like transparency of the material is deceptive in masking its technical complexity. Thus, the rhythmic canvas is built of "non-square" rhythms - 7/8, 15/16, etc., from which the strong beat gains fluidity typical of Oriental music. Ambient textures are based on the works of the medieval composers Josquin des Prez, Guillaume de Machaut, Pérotin the Great. Through reverberation the sound is "placed" into authentic space of the Great Pyramid of Giza; it's a meaningful reference for the album, entitlted in its draft by Enochian key of the alchemist John Dee.
The news of Vasiliev's tragic death caught the author in rendering the final mix. Thus the meaning and the purpose of this year-long work were redefined. ‘Monochrome' became a funeral service for a dear friend, a person whose role for independent electronic music in Russia cannot be overestimated.
The album was originally released as a limited edition cassette by NEN Records in October 2018 and now re-issued on CD by the joint forces of Aquarellist, kultFRONT and ZHELEZOBETON.
Back in 2005, a very new Russian label released work by Eugene Voronovsky, also known as Cisfinitum. It was not the first release for him or the label. 'Bezdna' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 478 and more followed from Cisfinitum and the label that released it, Monochrome Vision. In September of last year, Dmitry Vasiliev, the man behind Monochrome Vision (also a mail-order and organiser of concerts, as well as writing about exactly 'this' kind of music), died in a tragic accident in the Black Sea, thus ending the label. About the same time, Cisfinitum put the final touches on this new release, which became 'Monochrome', a fitting farewell to the man himself. Whereas I remember most of Cisfinitum's music as being quite atmospheric, ambient and drone-like, this is not the case here. Rhythm plays an important role here and apparently, these are 'non-square rhythms', 7/8 or 15/16, which again apparently makes "the strong beat gains fluidity typical of oriental music'. These odd beats guide the sampled sounds of choral music from medieval composers and that may seem an odd pairing but Cisfinitum melted the choral voices into something quite abstract and ambient like. The music gets a rather majestically feeling, a sort of massiveness that works rather good with these beats. I am not sure about the fluidity or the Eastern feel (although, I must admit at one point thinking of Muslimgauze; in 'Auyaea', I think), but in terms of dark atmospheric music, hearing something interesting in the world of rhythm, this was all a most pleasant release. It would have been something that mister Vasiliev would have been proud to release; sad to realize this is a reminder he's no longer here. Indeed a fitting musical eulogy.