Creation VI & Ugasanie
CD-R (ltd. 80)
Creation VI is a Russian-Ukrainian project from the new wave of drone music. Started in 2006, the project has released many works on net-labels, cassettes and CD-Rs, both as solo and as joint efforts with many other musicians. The project members Tim Six and Aloe also run their own label ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ… Ugasanie is the alias of Pavel Malyshkin from Vitebsk, Belarus. He also has a decent luggage of published works including several albums on the highly acclaimed dark ambient label Cryo Chamber.
Their collaboration disc "Birds of Naukan" is dedicated to the so-called "Whales Alley" - a big ancient Eskimos sanctuary in Chukotka, built from huge bones of the Greenland whales. The album investigates the sacral nature of interaction between man and the world in rituals where the very essence of human intention merges with the information field of the Earth. The musicians use shaman's drum, vargan (mouth harp), throat singing, singing bowls, synthesizers and percussion, carefully crafting ritualistic dark / drone ambient compositions.
The physical release is made on quality pro-CDRs in an edition of 80 copies in a sleeve of designer cardboard. First 20 copies come as collector's edition with special handmade artwork from the ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ label!
Ambient music is being bound to specific concepts quite often; this fact adds a lot of color and depth to a seemingly monotonous genre. But today, my dear friends, you will witness not only a concept, but a deed, a mystical manifestation of natural powers which are usually hidden from uninitiated eyes. Those powers cannot be curbed because our weak selves are unable to challenge even their smallest part; though there are a few chosen that don't try to enslave something that is beyond their understanding, but try to live in close symbiosis with earth and sun, with wind and primordial frost, with waters of a deep and cold northern sea.
Located somewhere on the edge of the world, where it seems that not only life, warmth and civilization end, but also time itself stays frozen for centuries, lies the ancient land of Yupik peoples, the land which is soaked with those natural powers and grants them its true sons and daughters. The sounds that is flowing out of my speakers today is a fragile attempt of two Russian based projects, deeply imbued by the spirit of this mysterious place, to transform at least a small piece of their impression into the form of music and present it to their faithful audience and other fans of the drone/ambient genre.
I am not sure if our comrades had been traveling to those distant lands to gain the knowledge and collect various field recordings, but even if not, they have definitely studied the subject in depth. And I would advise every listener to read at least few articles that can be easily found on Wiki, because it is really important in order to feel the whole spectrum of spiritualism that is hidden inside the music of this album while Birds of Naukan brings us a sound visualization of the millennia of history which must be preserved as a part of human culture. Historically Naukan was an old settlement of Yupik peoples which existed for many centuries and until 1956 was the most eastern human settlement in Eurasia, before the USSR government relocated it. Creation VI & Ugasanie take us on unforgettable journey into the exotic lifestyle and culture of this small endangered tribe binding field recordings with drones.
Even while being a kind of a continuous soundtrack, the album structure can be easily recognized because each and every track has its own dedication and theme. The first one is dedicated to "Nuneangan", an abandoned Yupik village which once was the most eastern human settlement of Eurasia before the USSR government destroyed it for some unknown political strategic reason. Sounds of water and rain, of wind and birds' twits are supported with a distant background hum that adds an extreme depth to this composition and a very meditative mood ensures an easy and natural flow. "Yttygran" takes us to a distant island, windblown and surrounded by cold ocean waters, lost between nowhere and the edge of the world. This track promises an even deeper immersion into a solid piece of drone music when a soft melody of a ritual flute joins the game somewhere in the middle. The island is famous for its mysterious Whale Alley, the alley which was built from bones and skulls of the whales that had been hunted by the locals for centuries; the alley was a central point of ritual gatherings of hunters for many centuries. The whole mysticism of the place is being projected into the third track of this wonderful album with a slow and dark droning melody backed up by the same wide spectrum of field recordings.
Needless to mention, that even after the first half of the record I was completely blown away by the spiritual, magical tunes, but the next composition called "Pegtymel" proves that there is still a long road ahead. Named after a big river in Far East Siberia, this track is the most authentic in the whole album carrying the direct visions of the local culture projected to the sound of vargan, a very common local instrument, and a monotonous shamanic chanting. It tells the story of Pegtymel rock art images painted a thousand years ago on the Pegtymel cliffs, conjuring primal figures from an endless oblivion to dance near the campfire together with a spiritual tribe. And I truly believe that the closing track is a direct dedication to those brave, modest and strong people that continue to keep their culture, continue to preserve their way of life and their beliefs to the sound of vargan flowing in the frozen air, against all odds.
Once again I succeeded in finding a great interest in nature based ambient music. The theme, the highest level of performance and sound construction creates one of the best drone ambient albums that I heard during the last year. Sometimes it seems that nature itself whispered in the ears of the guys behind Creation IV and Ugasanie to compile a really solid and sophisticated record. My dear reader, I am sure that with a little help of “Birds of Naukan” you will be permeated by the spirit of northern nature as never before.