Hypnoz - Breath of Earth

"Breath of Earth"

CD (ltd. 500)

1. Rise [mp3]
2. Wandering River
3. Whisper Before Sleep [mp3]
4. Storm [mp3]
5. Secret Wave
6. Water
7. Earth

total length: 41:02
release date: July 28, 2008
price: €10

* bandcamp.com

Hypnoz is a project of Dmitry Zubov, a musician from Moscow suburb Fryazino, the town that endowed the lovers of post-industrial music with such names as Hum and Staruha Mha. His first composition was recorded in 1993, and during its existence Hypnoz has released one CD on the Moscow label Insofar Vapour Bulk, which gathered tracks from different periods, a couple of very limited CD-Rs, and participated on the compilation "Iznutri" by the Ewers Tonkunst label with a fragment of a composition from this album. Aside from Hypnoz Dmitry plays in several other projects: Zuboff Sex Shop (post-punk / new-wave), Circle Of Iron Tape (harsh noise), BRZB (electronics, with Alexey Borisov), etc.

The basis of most of the tracks for "Breath of Earth" was recorded by Dmitry together with Evgeny Voronovsky (Cisfinitum) during their joint night psychedelic sessions, and this is evidently felt in their mood. Stylistically this can be called tranquil electronic ambient with a remarkable experimental touch – but who thinks about it while recording? Slowly twisting sound helixes, drawing inside the astral subspaces, pulsating rhythms, cosmic sounds of old analogue synthesizers, – all this produces an appropriate effect on the listener's mind, and there's nothing more to demand from music.


Russian artists often have a special skill to make music which appeals to the deepest emotions, and encapsulates a profound mysticism. A prime example of this school is Hypnoz, a projekt by Dmitry Zubov, assisted by Evgeny Voronovsky of Cisfinitum.

Breath of Earth is, in accordance with the name, earthy mysticism, music that expresses the unique feeling of the "brown seasons", late autumn and early spring, when the wet earth lies bare. The music takes the shape of kraut-ish (but also drony) ambient, make with analogue synthesizers. Many artists today make this type of psychedelic and slightly retro ambient, but something in Hypnoz just hits the spot. They make the recipe work perfectly, and find that hypnotic flow that drags you with it. It is easy to be spellbound by its beautifully thick frequencies, fascinating half-melodies and pulsating rhythms.

This is among the best releases I have heard this year, and gets my warmest recommendations.

Active since early '90s Hypnoz is the project of a guy coming from near Moscow (Fryazino) who's name is Dmitry Zubov. Besides from Hypnoz he's also active with different other bands: Zuboff Sex Shop (post-punk / new-wave), Circle Of Iron Tape (harsh noise), BRZB (electronics, with Alexey Borisov), etc. BREATH OF EARTH is his latest album and on this one he presents seven new tracks in balance from industrial ambient and '70s electronic ambient/experimental music (see "Wandering river", track that sounds a little like the Tangerine Dream of the first three albums). Recorded with E. Voronovski in sessions held during the 2003/2007 period BREATH OF EARTH is a good album capable of creating suspended hypnotic moments where the listener is free to float carried by the sound waves. Using tiny melodic sounds along with the dreamy synth lines the duo use also light rhythmic sounds just to give to the tracks' structure a cyclic/evolving feeling (see "Storm" and the following "Secret wave"). The good thing about BREATH OF EARTH is that Hypnoz succeeded into giving to the tracks a richness of sounds avoiding the artsy casual assemblage. Using a cyclic/evolving structure, the track is both involving and experimental.

Maurizio Pustianaz, Chain D.L.K.

[...] The music of Hypnoz is a combination of low rumbling drones and rhythmical ambient. The album sucks you in from the get go. The sounds on this album are all fully realized and it has a kind of mysterious presence throughout. A lot of the tracks add rhythmical elements to the low background drones and sounds, which creates a kind of suspense about what is about to happen. Every track is a piece on itself, so it’s now constant flow, but it does feel as a whole. The album is not overly dark like some other acts in this genre can be, but it’s no light ensemble either. It sometimes uses some electro influences, but utilizes it to a great mystical effect.

This is a great album to get into with headphones on. It’s not the most quiet of ambient albums, it has the rhythmical and experimental elements throughout, and so you won’t fall asleep with it. Also, the album has some really beautiful artwork on the digi-sleeve. A very good release!

Fabian, Gothtronic

Russia is the country of a dream. The verge between reality and irrational is so subtle that it's already impossible to distinguish your dreams from that, happening outside in the streets. Listening to the album Breath of Earth by the project Hypnoz, you feel deeply how far these compositions can bring you... They easily lead you to strange places, though always familiar and close to you. Very powerful and significant release, and I can hardly use the notion 'track' for its compositions. Better to call these tracks 'composition' or maybe 'playing free music', open consciousness and improvisation. Electronical music is often called 'dead', though in this album all the records become alive. And in general, this music is not less full of life and energetic, than instrumental compositions. Magic moment, time of fairy tales, huge spaces outside the cramped grey urban cities - that the motherland of psychedelic music, its cradle.

Unexpected running start, and jumping into the world of obscurity. Jerk through space and time when only few seconds are left before the entropy catches and swallows the listener – that's my description of the feelings I experienced after listening to these records. The album starts with the composition "Rise", than slowly speeds up to its center culmination and disappears in the last coda "Earth". The CD has already stopped, though you still hear those sounds, such a feeling will chase you after each time you listen to Breath of Earth. By the way, the title of the album perfectly corresponds to its sounding. If you leave your tight cells of everyday life and listen attentively to the surrounding sounds, earth's breathing on the frosty morning, you'll be able to feel the obscure material bringing together all living beings.

Russian ambient school really exists, though it's the myth from the past. To make sure, you can take this album of limited edition and deepen into the imaginary world it creates.

[...] The album titled "Breath of earth" is the third shot from Hypnoz since he began his explorations back in 2001. Having never heard his earlier efforts I can not tell whether there is a change in the approach to the ambient style. Though this particular album is a beautiful piece of work that sucks you in as soon as you begin the forty minutes journey. "Breath of earth" was recorded by Hypnoz in company with fellow artist Evgeny Voronovsky during a night session. The atmosphere is quite emotional changing from melancholic to curiously soul-searching and always moving in a trippy psychedelic vein that turns the associations back to 70's ambient-works. Especially Tangerine Dream's psychedelic space-rock opus "Zeit" comes to mind, thanks to the use of old analogue synthesizers to create cosmic sounds and astral subspaces. Being first of all straight ambient, some clicking beats and minor rhythm textures appears momentarily. Awesome work.

Aided by Evgeny Voronovsky (aka Cisfinitum), Moscow musician Dmitry Zubov (aka Hypnoz) produced the seven tracks comprising the forty-one-minute Breath of Earth between 2003 and 2007. Zubov performs in multiple contexts, including Zuboff Sex Shop (post-punk), Circle Of Iron Tape (noise), and BRZB (electronics, with Alexey Borisov), with Hypnoz the apparent outlet for his industrial-ambient-prog work. Voronovsky and Zubov used primarily old analogue synthesizers to create the album's material so it's not terribly surprising to hear echoes of kosmische musik and prog haunting Hypnoz's mystical incantations. Listen carefully and behind the enveloping wind masses you'll hear an occasional violent squeal (“Rise”), organs, radio signals, tribal pitter-patter, and pulsating rhythms, with the latter sometimes reminiscent of early Tangerine Dream and even Kraftwerk in its earlier days (the swooping and sputtering electronic patterns in “Water” can't help but call to mind Radioactivity). What elevates Hypnoz's gloomscaping above kindred outfits is its purposive quality. The pieces here aren't merely mood-pieces; they don't meander aimlessly either, nor do they simply expire after running out of ideas. Even though a strong trippy quality permeates the dark ambient material, there's a clear sense of direction, evolution, and dynamic arc. Listeners with a soft spot for Cloudland Canyon and bands of similar psychedelic-krautrock ilk should find much to like about Breath of Life too.

The world is getting smaller and smaller everyday it seems. Nowadays, when you read something on the web or listen to a new demo MP3 track or CD, you can’t be too sure about from where it’s emanating. You could be in your room in the middle of Kansas and in a matter of seconds be rocking out to some ultra black-death-metal from Norway or start a game of GO! (Reversi) and end up playing with other players from Hong Kong or Spain or Uganda, etc. That’s why, for one thing, it’s such a great time to be involved in making music.

Take the Russian band Hypnoz. They’re invading your headphones from halfway across the world! The latest CD, Breath of Earth, is a wonderful and amazing vision of light; a muscle-lightening, pressure-easing album that, during overwhelming times, can make life a little bit more worth living. Hypnoz is the brainchild of one man. Dmitri Zubov, a native of a Moscow suburb called Fryazino, whose been at this gig for almost two decades now, having crafted his first EP in 1993, when he wrote his first “composition”. Since then, Dmitri’s been schlepping around, recording a few homemade CD-Rs, which were all culled together for his one previous full-length release that was released on Insofar Vapor Bulk. Zubov’s also participated in “Iznutri” compilation CD which was put out by the Ewers Tonkunst label.

The foundation for Breath of Earth was laid down by Zubov, with great assistance from his cohort Evgeny Voronovsky. These were done during late night freak-out sessions, where they’d brainstorm and work a little more, constantly tweaking the most subtle of the finest points. Its musical analog is easily ambient. There is no discordant, atonal testing of one’s nerves with machine noises and loud, warlike punches of sound. The whole album, from beginning to end is a quiet, mood piece. While not an endless repetitive drone, Hypnoz’s Breath of Earth manages to instill peace and to help clear one’s busy head of those pesky racing thoughts. It’s just up to you, the listener, to do the right thing with the CD.

While not an overly or even overtly sad or melancholy album, Breath of Earth still manages to evoke that Russian mystique - think of the quiet desperation that was stuffing down raging hatred and longing for vengeance against a cruel regime that would keep its people in such poverty while that Tsar frolicked in the stately, ornate palaces that were far removed from the awful, disease-infested, poverty-wrecked “peasants” of the rest of Russia. That is the period when great Russian artists and writers started appearing - Dostoevsky, Gogol, Turgenev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, the just-passed Solzhenitsyn and the great filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein. This CD continues in that long tradition of brilliant Russian arts & literature.

While not filled with the desperation or depression and repression of some of their predecessors, Hypnoz nevertheless manages to evoke an Eastern European theater of the mind that evokes images of barren, quiet leas in the middle of nowhere, the giant wasteland that is Siberia and at last, the sheer vastness of space in that country - I mean, it’s got 11 time zones, if that tells you something.

The music is not melancholy or sad, possibly portending a new sort of attitude in Russia. It’s a mellow but colorful and vivid, cutting endless intricate designs in the frozen lakes of the northern regions. There is a rush to the breathy sounds of the synthesizers, sequencers, etc, a thin, constantly oscillating electric machine.

The last three songs, though, have to be the most memorable part of the album, just because that is where it is left off and that is also where it starts to pick up a little: “Secret Wave”, “Water” and “Earth” finish off what was a brilliant star of a record in the night sky of DIY, indie and underground experimenters.

Blond Adonis, Heathen Harvest

[...] An album of electronic music which sounds so candid to these frazzled ears that one can’t help but smile in appreciation to the purity of intents of these musicians. There’s everything you might expect from the genre: rhythmic pulse, extraneous voices, static keyboards, subsonic humming, solar winds, synthetic invocations projected towards cardboard-made galaxies. Yet, somehow, we tend to welcome the apparent honesty of the production rather than stigmatizing the recurring use of certain cliche's – which, upon new listens, don’t sound so formulaic after all. The boys love what they’re doing, and it shows. An innocent record which, if enjoyed in the appropriate moment, could even give something to ponder about.

Massimo Ricci, Temporary Fault

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