CD (ltd. 175)
During the last ten years this moderately active figure of the St. Petersburg underground has been engaged in acoustic research, almost invisible for most people but passionate in its cosmologic nature. The result of these experiments turned into a fusion of seemingly incompatible genres of modern music – techno and improvised noise. However in the interpretation of Porch Nap this paradoxical combination sounds quite natural.
The album features selected tracks of Porch Nap dated 2007-2017, most of which were reworked in recent years. For five compositions additional parts were recorded by honored figures of the Russian experimental scene: Fedor Svolotch, Alexei Borisov, Kryptogen Rundfunk, Brompton's Cocktail, as well as by the famous American noise musician Phillip Klingler aka PBK. And the final track "Intelligent Noise Monday" was remixed live by Alexander Zaitsev, known as a member of the band EU (Ёлочные Игрушки).
Porch Nap's creative method is rooted in deep minimalism and almost complete disregard of musical setup in its traditional meaning. The basis of almost all compositions is built on live recordings of an analogue feedback generator transformed by the author’s algorithms of digital processing. Peculiar frequency combinations and extreme binaural effects obtained in a random manner during improvisations will arouse interest of the most inquisitive music lovers. Recommended to listen in headphones. Not recommended to listen before sleep.
The edition is released in 2 versions. Standard edition includes CD in digisleeve with two cards. Limited to 175 copies. Special edition includes CD in digisleeve with two cards, bonus mini-CD-R in cardboard sleeve with an alternative version of the title track Porch Nap feat Fedor Svolotch "Antidot" and two additional compositions, Porch Nap "Ordo Ordinans" audio-tape (reissue of the 2001 album), all packed in white rag bag with silk-screen printing. Limited to 35 copies.
This is a co-release by Fulldozer Records and ZHELEZOBETON Distribution Division.
I can’t produce as many words for the release by Porch Nap; mainly because I don’t know much about this. It seems to be a one-man group from St. Petersburg, who have been going since 2007 and it is all about a ‘fusion of seemingly incompatible genres of modern music – techno and improvised noise’. Porch Nap also works with the cities finest musicians, as well as abroad, such Fedor Svolotch, Alexei Borisov, Kryptogen Rundfunk, Brompton's Cocktail, as well as PBK. In the ten pieces here, spanning the entire length of the CD, the sound is very minimal and quite brutal at times. I can surely see there is some improvised element to all of this. Some kind of rhythm, brutal most of the time, created from loops of distorted electronic sounds is being fed through more electronics, and the envelope is pushed further. It is not along the lines of Pan Sonic, I would think, as it seems to be less aimed at the dance floor with not heavy 4/4 bass sound below to support that dance floor vibe. Porch Nap’s music is too abstract for that, perhaps too crudely noise based and too much in the mid-to high frequency range. It is something that is quite enjoyable, but there is one thing that I think Porch Nap should consider and that is trimming down his pieces a bit. Many of these easily reach seven to ten minutes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pieces become stronger. I would think the opposite and they loose some of their strong appeal after a while. Just the fact that you can put 80 minutes on a CD doesn’t mean you have to, I guess.
Yes, this is deep underground St. Peterburg experimental electronica. The techno aspect surfaces more in the rhythms (when present) than anything else, with repetition playing a major role in that regard. A good portion of it could be called industrial. The temperament of the ten pieces on this album ranges from curiously intriguing to excruciatingly annoying. The opening and title track "Antidot" is a subdued exercise in techno minimalism with a soft electronic kick tone carrying the beat while fussy and fuzzy electronic noises fill in the gaps. Fedor Svolotch is featured on this one. Kryptogen Rundfunk's electronic contributions on "Verisimilitude Recurrences" makes for very uneasy listening, and at over 9 minutes you're going to need all the audial stamina you can muster. On "E nego Rework" all sonics seem processed around the beat with liquidy, squiggly bird-like sounds. "Freq Out," a lengthy track at over 10 minutes features PBK and sounds like some automated wire brush scrubber feverishly working over a filthy tank in an alien workshop environment. "Anti-Social Ultra-Pop Pt.1" is a cute little rhythmic number that sounds like processed finger-thrumming with electronic embellishments. It isn't hard to imagine what "Non-Linear Bass Metronome" might sound like for it's title; just add pitched noise and you're good to go. "Signal" is the lengthiest piece on the album at 11:48, and for over half of it, the most difficult one to listen to- a seemingly endless bleep-tone repetition with interjections of squeak and squeals until it morphs a bit into something else but still maintaining the monotonous rhythm. "Cliffhanger' featuring Brompton's Cocktail is my favorite piece on 'Antidot' not only because its the most musical of the lot, but also because it offers dramatic tension and a relentless drive that could easily lend intself to cinematic uses. Alexei Borisov contributes voices, noises and guitar to the monotone beat "Granular Liminal Beat" but you will have to listen pretty closely to catch it as that rhythm overides nearly everything else. Final track, "Intelligent Noise Monday" (Alexander Zaitsev Live Remix) is a scattershot affair that goes through numerous, sometimes awkward changes underscored by a constant beat, but as it was done live, it's really not too bad. 'Antidot' is an uneven album but considering it is representative of a span of 10 years work, that's understandable. Those who enjoy noisy experimental electronics with beat and rhythm will be happy with this one. Those who don't just won't.
Background/Info: Porch Nap is a Russian artist hailing from St. Petersburg. Busy exploring acoustic sound treatments and transforming all kind of noises into sounds; Porch Nap has released a few productions on Fulldozer Records (Russia). This album is a selection of tracks that were originally composed in between 2007 and 2017 and which have been reworked while featuring multiple guest artists.
Content: Porch Nap is one of those noise surgeons, collecting sounds and noises that will be next manipulated and transformed into a very experimental and abstract sound dimension. From long-during and somewhat irritating sonic waves to repetitive electronic loops to dark noises “Antidot” also reveals a kind of primitive technoid approach.
Multiple cuts are featuring guest artists (mainly Russians) such as Fedor Svolotch, Kryptogen Rundfunk, Brompton’s Cocktail, Alexei Borisov and American artist Phillip Klingler (aka PBK). Last, but not least there’s a remix made by Alexander Zaitsev.
+ + + : If you like pure sonic experimentation and improvisation, this is the kind of album that will for sure catch your attention. It all remains an extreme listening although quite diversified. I especially like the somewhat techno-driven “Non-Linear Bass Metronome” and the more accessible “Granular Liminal Beat” feat. Alexei Borisov. This is for sure an opportunity to discover a rather unknown Russian artist totally devoted to experimental sound arts.
– – – : Some sequences are pretty repetitive and becoming irritating after a while. That’s also because of the improvised format of this production, which will for sure remain accessible for a restricted number of listeners.
Conclusion: Porch Nap is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most experimental artists I’ve been invited to discover on Zhelezobeton. I can’t affirm to be fan of such experimental artists although I’ve to admit this album has been preceded by a lot of efforts and sound treatments.
Best songs: “Non-Linear Bass Metronome”, “Granular Liminal Beat feat. Alexei Borisov”.