Anya: voice, acoustic guitar, bells
Ivan: kantele, effects, lap slide, kazoo
Recorded June-August 2010 in Petrozavodsk
Mastered by M. Geddes Gengras at Green Machines
Artwork by Nathaniel Ritter "Hailing from deep within the songlands of Karelia, Love Cult is the duo of Anya Kuts and Ivan Afanasyev. When asked to tell us a bit more about these sessions, the duo only told us things that made us feel even more alien and confused than we were when we knew nothing at all. These are truly sounds of a thoughtfully intimate and exclusive nature, like the soft concentration of singing lullabies to your first love. Using only acoustic guitar, voice, bells, kantele, lap slide, kazoo and effects, Love Cult construct two side-long epics that are fully enveloping. There is an easy and comforting environment that is conjured as the duo negotiates their own unique type of propulsion throughout a dream-like stasis. While fragile acoustics are fingered in pensive circular patterns, sinewy loops wrap themselves around the shimmering esophagus gently intoning it's mantras. The expansive atmosphere of these workings give extra blur to the ghostly strands of melody slowly arching over fully hollow spaces between and around each note. Welcome to the shadowy bliss of the songlands." Brave Mysteries
A split cassette of endless beauty as channelled through young Finnish / Russian sound artists. Ous Mal is Olli from Oulu, now living in Helsinki. If you have slept on his early CDrs and the Preservation full-length - do your ears a favour and find this music asap. Ous Mal's approach is very rich and his melodies and compositions are heartbreakingly sweet. Sampled thrift vinyls and tapes, keys and strings and chanting build up into impressive ambient folk collage. On the B side there is some raw and crispy synth magic from Koltushi village, near Saint Petersburg. Sergei's sound is direct and his tracks are melancholic yet hopeful. Quiet field recordings meet nostalgic electropiano looping and occasional blasting FX attack. This record has been in heavy rotation since the very day we received the masters and we don't seem to grow tired of it. So rad! Spray-painted cassettes, "sand" J-cards. Edition of 100.
Republic of Karelia's very own Anton Filatov is presenting his debut release. This young man lives on the outskirts of Petrozavodsk, basically right in the forest. When he's not busy studying physics and astronomy he composes mellow soundscapes with synths and guitars. He utilizes quite a variety of other sources, too: birdsongs, tape loops, delay wobble. Filled with gentle chords and easy sinewaves this tape is a perfect soundtrack for relaxation. Come here and rest. Spray-painted cassettes, textured blue vellum J-cards. Edition of 50.
To put it shortly: Moscow's Arabian Horses dance on the edge or 'plain weird' and 'fucking good'. Oh, how many times have I seen people's reactions to their live shows! It's always like: "What the hell are they trying to do? No, wait... this shit is getting huge!" The duo have it all: excessive drinking, goofiness, bored/lazy moans, pointless strumming - but add heavy floor tom drumming and black wall of guitar distortion to the mix. Straight to tape, very lo-fi and intense. Here and now. All in 17 minutes. Top notch raw tribal psychedelia. Blue paper covers and spray-painted CDrs. Edition of 50.
Some may have heard of the Russian band Madlene, ultra-heavy noise-rock collective fronted by a tiny shy girl, who sings, too. Gretel is Ekaterina's solo venture. It's not far from Madlene's aesthetics but puts the music in a different setting. The guitar is not that distorted and there is no full drum-kit, the rest stays. Headache paranoid discordant repetitive riffage is supported by cold distant singing. Sounds pretty much like female teenage Cobain locked up in the basement. Unsound ballads for adventurous ears. Spray-painted cassettes, red paper J-cards. Edition of 30.
Pententacles are a guitar duo from Moscow, Russia. Andrei and Vlad used to play in a couple of chaotic hardcore metal bands, however ended up playing drone. Having been around for a few years, liked by many when opening for Nadja and Ben Frost's Russian shows, they are only now releasing their first tape. No composition, no strumming, no riffs - this is mostly feedback duelling. Different textures, mind-opening and scary at times. Their MySpace says they are influenced by "good, evil and LSD". Spray-painted cassettes, textured blue vellum J-cards. Edition of 32.
KON TIKI GEMINI jam some mellow atmospherics for those late night escapades to the mountain to watch the sun rise. Ivan & Sergei (MPALA GAROO & BEDROOM BEAR) create a unique musical zone where time stands still and makes you want to float forever. Total gripper for you smooth cats and night crawlers...
A: Recorded winter-spring 2010 in Karelia and Poland. Love Cult: Anya & Ivan.
B: "8.16.07" / "1.1.07". Live recordings. Dimensions variable. Tempera: Corinna Marshall, Nicholas Barker.
Art by Philip French.
"Ivan & Anya of Love Cult have a knack for capturing the sense of tranquility that accompanies moments of deep homeostasis, hovering over the fine line between communal music-making and private meditation. This split finds the Russian duo conducting three-part ceremony, where each passage tumbles naturally - and with an increasingly woozy bliss - into a beautiful stew of storm-tempered organ and female vocals. The accompanying side by Portland Maine's Tempera absolutely locks in the high vibrations, with the troupe caught up in translucent vocal rhythms and cycles of electronic chimes. It's one of the more magical moments of documented live performance we've heard in quite a while, and its dazzling display provides a listening experience that demands frequent revisiting. Limited edition of 111 pro-dubbed & imprinted c46 tapes w/ double-sided jcard and insert." Stunned
“The A side of this almost 60 minute long cassette is Finland’s Kutomo, a project of Finland’s Veli-Matti Ikävalko. Kutomo brings a bunch of songs based around layers of different instruments and vocals, creating a very intense, even shogaze-like psychedelic folk music. The B-side is Russia’s Bedroom Bear aka Sergey Dmitriev, who continues in the same vein as Kutomo, but with less folky, more synthesizer driven atmospheres. Droney synth loops and melodica, all dwelling in delay. The music on this tape could probably be what they call “new New Age”: it’s peaceful, inspiring and relaxing, yet it has nothing to do with what your mom listens to for stress management. The cassette comes in beautiful handmade carton packaging with an artwork by Diana Vishnevskaya. Limited to 49 copies.” Jozik records 2011