10 December 2007

Sasha Ponkratov - Kaleidoscope

i have always had a sort of love/hate relationship with russian music. its frequently ponderous and oppressive moods and its occasionally ear-splitting experimentalism i find both distasteful and fascinating. despite these broad generalisations, there is always more to discover in russian music and i just cant stop listening-- prokofiev, stravinsky and rachmaninoff were staples of my cd collection in my classical music-filled early years, and these days artists such a sleepytown manufacture and unit21, as well as netlables such as electrosound.ru i count among my top electronic music interests.
it is especially interesting to discover a release which breaks the mold entirely. a new release from a blog reader arrived in my inbox the other day and i was pleasantly surprised to discover an eclectic, yet well-balanced fusion of odd acoustic instruments with electronics. the influences are too many to name here- is it early jazz, modern 'post-jazz' or eastern european gypsy music? no matter, a variety of idiosyncratic rhythms and non-traditional scales are employed here with a playful smile and nod, making for another fascinating listen for those with an ear for music which is 'outside the box.' in the coming year, i hope to focus more on musicians who fuse analogue and electronic elements in their music, and Kaleidoscope is a perfect introduction to just that sort of sound.

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