i have to admit that lately, i had begun to get the impression lately that netaudio is burning out. several of my favorite labels have closed or simply fallen silent, and it seems that its becoming more difficult to find the good quality musical art that we expect here at hiddenplace music. it was just at the right time, then, that a release came on the scene with such stunning originality and inspiration that i can once again say that netaudio is most definitely alive and well.
netaudio.ru is one netaudio collective working hard to keep the scene fresh and interesting. operating with a podcast and three separate netlabels with a balanced mixture of accessible and experimental sounds, along with high quality artwork and sound fidelity, netaudio.ru is becoming one of my favorite destinations for intelligent music. and they have outdone themselves with an absolutely brilliant album by the moscow collective Prologue.
upon listening to the first two minutes of Proluge's self-titled release, my sometimes stormy love affair with russian music was instantly renewed. delicate yet expressive female vocals floating over gentle piano, strings (yes, real live strings!), flute and muted trumpet, peppered with gritty downtempo beats and melancholy yet passionate russian language(?) raps. there are many diverse influences here; naturally trip-hop and downtempo music are the dominant flavors, but theres also touches of film music, debussy, berlin-stlye rap, russian folk, jazz, and drum n bass-- all perfectly melded into a cohesive whole. obviously a huge amount of talent and work has gone into this incredible release; there is simply nothing else quiet like it in the netaudio world.
im tempted to give a run-down of every track because each is so remarkable and has its own unique qualities, but the best way to enjoy this album is to find a quiet place, listen to it all the way through and discover every nuance for yourself. and when its over, sit for some minutes in stunned amazement, then press repeat and dive once again into the beautiful melancholic world of Prologue.