Giriu Dvasios, Sraunus, Pixelord, Capo Blanco, Yayati, and a Terminal Dream Compilation

Well-established Lithuanian dub techno artist Giriu Dvasios, aka Evaldas Azbukauskas, has released a new collection of "Dub Vibes." As before, his instrumental compositions - including this track "Ritmas" - remain inspired by the equally resonant emptiness of surrounding Baltic forests.

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Sraunas - again from Lithuania - recently published a brief justification for the persistent melancholia of his catalog. "The effect of a sad song is not to depress, but [instead] to bring you closer to that emotion. It aims make you feel better. Sadness has a healing quality." Some of his newest material operates along the same fateful lines. 

Thanks to the careful guidance of Siberia's Pixelord, the Terminal Dream label in Moscow has grown over the last two years into a major showcase for downtempo and ambient artists - both across Russia and beyond. Here, by way of quick example, is a playlist of their summertime instrumentals.

Track after track, there's plenty to celebrate - and mourn, too, since the label often draws upon the half-forgotten and rusty media of a Soviet industrial past.

Further still into the same Slavic past lie these folkloric and pre-industrial sounds sampled both by Pixelord and St. Petersburg's Oligarkh on the brand-new "Kogti" (Talons)


Capo Blanco: from Kazan come the unhurried, leisurely sounds of Italo disco. We hear DIY fantasies of the 1980s captured on cassette tapes - all over again, in a wistful return to media formats that were never designed to last. Ephemerality both enables and undermines thoughts of somewhere faraway. 

"По мне так, нынешнему человечеству не хватает любви, доброты. Поэтому и старается восполнить эти пробелы прослушиванием музыкой "теплым", "ламповым" звучанием. Кстати, существует научно доказанный факт почему "теплый", или еще как говорят, "ламповый" звук воспринимается нашим слуховым аппаратом, как более или менее благородно."

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The stage-names of Yayati and Deep Play both belong to Igor Fedoseev, a longterm resident of Sochi on the shores of the Black Sea. Of all the comments across his Soundcloud account, by far the most common is the wordless "!!!" The number of exclamation points may vary, but an overriding air of optimism is constant. This sunny outlook - from somebody raised in a tourist hotspot - is supported with a range of quotations from wise, often literary figures of prior centuries. The most telling in recent weeks has come from Vincent van Gogh, specifically from a letter of 1888 to his brother Theo.

In simple terms, the letter expresses gratitude for the wordless, nameless beauty of the sea. Fedoseev, raised in Sochi, would understand well. 

One night I went for a walk by the sea along the empty shore. It was not gay, but neither was it sad - it was - beautiful. The deep blue sky was flecked with clouds of a blue deeper than the fundamental blue of intense cobalt, and others of a clearer blue, like the blue whiteness of the Milky Way. In the blue depth the stars were sparkling, greenish, yellow, white, pink, more brilliant, more emeralds, lapis lazuli, rubies, sapphires. The sea was very deep ultramarine - the shore a sort of violet and faint russet as I saw it, and on the dunes (they are about seventeen feet high) some bushes Prussian blue.

Вечером гулял по безлюдному берегу моря. Это было не весело и не грустно - это было прекрасно.  На темной синеве неба пятна облаков, то еще более синих, чем яркий кобальт, то светлых, напоминающих голубую белизну Млечного Пути. На синем фоне - яркие звезды: зеленоватые, желтые, белые, розовые, более светлые, более похожие на драгоценные камни, чем у нас на родине и даже в Париже; их можно сравнить с опалами, изумрудами, ляпис-лазурью, рубинами, сапфирами.  Море - темный ультрамарин, берег - лиловатый и бледно-розовый, кусты на дюнах (высотой до 5 метров) - прусская синяя.

(Vincent van Gogh, 1888)