WOLS: 064

 

Sweet nostalgia and fresh experimentation across bass, trance, techno, and idm

Outside of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other enormous cities, Russian electronica has flourished for years in all manner of places, coast to coast. Ones and zeroes move freely online, in happy ignorance of physical distance. An artist's address matters little if s/he is crafting and distributing digital sound-waves. Foremost among these provincial outputs of weightlessness is, perhaps, Krasnodar. A sunny river port has been home to some of the country's most exciting experimental projects and dance-floor craftsmanship for almost a decade. 

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One of the leading lights upon Krasnodar's soundscape is Evgeny Shchukin, co-owner of the city's Fuselab label and - beforehand - a member of Modul. That latter project, within a great musical city, remains responsible for some of the very best Russian tech-house of the last two decades. 

This escape from Moscow, not to mention the material burdens it shuns (distance, cash, [physical] concerts, and so forth) is well expressed in Shchukin's tiny tagline for his WOLS outfit. In translation it reads: "A Rave for a New Day." Any hope needed to face tomorrow comes from escapism; the best way to face a new day is to ignore it altogether - and that brings us to the newest WOL EP, simply titled "064." Listeners are told to expect a mix of "sweet nostalgia and fresh experimentation across bass, trance, techno, and idm."

Daydreams overcome distance, at least with reflective, rather than constructive gestures. 

Shchukin himself continues: "This is a collection of some spontaneously written tracks, produced over the last two or three years." The compositions were built upon various thematically important samples: a video snippet from some half-forgotten rave; a spoken-word loop from Krasnodar neighbor Luiba "Zapomnizalipni"; a 2016 phrase from Petrozavodsk techno artist and colleague Sergey Suokas." (Not to mention the mysterious Krikitoka and Battle Toad.)

 

"Everything developed in that roundabout manner. The rest of the recording is typical WOLS: bass music, passed through a gentle rave filter, then crisscrossed with idm or something else." As one Soundcloud listener says of Battle Toad's contribution: "It sounds like it was recorded at a party in 1999 or something..." 

Material hassles are swapped for participatory culture online; as a result, there is arguably no difference between Krasnodar and Petrozavodsk. That joyful unloading of material culture is made better still with retrospection. Looking back has more appeal than striving forward. Wandering, wistful introspection beats ideology. The future serves no single purpose.

Это небольшой сборничек спонтанных работ за последние год-два. Первая композиция родилась случайно, когда наш старый приятель, широко известный в узких кругах би-бой Руха, засемплировал в свой MPC кусок из видео про какой-то рейв и настучал бит, очень канонично. Я дальше продолжил, потом наша Люба шла в подъезде и в Телеграм мне начитала эти слова, они как-то легли классно. А засемплированным изначально куском оказался семпл из композиции моего старого друга Сергея Суокаса. Вот такой круг. Песня в общем-то про рейв и что-то оттуда. Остальное типично WOLS - басовая электроника через легкий рейв-фильтр, скрещенная с IDM или чем-то таким. Одна из композиций недавно была представлена на IG. 

На обложке наш друг, маленький Денис Паламба.

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