Music Reviews

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Artist: IP NEVA
Title: Symbiosis of Contradictions
Format: CD
Label: Impulsive Art (@)
Distributor: Ad Noiseam
Rated: *****
IP Neva is the project name of Ivan 'NeverdiE' Proskurin, from Moscow, Russia. The label his Symbiosis of Contradictions’ release is on, Impulsive Art, is a new indie label from Athens, Greece. If IP Neva is any indication of the talent the label is culling, it seems to be an auspicious beginning. The CD comes in slick digipack packaging with a cool and intriguing look. But as packaging can often be deceiving, the music must be heard to be evaluated.

From the outset, IP Neva sets a mood. Light mysterious background padding and a medium slow tempo beat with interesting percussive additives. Think of something along the lines of earlier Delerium meets Black Lung. The first track, "Correction" uses English spoken word soundbytes that seem to be about the economic market correction’, or more to the point, economic meltdown. The overall impression of this track is a lumbering mechanism on the verge of collapse. I’m not a big fan of spoken soundbytes in music (except for perhaps their occasional shock value) but it’s unobtrusive enough here, and doesn’t really break the mood.

Next track, "U Boat performance", uses a metallic based beat, an eerie, airy sonic blast and background female choir in a minor 5 chord repeating pattern. Buzzes and bleeps punctuate the proceedings. Dive! Dive! I’m not sure I feel like a submariner, but is an interesting track. "The Process" which follows, is a bit more of an amorphous semi-dark ambient piece. Old school electronics, a distant female voice and other sonic sundries, some heavy, some light add to the atmosphere. Kinda psychedelic. "Constallation of war" has a siren over sustained strings while bombs burst and the famed J. Robert Oppenheimer soundbyte, "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" pretty much nails the lid on the apocalyptic coffin. From this emerges strummed acoustic guitar and drums in the background. The Pink Floyd harbinger of doom? Gee, I hope not... I’m getting a little nervous that this guy is Russian... Still, it’s the U.S, that only ever actually a nuclear weapon. Maybe a warning...

"Full Moon" has a weird acoustic guitar loop over sustained atmospherics and glitchy, treated electronic elements. Most experimental track so far. "Radiation Field" is probably not the place you would want to take a stroll, as IP Neva imbues this track with ominous elements from which a heavy beat emerge. Industrial ambient to be sure. "Whether in numbers" brings back some acoustic guitar over the dark ambient background and a voice recites... what else but numbers! Coordinates? Code? Science experiment? "Meteoric Rain" offers a glissy descending synth sound over a sustained ambience out of which piano chords and a breakbeat emerge, and then disappears only to reemerge again. All the while there is creaking and groaning. "Calm after the storm" has cosmic overtones in that oh-so-Eastern way, and will have you contemplating your navel in no time flat.

We get another version of "U Boat performance" (Mobthrow Remix) that ups the tempo and brings a more conventional big beat to the foreground. It really doesn’t sound a whole lot like the original, except for the chord structure, and is actually pretty cool. Reminds me a bit of Noise Unit. The beat could have used a few more breaks and breakdowns, but it’s still enjoyable. We leave Symbiosis of Contradictions’with a different version of the first track- "Correction-Failed" (Abstractive Noise Remix) which is a noisier, more rambunctious version. Obviously the correction didn’t work. (Ha ha!)

For a first outing, this album is really pretty good and works on multiple levels. If you enjoy experimental dark ambient industrial, I can really recommend this one to you. Good luck finding it though if you live in the U.S. Impulsive Art says CD Baby is one of their distribution channels, but I couldn’t find it this CD there. Other Euro online outlets are Ad Noiseam, Klangware and Spectraliquid. I guess you can always visit the artist’s MySpace page and ask Ivan directly how you can purchase a copy. Might help if you were fluent in Russian.



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