Friday, August 14, 2020
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Artist: Kshatriy (@)
Title: Mushrooms and Kshatriy
Format: CD
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Rated: *****
A new batch of releases to review has just been sent my way from Chain D. L. K. central, and this was the first one I (randomly) picked. At first unfamiliar, but the name Kshatriy seemed to jog my memory from somewhere, and then I recalled a few years back I reviewed a couple of releases on the Vetvei label on which Kshatriy was one of the collaborators. They were quite interesting as I recall, but markedly different from this work, although still in the ambient vein. Kshatriy is the project of Sergey Uak-Kib from Vsevolozhsk, Russia, and he's been releasing material since 2004. 'Mushrooms and Kshatriy' is actually Kshatriy's second release going back to 2006 that had an extremely limited release at the time (friends and fans) so most people never heard, or heard of it. This re-release has been completely remastered, and is one amazing work.

I don't think the "mushrooms" in the title have anything to do with Portobellos, Shiitakes, White Buttons or Chanterelles, but more of the Psilocybe variety. Don't worry though, you won't need to eat any fungus to appreciate this work; Kshatriy provides all the hallucinations you'll ever need here, and then some. Working primarily with electronics, Kshatriy explores nine aspects of the psychedelic mushroom experience over nine tracks - Growing, Flying, Curious, Crying, Angry, Psychactive, Walking, Magic, and Dying. In the beginning, you sense activity like something is trying to break through the surface, darkness, but overhead the cry of birds and the motion of other lifeforms. Your mind is becoming keely attuned to the tumultuous life of another realm. The claustrophobia falls away and a sense of spaciousness reaches your consciousness, open, vast and brilliant. Now the hallucinatory terrain glows with a pulsing life of its own. Things in the atmosphere once invisible are now revealed to you- subtle but still evident. The curiosity you have about them makes manifest all manner of intracasies in form; at times abstract and oblique, at others in perfect patterns of symmetry. The inner and outer worlds merge and become one. Emotion takes over and happiness and sadness become indistinguishable. It's the primordial brain at work, welling to the surface of your consciousness, unearthing visions of a past eons beyond your lifetime melded with a future you have never experienced. The "Psychoactive" component brings new information into your experience as outside stimuli (voices) creeps in. It is beyond logic and reason, just another layer to pass through. Time to move, and "Walking" through space and time seems like the right thing to do. There is no solidity, only "otherness" as you move. When yourself moves beyond your self, are you still there? Now comes the tricky part, the sense that you can do anything, be anything. Manipulating supernatural forces, ascribing meanings to symbols and signs, effecting change to your environment, moving by will that which would otherwise seem static. But all too soon, there is the come-down. The experience is fading, "Dying". As you find the alternate reality dissapating, here is a sense of both sadness and relief. Exhaustion finally overtakes you as you melt away.

This is the only way I could describe this work. Details about synths and sounds, drones and moans, ambiences and atmospheres just don't work here. You need to experience it for yourself. One of the best albums I have ever heard in the psychedelic and (slightly) dark ambient vein, I just can't say enough positive things about 'Mushrooms and Kshatriy'. Definitely worthy, and limited to only 77 copies as I understand. Do not fail to acquire one.


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