Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Ilia Belorukov & Vasco Trilla - Laniakea (Astral Spirits, 2019) ***½

By Eyal Hareuveni

Astral Spirits describes prolific Russian, Saint-Petersburg-based sax player Ilia Belorukov and Portuguese-Catalan, Barcelona-based drummer Vasco Trilla as “two under-sung heroes of free improv”. Both Belorukov and Trilla like to experiment with different objects and sounds in order to reinvent and enhance the sonic range and imagination of their respective instruments - the alto sax, fluteophone,  Belorukov's electronics and Trilla's assorted percussion instruments. Laniakea was recorded at Vasco's studio in Barcelona on July 2017 and later mixed and mastered by Belorukov.

Laniakea follows Trilla’s trio Phicus' meeting with Belorukov, K(nо́)t (Intonema, Belorukov’s label, 2018), and like K(nо́)t it harnesses both musicians inventive extended techniques in favor of sketching fascinating microtonal drones ad sudden rhythmic patterns. The first three pieces are distinct, experimental drones. “Zud” is quiet and one that employs extended breathing techniques and delicate rubbing of skins and frames, all suggest a kind of extraterrestrial, rich yet monotonous one, with industrial, rhythmic sounds. “Klaketta” dives much deeper into mysterious deep seas of overtones that correspond with subtle, crackling and rubbing sounds until all disappear in dark, dense ripples of white noises.

“Moutonner” is the most beautiful one. An enigmatic and suggestive soundscape that has strong cinematic qualities and immediate emotional impact, due to or despite its almost silent and subtle atmosphere, slowly gaining more volume and depth. The last “Kikimora” employs metronomes and bells to create elusive ritualistic-rhythmic framework, mutated by electronic-sounding. noisy comments on these chaotic patterns.

Highly inventive.


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