Click here to [close]

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Grundik Kasyansky & Alexey Sysoev - Selene Variation (Dinzu Artefacts, 2022)

By Ron Coulter

Selene Variation is a remix of a solo, acoustic piano composition by Alexey Sysoev. The original recording of the composition was performed by pianist, Yuri Favorin, and this remix was co-produced by the Russians, Alexey Sysoev and Grundik Kasyansky, using a “feedback synthesizer”. The album takes the form of a limited cassette release of 100 copies, with digital download. It was released February 22, 2022, and as of June 20, 2022, it is listed as “sold out” on the Dinzu Artefacts bandcamp page, however the entire album can be streamed there free of charge.

The label describes the release as “An original piano composition remixed and manipulated through feedback synthesis, gleaming with complex structures and subtly transformative processes…”

The four tracks on the album come in at 27’47” for the total duration. The piano composition at the base of this work is sparse and gestural, using limited pitch material in the mid and high register of the instrument; it stands starkly apart from the electronic processing it undergoes via “feedback synthesis”. The juxtaposition of the acoustic piano recording with the electronic’s blurry, pulsing, low frequencies and subtle, lo-fi digital glitches and pops creates a bit of aural surrealism of radically different soundscapes colliding. The piano material is positioned further away in the sound field with a lower volume and noticeable reverb, giving it a haunting quality, while the electronic sounds are front and center with a higher volume and a very dry, direct quality.

Listening to this electroacoustic music gives the listener an unsettling feeling, a menacing sense of the calm before the storm…without a storm ever arriving. That is not at all to say that this isn’t an engaging and interesting listen, because it certainly is a very unique and engrossing listening experience. This music stands non-referentially, as a unique soundworld unto itself—wonderfully strange and original.

Available on Bandcamp