Artemiy Artemiev: Review:  
(Electroshock Records 1997, ELCD 002)
08 tracks, Total time - 72:19

"Cold" CD dates from 1994 and '95, and is a development on the more ethereal elements of Artemiy's previous CD "The Warning", with a less focused melodic edge veering towards new-age music. Particularly in "A Polar Night" there's a good nod towards his fathers 70's soundtrack work. Largely light and relaxing (with hints of Sven Griinberg and Igor Len), the only type of "cold" this pictures to me is that of crystalline ice fragments and snow, a cold fragile beauty, not cold and harsh, and in that way a little Klaus Schuize again shines through at times.

Alan Freeman ("Audion")

Artemiev's goal on "Cold", as the title suggests, is to "experiment with sound trying to make listeners not only to feel cold in the body, but also to hear its coming by ears and soul". He's off to a good start with track titles like "Waiting For Winter", "A Polar Night", and the ultimate "Freezing". The mood is darker, than "The Warning", certainly more sombre, though in no way depressing. The music is also less fully symphonic than "The Warning", with Artemiev utilizing lighter and more focused electronic patterns and textures to communicate his arctic message. Some of the music also has a more mechanical, droning quality, conjuring up images of a desolate (and, of course, "cold") world.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations").

The music on this album dates back to 1995 and is different to the previous album. The layered, heavily textured soundscapes are gone, replaced by a collection of eight delicate, extremely melodic pieces. The opening track "Waiting For the Winter" is extremely wistful, and its deceptively simple melody does set a mind picture of gently falling snow (and let's face it, they know about snow in Mother Russia!). The following tracks, "Freezing", "A Polar Night", "Lullaby for a Lonely Wanderer", "Sudden Awakening", "Vadjira (Tibet Song)", "Transition to Winter Time" and "Cold" all tend to reflect the same themes of solitude and isolation. The sound throughout the album is sparse: some gentle percussion, occasional ambient back washes and a few lead solo synth voices to carry the melody. It is uncommon to find an album of music that you can call beautiful, this is one of those rarities.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

On this release the mood has change somewhat, blowing hot an cold. The difference in styles are quite apparent. "Waiting for the Winter" and "Freezing" show mournful icy tones, you can almost imagine the bleak, barren Siberian wastelands, uninviting and certain death. "Transition to the Winter Time" again displays this feel but more intense this time round, a perception of hopelessness. Then we have "Lullaby for a Lonely Wanderer" possessing an abundance of warm chords, a though provoking piece, expressing relief. The title track is total abandonment, transfixing, hypnotic, darker and stranger than anything else. Another unusual and powerful statement from Artemiy.

Mick Garlick ("Sequences")

..."Cold" breaks the individual theme design of "The Warning". Artemiy created a nice space music album designed to create the sensation of cold in the listener. It succeeds - brrr! Fans of David Wright should enjoy this album.

David Hassell ("Wind & Wire Magazine")

...3 CDs ("The Warning", "Cold" & "Point of Intersection") come courtesy of a Russian composer called Artemiy Artemiev and form a complete set (similar artwork and typefaces) and uniformly impressionistic.

Artemiev is a composer of some complexity, clearly using purely keyboards to generate vast worlds of sound. I've only really listened to "Cold" in great depth - this happened to be the first one I picked up - but that says a lot about the strength of that CD. At times there is the reflective space of Daevid Alien's drone pieces, at other times the more "up" vibe of Tim Blake's meandering solo work, but you'll also find tracks which sound like eerie church organ music, or the uncomfortable chamber music moods of "Univers Zero". Each CD clocks in at its fullest possible times-pan - overall there's something like 4 hours of music here, sometimes disturbing, sometimes uplifting, and, on the basis of "Cold" alone, is very high quality material.

Mac Beaulleu ("Facelift")

"Cold" is Artemiy's second CD, written and recorded in winter of 1995, and reflecting this throughout the discs eight pieces. Aptly titled tracks like "Waiting For the Winter", "Vadjira (Tibet Song)", "A Polar Night" and "Freezing" reflect the emptiness, solitude and desolation of the arctic winter...Fans of Eno, Budd, Jeff Grienke and the like should definitely investigate.

Peter Thelen ("Expose")

I know nothing about Russian music and the reason is quite clear : we read nothing about it because we're too close-minded. We think there is no decent music being made outside Europe and America...and that's a crime. Politics have created borders and look at the state we're in! So why should we, music-lovers, do the same? OK, I totally agree that it is almost impossible to find Russian stuff in the record shops over here but there is also something called 'mail-order'. So yes, honestly...Artemiy Artemiev is the sole Russian artist I know of but I think I already have met one of the moat innovating and creative artists who comes from there. "Cold" is a sort of movie on disc, every song (they are all Instrumentala) is a story on its own... A sort of new age-music combined with Harold Budd and Brian Eno-influences. It really has a tragic sound, a sort of soundtrack that has been lifted from a movia in where you can see the consequences of a nuclear war... A song that has a title like "Lullaby for a Lonely Wanderer" speaks for Itself, if you are into music that must be 'something' different, then order it...

Didier Becu ("The Original Sin")

The CD starts with "Waiting for the Winter". If anyone knows about the winter, it's the Russians! This superbly evocative 13 minute plus track uses the synth to full effect to create waves of ice, blasts of cold air and full and heavy skies. It's a beautifully subtle track. The overall quality of the album is surreal, reflective and underplayed. Indeed, the only track that isn't, is "Sudden Awakening", which is one of the strongest on the album. A gentle rhythm lays the foundations for a variety of keyboard sounds. A very smart track indeed. "A Polar Night", "Cold", "Lullaby for a Lonely Wanderer" are all superb in their use of 'cold' sounds and subzero imagery. A cracking album.

Dave W. Hughes ("Modern Dance")

This CD was recorded between December '94 and January '95 in the own "Electroshock Art Recording Studio" and was a real solo album. Artemiy used a large array of analogue and digital keyboards and canned 8 tracks (72') of symphonic/electronic soundscapes, expressing the concept 'cold', both as a physical experience and as a feeling of emptiness and loneliness. The theme guides Artemiy's music more into the realms of modem electronic composers like David Bedford or Nic Potter without losing its Russian musical identity.

Marc Mushroom ("Crohinga Well")

The second Artemiy Artemiev CD out of Moscow company Electroshock is called "Cold", indicating the overall atmosphere we can expect from the eight tracks. The sound is surprisingly easy-listened. This definitely does not belong to any of the difficult-listening lists you can find on the net. It's smooth, stroking, fondling, as indeed winter and cold can be, provided you're out of it, or in it with the right clothing. However, I don't think Artemiev sought to display a naturalistic painting of winter in Russia, but rather to express winter as a state of mind, as a mood or a feeling, a base camp for travels into inner spaces. The strokes of sound inevitably creates ice castles of the mind, where light diffuses through the icy walls, and you set your bodily body down in the midst of this ice castle on a reindeer fur on the floor, letting the overwhelming light of sun and ice curate your innermost illnesses of mind and soul, and maybe this is where this music may take you, to reconsiderations, coming-to-termness, a rest within a rest. Anyway, Artemiev's artistic skills have moved a lot since his first CD, "The Warning", and makes one curious as to what might show up next from Moscow. When I first ventured into Artemiy Artemiev's music I had the expectation that this would be electronic music in the sense that I define it, from the pioneer works of Rune Lindblad, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jean Schwarz, Bernard Parmegiani and so forth, but I have come to realize that Artemiev's production belongs in a completely different vein, which by confusion of terms mat be confused with electroacoustic or electronic music, namely "electronica", which defines a latter day occurrence in the flow of modern music, like "dark ambience", "new age" and so on. Maybe I'm too old, and maybe that's why I didn't realize this at first. This makes the listening experience quite different from what I thought it would be, but with that realized, it's a pleasure to explore these long stretches of inwardness.

Ingvar loco Nordin ("Sonoloco Records Reviews")

On his second CD Artemiy Artemiev experiments with sounds and explores the theme of coldness. He tries to make the listener feel cold by the body, but also to hear it's coming by ears and soul. And by the way, what is cold? Is it solitude, isolation (the fear of being alone, or being left alone)? Or is it a kind of desolation of the heart and soul? Eight lenghty songs try to answer those jarring, difficult questions. Using a vast array of keyboards (Ensoniq, Korg, Roland, etc), Cubase score (version 3.0) and a good old Pentium 100, he creates minimal, near-ambient instrumental electronic music. The tracks are minimal, the tempo is slow, you hear sounds shifting here and there. You're feeling melancholic, alone, isolated, and you're starting to shiver. Don't get me wrong "Cold" is a standout release. Recommended to people who would like to try something different, something eerily outstanding.

Francois Marceau ("Mastock")

The follow up to "The Warning" sees A.A. musically finding his own path of expression. Winter landscapes with an iridescent glow. Each of the 8 tracks are absolutely stunning. Essential listening for lovers of tranquil ambient electronics.

Robert Maycock ("Lockjaw")

A friend of mine tends to listen to more EM during the winter months. I suppose that he feels their digital chill fits into a season of icy streams and falling snow. Perhaps that is what was going through Artemiev's mind with this release. From the opening shiver of the first track, "Waiting For the Winter" to the icy ending of the title track, these songs seem to follow an arctic theme. Artemiev lists the many instruments that he uses on this recording which seem to lean towards Ensoniqs and Rolands with the occasional Korg thrown in. He uses these devices to create music that is generally gentle and majestic. While being occasionally ambient in nature, normally it tends to be mellow melodic EM. The liner notes tell us that this lack of warmth might not just be seasonal, but rather the coming of death itself. Needless to say after that, these songs do have the intermittent dark movement in them. The second track, "Freezing" leans towards the mentioned darkness, but being the shortest track on the disc, we soon move on. For me the chill of death concept comes home in track four "Lullaby For a Lonely Wanderer". Which has a hymn like feel to it, using an organ tone, and wouldn't appear out of place during a funeral. It is the longest track, at 14:12 giving the disc a fairly balanced time range per song. Although spring is coming to my part of the world outside, I know that I can always slot this CD and put on my mittens

Loren Beacon ("Electronic Shadows")


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