Artemiy Artemiev: Review:  
Artemiy Artemiev & Phillip B. Klingler: "A Moment of Infinity"
(Electroshock Records 2002, ELCD 022)
05 tracks. Total time - 68:22.

"A Moment of Infinity" is the second collaboration between Artemiy
and Phillip B. Klingler (a.k.a. PBK). "Dreams in Moving
(released 2000) created an eery, haunted atmosphere. This one is more tempered, although "A Rite of Passage" has its disquieting moments. Most of the elements from the first album were used again, but with more
subtlety. Ghostly samples play a lesser role. Whenever rhythms appear, they
consist of tribal percussion instead of electronic beats. Here, one must
point out the quality of the programming. Everything on the album is played
via keyboards - no "real" percussion whatsoever, but they truly feel
natural. "Broken Sleep in the Fracture Zone" quickly sets the tone: long
keyboard chords, spacy synth swirls, some odd samples and unidentified
sounds. All this is sculpted with great artistry, more detailed but with
less immediate impact than on the previous CD. The first track ends with an
episode of tribal percussion and grunts, very suggestive. The main piece
should be the 27 minute title track, but it gets lost in its own meanders,
lingering on for too long. It is quickly eclipsed by "A Rite of Passage"
where the voice of Artemiev's young son, sampled women voices, and heavier experimental electronics (filter manipulations the likes of Fennesz and Hazard) give the piece a different personality and bring the album to an
excellent stop. "A Moment of Infinity" requires a bit more effort from the
listener, but it rewards accordingly.

Francois Couture ("All-Music Guide")

"A Moment of Infinity" opens with "Broken Sleep in the Fracture Zone", an eleven minute collage of ambient drones, industrial creaks and groans, distant 'tribal' like percussion, and an overwhelming feeling of being a speck in the cosmos. I also get a disturbing mind-picture of a blasted landscape full of the distant howls of whalesong or mutated foghorns... Next track is "The Other Side of the Inner World" - this opens with some slow and very deep marimba-type vibes mixed with gentle, almost industrial style drones, a gamelan drifts in and out, the whole soundscape just drifts in space past that orbiting Dunkin' DoNuts franchise with its flickering fluorescent sign. "Endless Voyage" is next, and as the title suggests it is extremely cosmic - again a drifting, shifting variety of drones and samples weave and entwine across the speakers, a clock strikes the hour and then morphs into a mutated twang, this track doesn't really go anywhere, but that, of course, is the whole point. The overall effect is of hanging around one of the LaGrange Points in a spacesuit and literally chillin' out... Track 4, "In a Moment of Infinity" is the album's magnum opus in terms of length - twenty seven minutes and small change - and once again a clock is striking the hour over some low key drones and pulses, riven here and there with sampled choral voices and radio-astronomy radio chatter. One keeps expecting to see the monolith from "2001: A Space Odyssey" floating across the speakers. Despite its length, there's a richness in sound and feel here, and an awe-inspiring timelessness - space is kinda huge, ya know, but that space between your ears is even bigger! The final track is "A Rite of Passage", darker sounds now, perhaps the ghouls of a graveyard are coming out to play, the sounds are certainly more demonic. A tribal, almost voodoo, beat emerges from the crowing voices and it chugs along as the drums beat on, joined by the flapping of batwings. Voices chant in the distance, debatable whether they are angelic or that of the Hellish Host - then again, this could be where all the rappers go when they die...

"A Moment of Infinity" is an impressive album - for much of its duration it is a space trip, the nearest thing to hitching a lift on that UFO doing the grand tour of the Solar System and all points up. Only the final track tends to darken that vision into something akin to falling into a black hole. This collaboration between Artemiy Artemiev and Phillip B. Klinger seems to have brought out the visionary in both of them and it is a vision well worth seeking out.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

The prolific Russian musician, composer and producer Artemiy Artemiev continues his collaborations with other musicians from all over the world. "A Moment of Infinity" showcases five long experimental and artsy suites with e-orchestral backgrounds and noises worked out with Phillip B. Klingler, whom we are used to refer to as P.B.K.. This is Artemiev's second collaboration with him (the first one being "Dreams in Moving Space", 2000) but the overall sound differs from the first one as it is more atmospheric and less "noir". There are practically no electronic beats and actually no definite rhythmical structures are to be found (except for a short percussive pattern in the last and darker composition), yet there are a number of weird tribal sampled percussions that give it a truly native and distant appeal. The Russian coldness of deserted landscapes covered in snow is only one of the virtual places you will visit when travelling this musical journey... On the other hand percussive (mainly metallic percussion) sounds sometimes almost recall African shores, like a warmer wind blowing through the snow and melting the snow... Clearly, it is a very visionary album. Industrial drones interwove with ritual field sounds, atmospheres of stillness and infinity are the playground for spacey and drifting experimentalisms that remind me of a bunch of releases from "Extreme Records" I once reviewed, which included Skuli Sverrison's all-bass "Seremonie" album and a Shinjuku Thief work. Almost 70 minutes of glacial and noble avant-garde sounds for the true lovers of envelope-pushing.

Marc Urselli-Schaerer ("Chain D.L.K.")

"A Moment Of Infinity" (ELCD 022) is another collaboration. This time Artemiy is with Phillip B. Klingler. Again, it's a five track album, ranging from the fairly short (!) five minutes twenty, to the title track, an almost album-length stunner, at 27 minutes. "Broken Sleep in the Fracture Zone" kicks off the album and we're straight into industrial ambience. I love albums like this with titles rather than part numbers as it imparts what the writers have in mind (well, I like to think that!). "Fracture Zone" is a dark, menacing place where a steady ambient wash is punctuated by effects and strange, alien sounds. Cracking opener although I'm not too sure about the later addition of the drums. "The Other Side of the Inner World" reminds the listener of some fogbound landscape, with frost forming on the branches of the willow near the lake... Again, a superbly atmospheric piece with ambient washes and sfx ranging from reversed sounds, bells, and additional washes of dark ambience. "Endless Voyage" is actually quite a light and uplifting piece, almost as if the sun was breaking through the clouds, having spent the night next to the above lake! Ambience proliferates in waves whilst low and deep sfx underpin it all - a really superb piece. The title track is next, all twenty seven minutes. How do you begin with such little space? Well, as you should know by now, pieces as long as this morph and evolve like a life form. Well, surprisingly it doesn't change too dramatically in all that time. It starts with what I could well imagine a graveyard scene where a bells is tolling with spirit choirs fading in and out with a variety of truly unsettling effects. These gradually build and build, and like I say, slightly alter, which doesn't actually change to piece too much. "Rite of Passage" is as spooky as hell. In and amongst the effects, Artemiy Jnr. makes his vocal debut and those noises the baby makes are echoed and treated to produce an intensely unsettling effect! The piece builds up with soft metallic sheets interspersed with samples of vocals and sfx, morphed to a point where they sound alien to the ears. Unsettling, yet inventive as hell. The beat that arrives after around four minutes gives a good anchor to one's sanity - it sounds almost like a skiffle!

David W. Hughes ("Modern Dance")

Artemiy Artemiev has solid credentials in the field of avant-garde electroacoustic music, from his earlier electronic endeavors like "Cold" and "Point of Intersection", to his Electroshock label Electroacoustic Music series, each presenting an array of experimental compositions by various composers. These four recent releases present collaborations with some of his notable contemporaries; in the case of PBK and Frohmader, Artemiev has collaborated with them on earlier recordings, while these are his first with Seattle based De Laurentis and the British ensemble Karda Estra. "A Moment of Infinity" operates in pretty much similar territory as "57 Minutes to Silence", but tends to be more integrated with fragmentary melodic content - however abstract, via the use of electronics and percussives, and an overall higher density. This gives it a somewhat less industrial character, although it's still very avant-garde and free form. And did I mention dark? Again, the primary source of content seems to be that of sampled and processed slabs of sound, often juxtaposed with the synths and percussives in such a way to produce a fairly disturbing soundscape. "The Other Side of the Inner World" is perhaps the most sinister of the five tracks herein, with low-frequency droning sharing space with seemingly random percussion and found sounds. The title track stretches out for nearly half an hour of drifting, arhythmic industrial hell-sounds over haunting drones, with random outbursts of recognizable instrumentation. Some interesting stuff here, not unlike the soundtrack for a horror movie. In summary, these showcase a new waterfront in electroacoustic music, reaching well beyond traditional electronic and ambient realms and infusing both with some very avant-garde and experimental ideas. While any of these might be recommended for those already into 'challenging' music, "Transfiguration" and "Equilibrium" probably offer a better embarking point for listeners steeped in traditional structures.

Peter Thelen ("Expose")

Tres opportunement intitule "A Moment of Infinity", ce disque est la seconde collaboration d'Artemiy Artemiev avec Phillip B. Klinger, alias PBK, obscure figure americaine de la musique industrielle des annees 80. Du haut de son vaisseau "ambient astral", le capitaine Artemiev s'adresse ici a tous les amateurs de voyages immobiles. Il les invite a un sejour en apesanteur dans des regions sonores mysterieuses, aux confins de l'ambient ethnique, de l'indus climatique et de la musique de film d'horreur. Soit une expedition tenebreuse d'une duree totale de 68 minutes decoupee en 5 longs episodes. Plus nuance que son predecesseur, cet album delaisse les rythmiques electroniques pour se tourner davantage vers des percussions d'inspiration tribale . Au sommet de leur inspiration, le Russe et l'Americain peignent une fresque sonore menacante ou sons cosmiques et bruits animaliers s'agglomerent subtilement. Ce qui, a l'arrivee, induit une oeuvre environnementale pas franchement eloignee de l'ecole isolationniste, dans la droite lignee des travaux de labels comme "Heart of Space" et "Projekt".

Olivier Lehoux ("Solenoide")

Artemiy and Phillip B. Klingler's previous effort - "Dreams In Moving Space" - was one of Artemiy's more abstract ventures dealing with sound explorations that slowly developed basic themes. This new release - "A Moment of Infinity" - continues the duo's focus on sound but is a more varied and atmospheric work. It's loaded with dark spacey backdrops and percussion and a recurring theme of ghostly and sometimes anguished voices provide the bulk of the intensity. Much of the music sounds like an avant-garde soundtrack to an expedition over a cold dark and deathly quiet landscape. The mood is eerie and unfolds gradually with the focus on painting on an aural canvas. Among the highlights is "A Rite of Passage" which is one of the wildest tracks of the set. It's something of a freakout collage of Halloween screams and yowls, electroacoustic conglomerations, avant-Chamber music, drum n bass patterns, and intense atmospherics that flows and blends beautifully. But the real gem is the epic "In a Moment of Infinity" which includes even more intense moans and howls on one of the albums more abstract works. I really enjoyed the prominent and varied percussion which infuses an element of sometimes startling chaos into this non-stop parade of dark atmospherics, drones, gongs, bells, and countless undefinable sounds. A fantastic voyage of sound that will keep you spellbound throughout it's entire 27 minute length. Don't listen to this in the dark on Halloween if you have a weak heart. Another recommended set.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")

Exploring the darkest frontiers of Ambient, these two composers show us one of the most radical aspects in their respective styles. Five electronic pieces, featuring an infinity of disquieting sounds coming and going, constitute sinister paintings, capable of making us imagine descents into caverns brimming with unearthly beings, or astral voyages beyond the limits of space or time.

Edgar Kogler ("Amazing Sounds")

Artemiev and Klinger's first collab, 2000's "Dreams in Moving Space", was a terrorizing tour-de-force and a tough act to follow. "A Moment of Infinity" does not approach that level of intensity, but it's deeply unsettling in its own right. Ghostly moans and drones predominate, punctuated with eerie bells, metallic scrapes and other strange sounds, conjuring hordes of lost souls rising like smoke from a million graves. For reasons I can't explain, I'm also reminded of the Apathetics, memorable characters from John Boorman's bizarre 1974 sci-fi flick "Zardoz". If you've seen it, you'll get it, if not, just ignore my rambling; it's really beyond my powers to describe this stuff in any coherent manner. Suffice to say if weird, deep-space ambience is your bag, you'll want to hear this.

Jim Santo ("Demo Universe")


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