Artemiy Artemiev: Review:  
(Electroshock Records 1997, ELCD 003)
05 tracks. Total time - 75:24

Much darker than the previous two CD's ("The Warning" & "Cold"), "Point of Intersection" documents his most recent work, and is Artemiy's attempt to create a music that intersects many genres. To do this he has worked in contrasting cultures, mixing electroacoustic and more melodic synth elements. The results are quite subdued and strange, a little like "Lightwave", and there's much obvious sampling going on (you can tell he's in to Kosmische Krautrock) and the moodiness of it all draws close comparison to some of fellow Moscow sound explorer Mikhail Chekalin's works, and there's a little "Lightwave" in there too. With a little more variance, and development in themes/ideas, this is the direction Artemiy should develop further. Let's hope he does!

Alan Freeman ("Audion")

The goal on this release is "to find a point of intersection of two genres of music - electronic & electroacoustic and two cultures - Eastern & Western". So what makes electroacoustic music distinct from electronic music? When I think of electroacoustic I think of "sound" itself, and the use of sound to create music. I also think of music which, like musique concrete, isn't necessarily intended to induce any specific imagery, which is indeed what electronic music so easily does. (Artemiy confirmed my uncertain definition when asked.) "Point Of Intersection" is certainly a more abstract work than the previous two recordings, but for me the imagery is still ever-present and the music is only slightly more abstract than that heard on "Cold". There does seem to be more of a focus on sound and the result is a set of quieter, but busier, and perhaps even more interesting tracks than the previous releases. So perhaps Artemiev has indeed found the intersection he's looking for.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")

"Point of Intersection" is the third CD, recorded by Artemiy between September '96 and January '97, and for this writer's money is the most engaging of his first three albums, developing a dark and brooding ambience within a floating dreamlike atmosphere. The feeling throughout is very still and insular, with more of industrial touch as opposed to spacey. Artemiev makes use of studio techniques that seem to constantly vary the acoustics of the listening experience - one minute the listener is in the middle of some vast open space, and the next minute inside a concrete box. Distant spoken voices and percussive sounds adorn the outer periphery while growling loops and twisted, deformed sound samples take on eerie and menacing tonal color. Of the first three discs by Artemiy this is by far the most detached and isolated, yet the most engaging as well. Fans of Eno, Budd, Jeff Grienke and the like should definitely investigate.

Peter Thelen ("Expose")

A stark contrast to "Warning" and "Cold", "Point of Intersection", takes us on an adventurous journey to the unknown. Stomach churning and disturbing sounds worm into your brain, taking you on the edge of a void. Cosmic chattering vibrate their conversational calls, you feel alienated and on course for an experience you never wanted to happen. The visual images are so real on "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss" that the voices entice you to take those steps, I Feel shackled and chained, were am I going, if this is the way to eternal damnation, I want a second chance. Artemiy pulls no punches as he delves into soundscapes that challenge the senses.. The intensity of the music was totally absorbing, and is not for the faint hearted.

Mick Garlick ("Sequences")

"Point of Intersection" is Artemiy Artemiev's third album, and is an example of the musician breaking away from what has been and exploring even wilder sonic landscapes. Opening track "Under Cover of the Skies" is almost conventional ambience, apart from the rolling layers of echo-drenched sound that wash across the speakers. It brings to mind the alien city in Forbidden Planet. "Mirage" continues in the same way, but with more of an industrial feel and some German language spoken text weaving in and out of the music. Album magnum opus is "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss", an epic quasi-orchestral piece that slowly evolves into something surreal, featuring yelping voices, knocking sounds and Syrian Orthodox church chanting. "Point of Intersection" begins with booming chimes and alien sounding trumpets, becomes very mystical and doom-laden. Finally, "From & To" concludes the album with a (relatively) short track, which returns to the sounds of track one, but with a faint American Indian tribal beat. "Point of Intersection" is a brilliantly atmospheric album, showcasing a vivid imagination at work.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

I first heard of this artist through his collaboration with Frank Klare on the "Red & Black" album but forgot about him until Peter Harrison of "Direction Music" kindly sent me some cassettes of his music (thanks Peter). The music on this album should be enjoyed by those people who like the kind of material released on the Fathom label as Artemiy is a master of Dark Soundscapes. The first track "Under Cover of the Skies" is a perfect example of this using base drones and chords for the back drop on which are layered electronic shimmerings and textural effects that give the piece movement and interest. "Mirage" is even more abstract, a bit like a cross between TD's "Electronic Meditation" and Lightwave's "Mundus". The superbly titled "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss" is the longest track on the album and is the best. At times the music is incredibly dense at others subtle sounds are used to create pictures, there is even a hint of melody from time to time and near the end vocal chants from some Syrian church are used in such a way as to get the imagination flying off in yet more directions. Next up we have the title track ("Point of Intersection") which sounds to me like a ship easing itself through a thick fog. They can hear other ships out there but they can't see them. This is picture music at its finest, just switch out the lights and let your imagination run free. Finally we have "From & To". After another very atmospheric start we hear the first true rhythm on the album, it is very deep, slow and slightly tribal. This beat continues for much of the track and becomes rather hypnotic. The mind paintings being created through the background instrumentation and sound effects are very vivid. Later on the rhythm dies away and the collage of sound becomes more dense and complex causing the imagination to shift one way and then the other - outstanding.

David Law ("Synth Music Direct")

This album is as different as you could imagine from the previous "Cold". It has five tracks, a lot longer and in many respects this allows Artemiy to build bigger and stronger images. "Under Cover of the Skies" is a stunning piece that contains ambient swirls with vocal samples and a sound that resembles one of those Tibetan singing bowl. A superb track to play when you're expecting first contact! The longest track, at over 21 minutes, is "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss". A variety of styles used throughout hints at "Tangerine Dream", and Jarre although Artemiev uses some superb classical music that seems to emphasize and enhance the overall effect of this long piece. The title track is simply awesome. A very brooding and moody number. Another winner.

Dave W. Hughes ("Modern Dance")

This CD was recorded in private studio facilities, between September '96 and January '97, and form his music-wise most ambitious and avant-garde sounding work so far. He recorded 5 lengthy compositions (12 to 22') again entirely played and sampled on keyboards, 5 points of intersection between electronic and electroacoustic music, between Eastern and Western culture, between the harmony of nature and human soul. Artemiy's music evolved into abstract/electronic/industrial soundscaping on this CD, completely detached from any form of existing musical tradition, though he uses a part of an antique liturgy from the Syrian Orthodox Church in the synth texture of "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss". "Point of Intersection" is his most complicated and surely not his easiest music but I imagine world-wide fans of electronic/industrial soundscaping will get really excited about the quality CD (75'). I'd never heard about Artemiy Artemiev before I got these 3 CDs. Since then I played them day and night: Artemiy is not only a skilled technical composer, he also puts so much personality and versatility into his music that he ranks among Europe's best, both as a soundtrack composer and as a modem soundscaper. Awesome and fascinating.

Marc Mushroom ("Crohinga Well")

This third CD from Artemiy Artemiev brings us even further into the inner workings of this man in Russia. The picture gets darker, or shall we say deeper, as the caves of the subconscious are trekked, with no equipment but our bare soles and our naked mind. Alas, these are dark dreamscapes, a world far off - or right within us, somewhat scary, but probably just the way life works, in a manner mysterious, where science is just one of those religions, for the guys in ties and shirts, the conformers without a mind, moving the heavy burdens of their flesh across these wastelands, committing the sin of lifelessness, as Bob Dylan put it in "Desolation Row"... You know, this reminds me somewhat of some NASA Voyager recordings of the sounds that emits from the planet Uranus by way of electromagnetics, recorded on fly-by, and translated into audible sounds by way of computers, released on the Brain & Mind Research label in Encinitas, California. Other associations now bring me into the world of classical electroacoustics, and to Pierre Henry's spectacular and very dark "Le livre des morts egyptien" (Mantra 043), which shows that Artemiev on parts of this issue moves closer to the classics in electronic music, edging slowly a bit away from "electronica", as it were. It doesn't stop here. In the fabric of sounds you may hear resemblances of Australian Aborigine didjeridoo, or even Tuvan or Mongolian xoomej (khoomei) singing. It's a rich and well-developed sound world that Artemiy Artemiev offers on this, his third CD. The inclusion of voices allows for further complexity of sound and associations.

Ingvar loco Nordin ("Sonoloco Records Reviews")

On his third release Artemiy Artemiev tries to find the point of intersection between two styles of music: electronic and electroacoustic and two cultures: eastern and western. Five lengthy tracks will show us just where the point of intersection actually lies. My knowledge of electroacoustics is rather limited, it's a genre that's new to me (the more I listen to this CD, and the more I like it). The music is a mixture of processed sounds with soft synth lines. It sounds very complicated to describe. Suffice to say that it's very challenging and interesting stuff!!! Some songs include samples of German & Syrian spoken word (Mirage, Down By The Footsteps Leading To The Abyss) which gives the music a more melancholic undertone. It produces a dark atmosphere of mystery and mysticism. The point of intersection between darkness and light, heaven and earth, life and death. You decide.

Francois Marceau ("Mastock")

All of the five compositions on this CD consist of slow moving ambient electronics with an undercurrent to them. "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss" particularly stands out, being the longest track at 21.40. This track also includes neoclassical passages and the sampled mournful singing of The Deacons Of The Virgin Qamishi (Syrian Orthodox Church) put to great effect. Brilliant piece of music. "The Point of Intersection" (18.59) also includes various eastern instrumentation amongst the slow moving ambient electronics. It's strangely meditative. Marvelous piece of music. In fact all 5 tracks are wonderfully captivating listening. Another excellent release from Artemiy Artemiev which I can thoroughly recommend.

Robert Maycock ("Lockjaw")

Step back for a moment, if you will, and try to emerge yourself in a vast, alien landscape with visions of whales as big as 100 airplanes glide over head and playfully nudge each other while lightning softly strokes their luminescent skin. Now take this image and place it inside a waking dream that rumbles inside your head, pulling and twisting to get out and make itself be known. This is the kind of feeling one gets while exploring this wonderful delight of an artist. It has taken me some time to figure out the words to say about modern day Russian composure Artemiy Artemiev, but I will try and do his work justice by saying that his combination of styles and emotions within his work strikes a beautiful resonance within me and I am sure it would move many as well. Reading this man's bio, work history, and collaborations is like reading a "Who's Who?" of world electronic music, it is a startling and impressive list that spans the likes of film-director & producer Vladimir Krupnitskiy, whom co-founded the label Electroshock from which this CD came from, Philip B. Klinger, and Peter Frohmader. His exploits into the film and TV industry is quite evident in much of his sound and style, any one of his tracks could be placed on top of any variety of film and fit very, very well. Exploration into sounds, both electronic and acoustic is something of an art form, and to see such an art come to life inside your speakers is, in my opinion, something to be giddy about.

Starting off this journey is a beautifully vast tundra of a composition called "Under Cover of the Skies" which slowly sways back and forth, enveloping and swallowing, only to recreate itself and start all over again, lush synths play about like a butterfly gliding about on a winter day. Next we have "Mirage", a 12 minute piece that invokes strange, mystical nights of some strange mausoleum deep inside a mountain somewhere. Obscure Russian words are softly spoken off in the distance while an ever present drone washes in and out, but never seems to dull the sound of the track. Our next piece is an epic journey that would make Danny Elfman smile by the name of "Down By the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss". Another magical, yet playful tune that would be best fitted into some deep fantasy movie soundtrack that explores the wonders of nature and the magical world we rarely see. Tapping in at 21 minutes this track really does take you on that journey, rising in intensity and emotion but keeping true to its ambient nature as it soars into dark caves of sound and rises high into the air with spikes of glowing fractalized moments of aural playfulness. "Points of Intersection" goes a bit more in the direction of experimental and explores a more sinister tone, perhaps within the realms of William S Burroughs "Naked Lunch", which you could picture being placed with. Seductive and dark, this track hold your attention, but it tends to become a bit to "spacey" and for me falls a bit short of the rest of the magic on the CD. Moments of Steve Roach sounding exploration pop up here and there, which gives it that tribal feel, and you can see a common thread on each others music, especially on this track. The disk is rounded out with "From & To", another deep and dark storm of a track. This one has a very strong Coil feel about it. Hypnotic beat, which is a first for the disk, lays the backbone on the track, pulsing and pushing the audience a bit further, yet has a sense of closure for the disk, which works very well, almost like the credit track that roles at the end of some horror movie.

Overall this disk is quiet a discovery. Artemiy really puts the talent back into modern day composures and puts faith back into me as to what ambient/experimental music should be. Around the world people are exploring different sounds and styles, and Russia seems to have a great individual who knows all the right moves to keep you entertained. After listening to this CD for the 10th time, I began to understand the reflective quality that Artemiy was trying to get across, that you take away from his music what you put into it, like life. He really makes you think about what is going on in his world and yours, between that nighttime world we visit each night as we lay in bed and the waking shock of reality. Perhaps we choose not to fully understand what it is that makes us who we are, but with composures such as Artemiy Artemiev, we can at least start to explore the psychic highway of human reality and dreams.

Adrian ("Starvox")

I've been listening chronologically through this artist's solo releases and seeing how he has grown and evolved. His releases tend towards every other year, which gives him time to explore new regions of music without rushing to get another CD out the door. With this release Artemiev turns towards a more ambient sound, not soundscapes so much (though some of those are present) but more extended ethereal chord progressions which develop at a thoughtful tempo. It doesn't meander, each step knows where it is headed, but there's no rush. With only five tracks on this disc, he allows himself the time to be thoughtful. The shortest song is over ten minutes and the longest over 20. Something not heard on his previous recordings are extended voice samples. The first is heard in the track, "Mirage", which is dedicated to the Swiss artist Felix Bosonnet. There is a credit to the person reading from the journal's of this artist, however, they are mixed fairly deeply and contribute rather than distract as some samples can. Another example is in "Down by the Footsteps Leading to the Abyss" which begins as a symphonic sounding piece, goes more ambient with synth pads in the middle, and then transitions into Syrian Orthodox Church vocal samples. As diverse as that sounds, it is all gradually fused together and works very well. The jacket tells us that this recording was a blending of differences, hence the title. One can find many of these blended elements in these tunes. The title track, for example, starts off as a dark Western EM work and then, slowly, you realise that some very Tibetan sounds have become dominant. Lovers of dark dreamy electronica would enjoy letting their minds go wandering with this disc.

Loren Beacon ("Electronic Shadows")


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