Artemiy Artemiev: Review:  
(Electroshock Records 1997, ELCD 001)
11 tracks. Total time - 72:41

Son of the famous Russian electronic music pioneer and film music composer Eduard Artemiev, it would seem that Artemiy has been taught a lot by his father. Artemiy, in fact, had been trying for some time to establish his own label, and has many other ambitions, in film, TV, etc. He's been rooting around the underground, contacting various musicians making synth and experimental music from around the world. Thus, we knew these CD's were imminent for some time. Anyway, in spite of the label name, Artemiy is a tasteful artist, and none of these are at all shocking, though they are each different in their focus. "The Warning" is his debut album, in that it collects the earlier works here, and has been sitting on the shelves for 4 years. I understand there had been demo cassettes of this around for a while, but only now does it appear officially. "The Warning" shows up his influences extensively, in that he works a lot with film and TV, here his father's influence shows through in great use of melody and form. It's "picture music" really, and aptly you can associate the titles with the music easily. Hints of old Vangelis and recent Klaus Schuize abound, the former for the rich melodies, the latter in the use of sampling and unusual texture. A little too pretty in parts for my taste, but as a debut it's not bad.

Alan Freeman ("Audion")

Artemiy first release on the CD medium, and what an album to start with. The classical element is quite strong here, full of energy and stirring full sounding orchestral scores. Some of the compositions take on a epic film soundtrack course. The atmospheres created are full of emotion, and the quality of the recording is something extra special. Basically the concept is a continuous musical journey, with many of the pieces broken up by the use of great sound sampling, also the natural ambiences of horse carriages, speeding cars, crowds of people and so on, which are mixed carefully into each track, and not to overshadowing the music. Violin, Oboe, add an extra bite as does the percussion, a staggering array of dynamics. Perhaps were the differences in musical terms lies to the normal western synth sound is the use of sampling to bring out the cultures of a Russia society whose torrid history torn by war and starvation, can still bring breathtaking music that stirs the mind and soul.

Mick Garlick ("Sequences)

Artemiy's first release on Electroshock consists of majestic orchestral keyboard excursions along the lines of Vangelis and mid-70's Tangerine Dream. The music tours through a series of themes, and each movement segues smoothly into the next. Artemiev's keyboards are embellished by some real drums and percussion, and guests on violin and oboe. This is serious image-inducing music and the journey for this listener is one of many moods, the most powerful of which is a great exodus across vast rocky terrains and mountain ranges. The feeling isn't dark, but steps cautiously as it evolves.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")

"The Warning" is Artemiy's debut CD, its recordings dating from '92-93. Artemiev plays all keyboards, bass, drums, percussion and programming, and is joined by the occasional guest on violin and oboe. His approach here seems to owe a nod to the German masters, KS and early Tangerine Dream in particular, repetitive figures interwoven with floating melodies, as well as classical symphonic music. It seems to have been written with a concept in mind, as there are sound effects grafted between the tracks to underline some kind of story line.

Peter Thelen ("Expose")

This was Artemiy Artemiev's debut album for "Electroshock Records", and it opens rather appropriately with "Overture", a very up tempo, upbeat introduction to his music. Compared to later work, this is almost conventional electronica, not too different to Jarre, Kitaro or Vangelis. "Down By the River" is more of a harbinger to later work: ambient sounds of synthesised animals and waves crashing topped by a slow melody that gently meanders for several minutes before it slides into "Tibet", a tone picture of this most troubled mystical country. Reminiscences is another upbeat track, slightly oriental-sounding percussion ripples the tune along. Throughout all the tracks are snatches of street sounds, horse and carriage, childrens' voices, church and hand bells, speeding cars and hawkers cries. There are eleven tracks in total and they are all excellent - one can only be impressed at this debut album which announced the arrival of an important new composer and musician to the genre of electronic music.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

Electronic music comes from all over the world, and now we have an artist emerge from Russia. Artemiy Artemiev is the son of a composer and has himself worked on film and documentary scores. In 1997, three of his albums were released, and they are excellent. Even more interesting, each album represents a different aspect of electronic music. "The Warning" has the quality of a soundtrack with its many different musical themes. There are eleven titles listed, but the CD player only lists two! This makes it extremely frustrating to cue to a particular favourite (mine is "Down By the River"). There are momentary influences from Russian folk music, but there is also some very inventive work. I especially like the way he uses ambient sound effects, such as sea gulls and the sounds of traffic, as transitional elements between themes.

David Hassell ("Wind and Wire Magazine")

One of the nicest things this year was receiving a package from Russia! I know, I claim to be open-minded but I know absolutely nothing about the music scene In Russia (...who In Western Europe does???). "The Warning" by Artemiy Artemiev (...he has three other CD's as well!!!) is a Russian composer who must have a lot of imagination. All tracks are instrumental (electronic new age/Tangerine Dream-like) and it is like you're watching a movie inside your head... Where as I easily get bored by new age stuff, this was a fantastic experience that never bored me once. Maybe it's because of the Russian connection but this was like listening to the soundtrack of "Battleship Potemkin" done on electronic equipment...most of the times this CD sounded extremely scary... Everyone who's into electronic music should get in touch with this artist...

Didier Becu ("The Original Sin")

"The Warning" contains Artemievs' oldest recordings (1993 - Gorky Film Studio) and features guests Dimitriy Kutergin (of "Nochnoy Prospekt") on violin and Michael Jakushev on oboe. The 11 tracks on the 73' CD (including a real "Overture", "Finale" and two covers of Claudio Monteverdi) seem to form the soundtrack to some strange, dark and moody film. Most of his music could be defined as 'modem classical on keyboards', played with all the intensity and dark shadows of the traditional Russian spirit.

Marc Mushroom ("Crohinga Well")

Starting off with the street noises of current society, this first CD on the Russian Electroshock label by Moscow composer Artemiy Artemiev soon bursts into a fastmoving texture of an unspecified genre, that really is impossible label, should one want to do that. However, this music doesn't really belong in the general Western Hemisphere of electronic music, or electroacoustics, as we have grown accustomed to it by the virtue of the experimental masters of Germany, France and Sweden, for example. This CD is more of a pretty anonymous representation of popular or "general" lines of musical tradition, where synthesizers are used to produce melodious music of a sort of timeless quality, with a soft touch. A couple of pieces are reworkings of works by Claudio Monteverdi. It doesn't seem that these pieces were made in an ambition to fall in line with western modern art music, but rather to trod its own path in a more exclusive popular music genre. At times one would even think of this as a continuation of the "background musics" of, let's say, Brian Eno, but Eno is in a class by himself when it comes to this. Maybe a fascination with the possibilities of modern electrified instruments was the triggering factor for this the first of many CDs from Artemiy Artemiev. Something I cannot quite make out on this particular CD is the time references. On the sleeve eleven pieces are defined, but when you insert the CD in the player only two long pieces show up. No index points are found either, to account for this. Maybe the composer just wanted to indicate certain passages in the music by the provided but non-existent index points. Anyhow, in real laser box life the pieces on this CD are 59:30 and 13:11, but if you add up the times given on the sleeve for all the individual and unidentified pieces, this doesn't quite match up... Anyhow, this mystery is of no importance, and if you like mellow lines of unspecified, soft modern day music, too elusive to label, with certain "electronical" or "concrete" anomalies, you might look into this music. The second piece (in real world laser box existence) behaves more like a chamber piece of classical qualities. This is indeed one of the reworkings of Monteverdi, and it works quite fine. It's beautiful music, but still elusive, as to reason or statement, but maybe you don't need these aspects. Maybe you can just listen...

Ingvar loco Nordin ("Sonoloco Records Reviews")

Artemiy Artemiev is a Russian composer who's connected with theatre, film and TV industry. He composed music for over 50 Russian features (documentary, films, theatre plays, soap-box operas, TV programs, radio plays, etc). This is his first solo release. Eleven tracks of beautiful, daydreaming (and also dreaming) electronic music. He made those songs using an amazing combination of keyboards, bass, drums, oboe, violin, and percussions. The result is simply astounding!!! Some pieces dwell in neo-classical territory, while others follow a more melancholic-like path. This is the kind of CD that once you put into your player, it never wants to leave your sound system. It's definitely relaxing and addictive music. I enjoy listening to this lying in bed with the headphone's on. Letting the music absorb you, relaxing, chilling-out, drifting away... Real slowly...

Francois Marceau ("Mastock")

Another smooth ambient piece from the leading Russian electronica label, this album combines the best of worlds, jazz, New Age and soundtrack styles. Which isn't surprising as Artemiev has composed music for over 50 Russian movies, soap operas and TV shows. Some of the music is dark and very moody with real life samples (a car screeching away, a baby crying and sirens) mixed in with very Morphine sounding sax. This is some serious music for those who enjoy exploring new tunes.

Michael Sullivan ("Here & There")

This is my first introduction to this Russian artist as well as this label. I suppose being on the other side of the planet made introductions difficult until the Internet started breaking down some of the distance. So, I've only recently come across them, but better late than never. The CD jacket and tray, fortunately, is partially in English, so I can see that Artemiy Artemiev has composed electronic works for film (both television and film documentaries) as well as for live theater (which I find fascinating). In addition to all that activity he still finds time to do audio recordings of his own. Artemiev is the primary musician on this CD, but is joined on a couple of tracks by a violinist and an oboe player on another to expand the sound palette. The music, if I was forced to put it in a genre, would be contemporary EM. It's not exactly dark, but never frivolous. It's definitely serious in it's structure. He covers not one, but two Claudio Monteverdi songs on this disc. I'm not fluent in classical or baroque music, but this choice alone might give you an idea where the artist is coming from. He handles quite a bit of territory within the EM genre. In addition to the more symphonic arrangements, he pulls in an Eastern sound in the track "Tibet" with sitar-esque tones and tabla like beats. "Reminiscences" might be my favorite track with a strong sequencer pattern overlaid with flowing synthesizers. Other songs lean towards more ambient sounds, but regardless of the style, there always seems to be that "edge" keeping the listener on his toes. This recording seems a good introduction to the composer, and I am looking forward to hearing more from him.

Loren Bacon ("Electronic Shadows")


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