Electroshock Records: Review:  
Anatoly Pereslegin: "pASSION mODELS" (Electroshock Records 2004, ELCD 042)

09 tracks. Total time - 59:18.

"Passion Models" is Anatoly Pereslegin's third album with a religious theme in a row. After the excerpts from the Book of Psalms put to music in "Fastgod: E-Psalms", it is now the turn of the five Gospels (to Matthew's, Mark's, Luke's and John's, he adds the apocryphal gospel attributed to Thomas). "Passion Models" is completely instrumental; so how exactly Pereslegin drew inspiration from each text remains quite obscure - and truth be told, maybe it's for the better. The album is subtitled: "synth fantasies for the symphonic orchestra". In this case, the orchestra consists solely of synthesizers, except for cellist Alexander Zagorinsky, who took part to the previous album and is once again represented here through samples. Pereslegin forges the cellist's playing to his own image, modeling, transforming and arranging the sound of the instrument into multiple interweaving strands. So the cello adds a touch of acoustic instrumentation, the treatments of the cello bring to mind academic electroacoustics, the complex writing (and use of atonality and fragmented themes) evokes contemporary classical, and Pereslegin's highly creative use of the synthesizer draws comparisons to New Age music (especially composers who verge on the macabre, like Peter Frohmader or Artemiy Artemiev). "Mark" and "John" are a bit too crowded while managing to lack substance, but "Matthew" and most of all "Thomas" are surprising pieces. The latter in particular displays an impressive level of integration between cello and synthesizer. "Passion Models" is not as artistically successful as "Fastgod: E-Psalms", but those who enjoyed the latter will appreciate it.

Francois Couture ("All-Music Guide")

Taking the most experimental areas of electroacoustic music as their main starting point, Anatoly Pereslegin breaks with many moulds and explores new musical continents. From the darkness of remote intergalactic space to the brightness of stars, Pereslegin's music has an energy that gives the listener the feeling of belonging into an eternal, endless pulse of an ever-expanding universe.

Dominique Chevant ("Amazing Sounds")

Anatoly Pereslegin's latest album is "pASSION mODELS" (ELCD042), and it continues the biblical theme of his previous albums. this time the tracks are based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The music is a mixture of orchestral and instrumental samples, alongside synths and the other tools in a modern musicians' arsenal. The music is in the style of modern classical, with electronic overtones, certainly more musical in the conventional sense of the word, compared to other albums in this review. It is certainly not as confrontational, which is a relief, and is quite listenable as music.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

"Passion Models" is Anatoly Pereslegin's third release on "Electroshock Records" after "Download The God" (ELCD 019) and "Fastgod: E-psalms" (ELCD 028). As in his two previous albums all the distinctive elements of Anatoly Pereslegin's musical style are here: the frantic activity of intricate musical lines, the hammering of relentless ostinati punctuated (or may be punctured!), from time to time, by violent organ clusters outbursts, the delirious runs that jump at the unsuspected listener already threatened by bass rumbling sand harsh glissandi. This third work on "Electroshock Records", as the two previous ones, is also inspired by religious themes, in this case the passion of Christ. But one may be wondering: how does all this relate to the Gospels? Anatoly must have a very subjective conception on the world and the word of God. Obviously he is a man possessed by a very deep Christian vision. His works are not watered down "new age" musings. They are about dark world, a valley of tears where one experiences torments and pain. In his previous album "Fastgod: E-psalms" he gave a listener a clue. Track #2 from this particular album was inspired by two psalms from David, p. 22:9 and p. 152.2: "Are them mad possessed by pleasure and pain, the way they go through suffering and darkness is endless". But in spite of all this, Pereslegin's music is very enjoyable to listen to, certainly because of its liveliness, the richness of the musical colors and the numerous inventions. In the end all these elements contribute to give to the listener a strange feeling of elation. Highly recommended but not for the shy!

Daniel Biry ("London Cinematic Composers")

I remember that when I was a young teenager my brother was used to record contemporary music on Italian Radio 3 radio station. Today when I put on my CD player Anatoly Pereslegin's CD "pASSION mODELS" I was amazed how much these recordings were remembering me the ones my brother was recording then! What kind of stuff can you find into these tracks? On the CD cover you can find a phrase that could explain very well what "pASSION mODELS" is: "Synth Fantasies for the Symphonic Orchestra". The nine movements are gathered under the name of five imaginary models, so you can find Matthew for Track #1, Mark for Tracks #2 and #3, Luke for Tracks #4 and #5, John for Tracks #6 and #7 and Thomas for Tracks #8 and #9. The tracks recalled me the soundtracks of certain early expressionist movies where the music was giving half of the atmosphere. Musically the tracks are really intriguing and alternate moments of apparently calm with a lot of crescendo where the strings duel with the organ or the cembalo parts. On some moments you can find yourself involved into a sort of musical storm where violins and cellos create a complex web of sounds which make you lose your senses. The CD is a good one but sometimes the sounds used are similar on most of the tracks and this make you lose your attention.

Maurizio Pustianaz ("Chain D. L. K.")

Given its subtitle, "Synth Fantasies for the Symphonic Orchestra," this disc immediately went into my player. Was it worth the rush? Oh, yeah. With the exception of Alexander Zagorinsky's cello contributions, all of the timbres are synthesized. The music - inspired by Pereslegin's "models," the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the fifth Gospel, Thomas - is deep, complex, introspective, and intense. There are some unexpected quick-cut transitions, as well as sections of overcooked flanging and other effects. But as a whole, "pASSION mODELS" is an admirable release worthy of a listen.

Mark Vail ("Keyboard")

Anatoly Pereslegin's first CD, "Download the God", drew on inspiration from the Old Testament and his second CD, "Fastgod: E-psalms", was based on David's psalms. His latest release, "pASSIOn mODELS", continues the religious themes with track titles like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas. Subtitled "Synth fantasies for the symphonic orchestra", the music does indeed create a fantasy world created by the electronic orchestra, like a Fantasia for the avant-garde. Pereslegin comes roaring out of the starting gate with "mATHEW", a highly intense blend of symphonics, electronics and orchestration. This is a grand work, both compositionally and in its execution. It's a treasure trove of sound and an emotional roller coaster ride. If you're looking for peace and serenity then beware... "pASSION mODELS" is for thrill seekers looking for something to stir their souls. Pereslegin also excels at blurring the lines between electronic and acoustic elements. What sounds like a full string section can quickly morph into a soaring keyboard line. And while the music is symphonic in nature and highly accessible, the avant-garde elements that set Pereslegin outside the conventional box are in evidence throughout. In earlier reviews I've described Pereslegin as a cross between Keith Emerson and Vangelis and made references to "Tangerine Dream" and "Ash Ra Tempel". On "pASSIOn mODELS" he's in full grand conductor of the symphony mode, stabbing and thrashing the air with his baton. Fans of orchestrated electronic music will feel what I mean.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")

Pereslegin is no rookie anymore, as he has been involved in numerous projects concerning installations, ballet, opera, etc. "pASSIOn mODELS" is his third solo undertaking and an ambitious one too. Diagonally printed on the cover it reads: "synth fantasies for the symphonic orchestra". Well, the3 symphonic orchestra is here represented by cello samples, from real cello playing by Zagorinsky which was then sent to the machines to manipulate its original sound and molded into something almost absurd. This is no music where you should think during listening, what the hell is this? It's an abstract sound painting, which you like or don't. It's structured, crowded with attention demanding sounds, full of invention. And if you don't run screaming away, it will fascinate you till the end. If you ask me, this would have been one hell of a job to record! A must for Peter Frohmader diehards.

Roel Stevernik ("Expose")

"pASSION mODELS" is Anatoly Pereslegin's third album with a religious theme in a row and it is completely instrumental. This electroacoustic music gathers pieces in the style of future classical, with electronic overtones and an avant-garde approach. Anatoly is playing with sounds, shaping them into different tracks. All the music you will find on this album is composed, arranged and performed by Anatoly and produced by Artemiy Artemiev. On this disc you can also discover real cello samples. Anatoly Pereslegin's approach on "pASSION mODELS" makes me think of some work by Frank Zappa in one way or another. With just over 59 minutes you have almost one hour of good electroacoustic music to enjoy.

Peter-Jan Van Damme ("Darker Then The Bat")


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