Electroshock Records: Review:  
Stanislav Kreitchi: "Voices & Movement"
(Electroshock Records 2002, ELCD 023)
07 tracks. Total time - 73:55.

For his second CD on "Electroshock Records", Stanislav Kreitchi proposes once again a strange electroacoustic mixture. He collages keyboard tracks, samples, sounds from the vintage ANS synthesizer, and material derived from the Ovaloid, a metallic sound sculpture. "Rhapsody in Rorschach" combines metals with spacy synth constructions, including a recurring theme that more than alludes to the opening credits of the classic "Star Trek" TV series. The main opus of this disc is the suite "Four Fantasies" - impressionistic illustrations of the four seasons (each about 9 minutes long). They form a closely-knit cycle, each movement picking up sonic materials from the others while featuring its own set of distinctive sounds. The chosen palette for each season is somewhat predictable, but suitable nonetheless: wolves and Inuit-like voices for winter, water (melting snow) for spring, birds for summer, and finally wind, church bells and mourning voices for autumn. Some melodic figures (mainly bird songs and a voice sample) come back too frequently, pushing the work close to the tiresome threshold, but in the end it makes a good listen. The simple pairing of French horn and electroacoustics in "Ruins in the Waste" provides an interesting contrast. The title track explores samples of voices and orchestras backed by a track of ANS synthesizer and cinema-like sound effects. Too scattered, it doesn?t match the interest of what came before it. "Voices and Movement" proves once more that Russians approach electroacoustics from a very different perspective than the French, British, or Canadian.

Francois Couture ("All-Music Guide")

Stainislav Kreitchi's electroacoustic "musique concrete" proposal comes as a concept album about the excitement of our imagination and how voices (sounds) and movement (rhythms) complement each other in every auditory perception. The entire full length CD with its 7 tracks is played on the legendary ANS synthesizer (whom Electroshock has dedicated Vol. IV of their "Electroacoustic Music" compilation series), keyboards and Ovaloid. To enhance the perception of nature surrounding you, found sounds, human voices, field recordings and themes from "Star Trek" and other movies are pasted in digitally. The interesting part is that the opening track "Rhapsody in Rorschach" (where the Rorschach test focuses on visual stimuli to instinctively create pictures in our imagination) is the mother composition that branches out into four fantasies: "Winter" (with its cold bells, long pads, eastern women's chants, glacial sounds); "Spring" (with its watery samples, heavily treated singing birds, more female choirs and more, as in nature waking up and coming back to life); "Summer" (with its intense field recordings, where the field are actual fields, with buzzing insects, lots of birds, wind, reverberated ritual chants and traditional breath instruments, occasional pounding indus beats etc); and finally "Autumn" (with its many bells, windy sounds, low frequency notes, deep male choruses and so on). The other two tracks, "Ruins in the Waste" and the self-titled track, show a tiny bit more musicality, with orchestral breath instruments sounding like French horns, but the abstract structure of these compositions is way beyond and far away from what you would normally consider musical anyway. Strangely, not much of a general rhythmical structure is allowed either, even though the rhythm is supposed to be half of the theme behind the record. In the last track, in particular, water, adult voices, babies crying and steps on a ground covered in stones recall the graphical theme of the booklet and the cover, where on a shore big coloured stones laying on the sand and getting wet with the waves, visually represent what is supposed to equally excite our imagination. Also car sounds, public sounds, more steps (strongly separated in an unreal stereo image), cinematic orchestral music pieces and hiss at different frequencies (who knows if coming off of the recordings or actually part of the experiment) color the atmosphere and contribute to the picture.

Mark Urselli-Scharer ("Chain D.L.K.")

This is the second album by Stanislav Keitchi on Electroshock, and "Voices and Movement" continues his explorations into sound using the unique ANS synthesizer that made "ANSiana" so distinctive. The album opens with the eighteen minute long "Rhapsody in Rorschach", which aptly describes the cosmic, post industrial soundscape here. The track oozes atmosphere, the sounds darting here and there, just like the coloured charts that inspired it. It doesn't make for easy listening, there are no tunes as such, but the soundscapes when played at low volume are quite effective in an ambient way. The next four tracks make up a suite called "Four Fantasies" - and like Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", these comprise "Winter", "Spring", "Summer" and "Autumn". For me this set of tracks are the highlight of the album, while being nothing like Vivaldi's classic work, they do share a strong evocation of the seasons that is both highly atmospheric and beautiful. Perhaps where Vivaldi's work ultimately praises God, Kreitchi praises the cosmic which perhaps isn't that diametrically opposed. Winter, for example shimmers with the arctic cold and sparse samples of howling wolves and Eskimo chants raise the atmosphere. In "Spring", the ice and snows melt and new life appears, inuits chant to welcome the new sun, life begins. "Summer" opens with birdsong and assorted spacy bleeps and blips - the overall effect is of life [and light], thriving and spreading across the world. With "Autumn" the darkness returns, heat-leeching winds howl and life recedes across the tundra, awaiting the dreaded long winter night. This suite is one the most evocative things I've ever heard and it should become a classic of electronica. The penultimate track is "Ruins in the Waste" and it does share a lot of the atmosphere and ambience of the previous "Four Fantasies", though this track has added brass synths and a number of new sounds - in some ways the horn parts are reminiscent of Wagner (if he was alive now and using synths). "Ruins..." is very broody and it evokes (in me) the numbing dread of an H.P. Lovecraft tale, with its Stygian horrors rising from the depths. Finally there is "Voices & Movement", this opens benignly with crashing waves, footsteps on the sand, half-discerned voices that could be crying or laughing. The samples of footsteps and voices endlessly shifting across the
soundscape do offer a literal translation of the track title - at least until the marching band appears! This is one very weird track... "Voices and Movement" is not going to appeal to everyone, and it strains the definition of what is considered music at times, but it has more than its fair share of defining moments and the "Four Fantasies" suite is an ambient classic.

John Peters ("The Borderland")

Stanislav Kreitchi's album, "Voices & Movements" (ELCD 23) is more akin to the original concept of what Electroshock began as. This album is pure electronic experimentation consisting of seven pretty large tracks of sound collages built up mainly from the Ovaloid and ANS Synthesiser. It's not a beginners album that's for sure. In and amongst the synthesised sounds are samples of all kinds of things from Wolves (used beautifully on "Winter" from his "Four Fantasies"). Even with no taste at all one should be able to appreciate the colours, textures and moods that Kreitchi paints with. Tracks like "Spring" burst onto the ears with life: water, and birds, sampled and treated in the most inventive way possible. Some of the segments in and amongst are similar in feel to the soundtrack from Forbidden Planet. In most respects the album acts like a wake up call to your senses. A bloody hard album to review as it's simply in it's own genre, but if you're prepared to truly experience a drug free trip, then give this a shot. Seven tracks in all, ranging from reflective to eyes (and mouth) wide open. Kreitchi is certainly a composer at the cutting edge.

Dave W. Hughes ("Modern Dance")

Stanislav Kreitchi's follow up to 2000's "ANSiana" release features more of his captivating constructions using the ANS synthesizer, keyboards, Ovaloid (a stringed instrument) and various collages of sounds and voices. Kreitchi excels at combining tripped out spacey sounds and avant-garde concoctions with voices and natural elements to create music and sound sculptures that are sometimes collage-like in nature and at other times image inducing and atmospheric. "Rhapsody in Rorschach" is an 18 minute experience in which we are presented with multiple aural ink stains to interpret as our minds please. The piece opens and closes with droning chants, didgeridoo sounds and pulsating space waves. This soon shifts to an avant sound pastiche of percussive electro clatter and bangs, some of which sounds like chains rattling, and surely the Ovaloid is producing the raking across the radiator sounds. We also hear spacey chamber music with an eerie child-like feel. My favorite part is the spacey sound collage and jazz themed sequence. Kreitchi transitions through more themes than I could count though each sequence moves seamlessly into the next. The space factor is high, the sound constructions creative, and there's lots of experimentation without becoming overly abstract. A fun experience that reveals new discoveries with subsequent listens. "Four Fantasies" is a 4 part suite that explores each of the seasons. Kreitchi works heavily with natural sounds to develop his themes. On "Winter" we hear howling winds and crying wolves... I could almost feel the cold. It includes both darkness and a strangely peaceful serenity. "Spring" treats us to flowing streams, birds chirping and cacophonous water droplets bouncing around. "Summer" beautifully reproduces the sounds of nature. And "Autumn" is another cold and dark themed piece with its ghostly howls across a windswept plain. I felt like I was in another dimension, or deathly place, or even limbo perhaps. A recurring theme across all four seasons is a song portion that sounds like traditional Russian folk singing. Kreitchi rounds out the set with the aptly titled "Voices & Movements" and "Ruins in the Waste", an avant-garde orchestral piece with an elusive complexity that required closer and more repeated listens than the other tracks. In summary, Stanislav Kreitchi has once again produced a fascinating electroacoustic listening experience that creatively combines natural and sculpted sounds to compose a work that will reward listeners will repeated listens.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")


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