Electroshock Records: Review:  
Yney: "Antarctina" (Electroshock Records 2004, ELCD 041)

08 tracks. Total time - 55:21.


...In fact the opening track "Appearance from Above" is quite funky with a looping bassline and what almost sounds like hip-hop-style scratching after the opening electronics buzz and saw for a minute or so. "Stroll", again starts with a pulsing bassline and mingles with the synths - it all reminds me very much of the German music pioneers Can. In fact the entire album has that feel, a sense of rhythm and yes, playfulness, that one can find with music. I really like this album, the music exhibits a sense of quirky amiability not usually found on Electroshock releases - all the tracks have a well defined sense of rhythm and melody, and it sounds to me that the influences range from the previously mentioned Can, to Kraftwerk, The Yellow Magic Orchestra and Air. If one of the star dance scene re-mixers got their hands on this album I could see several of the tracks becoming club hits - and you don't expect to say that of an Electroshock album!

John Peters ("The Borderland")

"Yney" (a band formed by Yuri Orlov, Andrew Kireev and Igor Shaposhnikov) in this album give us a fresh, spontaneous music, ranging from Trance to electronic experimentation. Free from pre-conceived ideas that may limit their creativity, the three musicians develop rhythms of an industrial air, as well as melodies that flow through Space Muisc, Techno and Jazz. Psychedelic touches and shades of obscure Ambient complete the stylistic basis of this album.

Alejandro Hinojosa ("Amazing Sounds")

This most-excellent electronica CD was recorded in Moscow over a three-day period in October 2003. "Yney", which translates into hoarfrost (or just "frost" to you and me), consists of three diverse and multidisciplinary Russians. Jury Orlov, Igor Shaposhnikov, and Andrew Kireev share music and composition among their many talents. Since the liner notes are entirely in a language I can't decipher (Ahmapkmuha? Ahtapktnha? Whatever . . .), I have no idea what synths, samplers, drum machines, and other sonic sources were used in the making of "Antarctina". Suffice to say, though, that the guys knew what they were doing. They squeezed great electronic nuances out of their instruments to concoct a very enjoyable and trance-inducing release.

Mark Vail ("Keyboard")

One of the last things that fans of the recordings on "Electroshock Records" expect is the urge to smile while listening to a release from that label. More often than not, the music from the Russian label is dark, sinister, noir-ish, even experimental and avant-garde in the extreme. However, after last year's terrific "Midway" (from Valery Siver and Kiryl Trepakov) that married trippy glitch beats with new age style guitar, I, for one, shouldn't be that surprised, I suppose, by anything that comes down the pike from them. However, no amount of open-mindedness could have prepared me for the sheer joy, delightful loopiness, and abundant good fun of "Antarctina" from the trio Yney (comprised of Jury Orlov, Andrew Kireev & Igor Shaposhnikov). It is so much fun that I can't even begin to tell you how infectious and outrageously entertaining it is. Even more difficult, however, is attempting to describe this music and do it justice. Elements of ambient, lounge, jazz, glitch, trip-hop, breakbeat, and all manner of quirky playfulness coalesce into this amalgam of audaciousness. And all of it is so accessible! "Appearance from Above" kicks things off (after a brief swirling ambient opening) by slowly merging oscillator-like blooping, finger-snapping toe-tapping triangle rhythms, bass drum beats, high-hats, and rapid fire glitch beats, followed by the main "instruments" (those being short burst-notes of retro synths, whistling tones, and some stuff you have to hear to believe). It all flows together seamlessly, as weird as that is to believe, because the assorted percussion anchors it so solidly. At twelve minutes in duration, this is the longest piece on the album, but it seems to fly by because the artists are always tweaking the assorted synths, beats, textures and whatnot to produce subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) variations. It's with track #2, "Stroll", though, that "Antarctina" hits its stride. Again, after a short abstract opening, the song evolves into more accessible motifs, such as midtempo slinky rhythms on both electronic and trap-kit drums, ultra-delicious cheesy Hammond B3 organ blurts, and chugging kicking bass beats. This is seriously funky shit, folks. You cannot help but get
your butt shaking to this one. When they dial in the 1950s SF spacy sounds, it sends electric impulses to my face and commands me to grin! Track #3, "Invitation" takes less time to wind up and let fly, which it does with pulsing synth bass beats, hyperkinetic cymbal rhythms, bongos galore, and sexy sustained organ chords. It plays out like some tropical island-jam from a Lex Baxter retro-futurism album of the 1950s! Cool! But the highpoint for me is "Flight Over the Continent" which somehow mashes together glitch beats with a funky sexy bass line and a churning B3 refrain that screams "LOUNGE!" and damn but this is some seriously good time stuff. During the bridge, the organ cuts over to a whole new sound that is so delightfully retro I wish it would just loop it forever. And then, as if that weren't enough, they throw in some jazz trumpet riffing followed by more '50s SF movie sound effects. It's all just too fucking wild, man. There's a cool techno-ish number here as well ("Fly Out") that interweaves all these retro synthesizer tones with the pulsing bass/high-hat beats. Things move closer to "normal" Electroshock soundscape territory with "Return to Bosom", although not to the degree that it derails the album. "Antarctina" closes with another techno dance tune, "Light of the Antarktina Star" although this one is, believe it or not, minimalist techno-music (you'll understand what I mean when you hear it). You're not gonna find a more bizarre yet accessible, or a more fun-filled yet unconventional recording than "Antarctina" without scouring the planet, folks. Bring your sense of humor to this party and you will have a blast, almost without fail. If the catchy rhythms don't get you, the quirky blend of retro electronics with lounge/jazz organ and SF synths will. Hats off (and thrown high into the air, for that matter) to both the group members, as well as Artemiy Artemiev for having the presence of mind to release this fascinating and enjoyable trip into uncharted musical blurred boundaries. Absolutely my highest recommendation.

Bill Binkelman ("Wind & Wire")

Yney is a project formed by three different and particular musicians: Jury Orlov, Igor Shaposhnikov and Andrew Kireev. "Antarctina" is their first release as Yney but each of them have got several other releases and you can visit the band page on the label's website to get more information. Anyway, this release convinced me immediately as the eight tracks have got an experimental approach being accessible at the same time. Someway they had on me the effect that Kraftwerk's "Radioactivity" or Scorn's "White Irisis Blind" had. The tracks are capable of catching audience's attention in no time with their driving rhythms and they could be used also in alternative clubs even if their are more experimental than club friendly. Ever wanted to listen to a different dub ambient album? Well, with "Antarctina" you've got the opportunity to listen to a good album that break the classic dub rules mixing them with early electronica.

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

Now here's something different for the "Electroshock Records" label. "Yney" (which means "hoar-frost"... go figure) is the Moscow based trio of Jury Orlov, Igor Shaposhnikov and Andrew Kireev, who play cosmic, melodic, beat driven electronic music. Reading the detailed bios on the "Electroshock Records" web site reveals that the musicians have explored a wide range of musical styles including avant-garde and experimental music, but also hip-hop, techno, acid-house, tape-looping and rock. The 12 minute "Appearance from Above" opens the CD and sets the tone for the set, beginning with a few minutes of space wandering before a throbbing bass and toe tapping percussion kick in. It's got a robotic "Kraftwerk" styled feel, though the much freer percussion loosens things up considerably. My body couldn't help but move as the music developed, and I could almost hear "I'm the operator of my pocket calculator" in my head, though "Yney" inject a lot more freaky bubbly alien sounds into their mix than "Kraftwerk" ever did. The track blends seamlessly into "Stroll", a bouncy, spaced out, electro percussion driven groove tune. Though there are 8 tracks the CD really plays like one continuous stream of music, which of course is the case in the clubs where dancers go non-stop until dawn. I don't frequent dance clubs but I would guess that ultimately "Yney's" music is far too dreamy for real dancing, being much more conducive to chilling out and just letting your body move to the groove and your mind disengage to explore realms beyond. "Yney" incorporate other influences, including various ethnic stylings, Dub and Reggae, the heart & brain throbbing bass pulse being the constant throughout. And even when the techno pulse is at its most overt the alien elements are simultaneously at their most freaky. A fun set and far more challenging than most dance music you'll hear.

Jerry Kranitz ("Aural Innovations")

This is easily by far the most accessible album from the eight that we kindly received from this Russian label "Electroshock Records". Firmly fixed in the ambient trance market, the beats, rhythms and melodies are westernised and yet this is not counterfeited material. The opening track is much better than you would expect from any respectable musician with its great beat and subtle effects all adding to the memorable "Appearance From Above". The beginning has lots of atmospherics as per normal from ambient music, but I was not prepared for the intoxicating rhythms. It's one of those instrumentals that you wish could almost last forever. The next track, "Stroll" is far less ambient and more trance flavoured, but it's not head banging stuff. Although the beat is pronounced, the effects blend in well and the brass sections pleasantly surprise. "Invitation" does just that with its catchy bass riff and percussion making the instrumental appear to be a modified style of dub and I am impressed. Wow is my initial reaction to the following track "Light Up". Possibly due to the great rhythm but mainly because of the growling basslines you will find plenty to savour. The following track "Flight Over the Continent" is another memorable outing where the bass notes are prominent and the pace is a little slower although occasionally a beat is missed just to make sure your attention is totally focused. This is rapidly becoming a brilliant album and there are still three tracks to go. A dance beat is featured on "Fly", but this is not ordinary music for the clubs as the beat changes during the instrumental and it would spoil natural body movement. It's another classy piece in my book. I don't think I need mention the last two as both are better than the norm. To repeat this is likely to remain as one of my favourite CD's of the year.

Philly ("Modern Dance")

Yney is three electronic musicians, Yuri Orlov, Andrew Kireev and Igor Shaposhnikov, who apply this project name to create a pastiche of modern electronics. The opening piece "Appearance from Above" relies on a bubbly structure to create a base for the scratchy percussion elements of the song. Ambient dub and bass are also prominent, but its not just simple pulses and dance steps. "Stroll" continues in a steady groove and is probably the most danceable and radio friendly piece (for Euro-stations). The tone turns more unpredictable on "Invitation" with pattering waves and sampled high-hat driving the tempo. The track follows a similar path to a few of the mid-80s "Tangerine Dream" recordings with lush backwash swelling behind a constant percussion pattern. The pulse races onward but with a more wobbly result on "Flight Over Continent" that has a good minimalist approach. Possibly the most infectious shutter groove is created on "Fly" that reminds me of a meeting between "Cluster" and Holger Czukay's later recordings but with a stronger sense of tempo. The fluttering trumpet sample reinforces the jittery vibe on that track making it truly memorable. Unfortunately "Return to Bosom" bubbles with some ineffective space noise, but doesn't really go anywhere forward. Closing out the disc is "Light of Antarctina Star" that incorporates the only use of electric guitar on the disc. Overall it's a clever study of lo-fi techno rhythms and that will appeal to a minimalist audience en masse.

Jeff Melton ("Expose")

Yney is a band formed by Yuri Orlov, Andrew Kireev and Igor Shaposhnikov and makes music ranging from Trance to electronic experimentation. The opening track on "Antarctina", "Appearance from Above", is a funky hip-hop-style creation, but all the tracks have a well defined sense of rhythm and melody (like "Stroll"). This album is full of catchy rhythm and energetic melodies. On this disc you will find a combination of relaxing songtextures and experimental structures. All songtitles are translated in English but a minor is that most of the booklet is in Russian language, which is not evident. Notwithstanding this is an album I would recommend to people who like ambient and trip hop.

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


Reference to "Electroshock Records" website is obligatory in case of any usage of printed & photo materials from the site © "Electroshock Records", 2004