Hypnoz: Breath of Earth

Aided by Evgeny Voronovsky (aka Cisfinitum), Moscow musician Dmitry Zubov (aka Hypnoz) produced the seven tracks comprising the forty-one-minute Breath of Earth between 2003 and 2007. Zubov performs in multiple contexts, including Zuboff Sex Shop (post-punk), Circle Of Iron Tape (noise), and BRZB (electronics, with Alexey Borisov), with Hypnoz the apparent outlet for his industrial-ambient-prog work. Voronovsky and Zubov used primarily old analogue synthesizers to create the album's material so it's not terribly surprising to hear echoes of kosmische musik and prog haunting Hypnoz's mystical incantations. Listen carefully and behind the enveloping wind masses you'll hear an occasional violent squeal (“Rise”), organs, radio signals, tribal pitter-patter, and pulsating rhythms, with the latter sometimes reminiscent of early Tangerine Dream and even Kraftwerk in its earlier days (the swooping and sputtering electronic patterns in “Water” can't help but call to mind Radioactivity). What elevates Hypnoz's gloomscaping above kindred outfits is its purposive quality. The pieces here aren't merely mood-pieces; they don't meander aimlessly either, nor do they simply expire after running out of ideas. Even though a strong trippy quality permeates the dark ambient material, there's a clear sense of direction, evolution, and dynamic arc. Listeners with a soft spot for Cloudland Canyon and bands of similar psychedelic-krautrock ilk should find much to like about Breath of Life too.

January 2009