Evgeniy Droomoff/Sound Meccano/DelRay: Volokno

Though the audio component of Volokno ('Fibre') is of only EP duration, its video piece, elegantly designed CD case, and booklet gallery of eight colour images lend the project the heft of a major work. First presented live in November 2004 in Ljubljana as part of the Eastern-European electronica festival Progress EX.04, the release includes music created by Riga-based sound artists Rostislav Rekuta (aka Sound Meccano) and Evgeniy Droomoff plus the four-minute video “Volokno” created by DelRay (Montreal-based Matthew Biederman) which displays an elegant meditative stream of subtly morphing static images based upon a painting by Latvian artist Inese Bumane. Accompanied by “Fibre I: Wool Fibre,” the images resemble slowly mutating geographical relief textures or magnified painting surfaces, though sometimes abstract silvery shapes and patterns appear against a stark black ground. Biederman generated the video using a software called 'digital fibre' which processes a database of macro-photos of paintings and sounds into unpredictable audio-visual permutations.

Though the video is interesting enough, it's the remarkable music that recommends Volokno most of all. An entire universe of captivating alien character is conjured in only twenty-four minutes as four sections stream into a singular soundscape. Droomoff and Rekuta draw upon a full lexicon of electronic sounds—deep granular textures, ethereal tinkling tones, steely smears, percolating blips—in constructing the work's industrial and ambient episodes. Enhancing it considerably is the presence of guest musician Eryn whose haunting flute confidently weaves through the tactile micro-electronic thickets and leavens the music's cool abstractions with warmth and humanity. As the composition moves towards its conclusion in “Fibre IV: Nerve Fibre,” the combination of electronics and delicate piano playing etches a subtle ambiance that recalls the Ryuichi Sakamoto and Carsten Nicolai collaborations Vrioon and Insen. Volokno impresses as a conceptually distinctive and well-integrated audio-video experience.

July 2005