Yuri Lugovskoy's self-titled release for Home Assembly is an unusual, even curious affair in one respect more than any other: in the dramatic degree of contrast between the Ukrainian artist's own disc and the accompanying disc of re-interpretations by guests. Lugovskoy's half is as enigmatic as the producer himself, about which little is known aside from the fact that he's released a debut album on Moteer and been one-half of a split seven-inch single. Apparently PR photos aren't plentiful either, as an internet search yields a few photos of a bearded figure in the woods and onstage but not much more. Further to that, the disc's eight ambient-drone miniatures (they weigh in at a modest thirty-one minutes) are untitled, minimalistic, beatless, and hermetic. There's an elemental, even crude quality to the material, and its severely reduced character makes it sound like early electronic experiments conducted at some remote research facility. In a couple of pieces, blurry transmissions suggest incoming data from a lost satellite, while another's stuttering flow suggests the hooting of an owl from within a darkening forest. Ripples of grainy static murmur insistently in a way that suggests the amplified soundtrack of the body's inner workings.
Though Lugovskoy's disc possesses a strange attraction for its mystifying qualities, it's the forty-seven-minute second half that'll likely bring listeners back for repeat visits, especially when the likes of Strategy, Fjordne, William Ryan Fritch (aka Vieo Abiungo), Mugwood (Isan's Antony Ryan), and The Humble Bee (The Boats' Craig Tattersall) are among those appearing on it. In one very real sense, Lugovskoy's tracks are the ideal material for remixers in that being so reduced they allow for all manner of interpretative possibilities, and the guests do much to impose their individual stamps upon the original settings. As a demonstration of just how amenable the source material is, consider the differences between Strategy's beatless dub reverie and Chessie's dive-bombing dissonance.Fritch's opening piece is as luscious as anything in his own Vieo Abiungo catalogue, dressed up as it is with strings and other sounds; the Lugovskoy track can still be heard, however, in the grainy industrial atmospheres haunting the background. A lovely pastoral meditation for piano, acoustic guitar, and swooping strings, Brave Timbers' contribution is similar in style to Fritch's, even if virtually no trace of Lugovskoy remains in the interpretation. Changing things up even further, Panoptique Electrical overlays Lugovskoy's electronics with a laid-back, acoustic jazz series of piano and drums gestures, while Insecto re-imagines the originating material as a breezy electro-funk workout that's heavily electronic by comparison. The Mugwood setting rises from the depths of a thick bath of pops and hiss to offer up a series of broken melodic figures that are as corroded as Lugovskoy's originals, while The Humble Bee's treatment is similarly textural, just as one would expect given the kind of material Tattersall's issued as part of The Boats.