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Artemiy Artemiev — Cold
(Electroshock Records ELCD 002, 1995/1997, CD)

Artemiy Artemiev — Point of Intersection
(Electroshock Records ELCD 003, 1997, CD)

Artemiy Artemiev — The Warning
(Electroshock Records ELCD 001, 1993/1997, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1998-02-01

Cold Cover artPoint of Intersection Cover artThe Warning Cover art

Artemiev is a Russian composer of electronic based music for films, theater, and television, having well over 60 scores to his credit. The music on these three discs was recorded over a period from 1992-97, yet it is unknown to this writer whether the music herein was ever available prior to their release in 1997 on the Swedish Electro Shock label. The Warning is the earliest of the three, its recordings dating from '92-93. Artemiev plays all keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, and programming, and is joined by the occasional guest on violin and oboe. His approach here seems to owe a nod to the German masters, Klaus Schulze and early Tangerine Dream in particular, repetitive figures interwoven with floating melodies, as well as classical symphonic music. It seems to have been written with a concept in mind, as there are sound effects grafted between the tracks to underline some kind of story line. Cold is the second in the series, written and recorded in the winter of 1995, and reflecting this throughout the discs eight pieces. Aptly titled tracks like "Waiting for the Winter," "Tibet Song," "Polar Night," and "Freezing" reflect the emptiness, solitude and desolation of the arctic winter. 

Point of Intersection is the third of three, recorded between September '96 and January '97, and for this writer's money is the most engaging of the three albums, developing a dark and brooding ambience within a floating dreamlike atmosphere. The feeling throughout is very still and insular, with more of an industrial touch as opposed to spacy. Artemiev makes brilliant use of studio techniques that seem to constantly vary the acoustics of the listening experience — one minute the listener is in the middle of some vast open space, and the next minute inside a concrete box. Distant spoken voices and percussive sounds adorn the outer periphery while growling loops and twisted, deformed sound samples take on eerie and menacing tonal color. Of the three discs this is by far the most detached and isolated. All three discs are 70-minutes plus, and show a steady progression from a more conventional electronic based film music to what might be considered a minor ambient masterpiece. Fans of Eno, Budd, Cluster, and the like should definitely investigate. Start with Points or Cold.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 14, 1997 releases, 1995 recordings, 1993 recordings

Related artist(s): Artemiy Artemiev


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