Exposé Online banner

Human Factor — Homo Universum
(RAIG R093, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-22

Homo Universum Cover art

This Russian band could accurately be categorized as either space rock or post rock. Their instrumental music grooves along nicely, like good space rock should, and has lots of trippy synth sounds. The tonality is based more on pedal tones than chord progressions, but there are sweeping melodies atop it all, along the lines of many post rock bands. Keyboards and guitars are balanced pretty evenly, both taking leading and supporting roles at different times. Sergei Volkov handles the keys, and he favors rich tones like classic 70s Moogs (whether real or emulated I couldn’t say), at times soaring with melodies, then dropping down to bubbling arpeggios or spacey swoops. Ivan Ivanov's guitar tones are similarly varied, and avoid cookie-cutter sounds, taking their cue more from David Gilmour than from metal. The sound is clean and expansive, though maybe not as rhythmic as Ozric Tentacles — but Human Factor more than compensates with good melodies and arrangements. Floating, echoing sections balance the heavier moments, and the whole album flows nicely. Another nice touch for variety is that while much of the album relies on what might be called a rhythmic drone (a single bass note that forms a basis for everything else), there are also times when they work into a chord progression. “On Top of the Light” is an example of this, and comes off almost like a cross between a Genesis instrumental (think “Los Endos”) as played by mid-70s Pink Floyd. And check out “Sails of the Sun” for some nice synth arpeggios combined with a great groove on the drums and bass from Konstantin Shtirlitz and Alexander Mescheryakov respectively. There is a lot of great space rock coming out of Russia these days, and Human Factor is a strong entry on the scene.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Human Factor

More info
http://raig.bandcamp.com/album/human-factor-homo-universum

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Black Tape for a Blue Girl - The Scavenger Bride – I really wanted to like this one. I’d read about Black Tape, and they sounded interesting: female vocals fronting ethereal, classical-inflected music with a kind of Gothic mood, but not the heavy...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues