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

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Thomas Kugler - Lilith: The Rock Opera – Based on the play by Remy de Gourmont, this rock opera adaptation is composed by Kugler. It features God, Satan, Adam, Eve, Lilith, and various angels and assorted baddies. Instrumental backing is...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues