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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

La Tulipe Noir - Nostiman Hemar – This Greek quintet has been around since the mid-90s, this being their fourth release, a concept album about Homer's Odyssey. The best thing about this band are the idiosyncratic vocals of lead...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues