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- The Light of Random Star
MP3 Album 2014 | Silber 157
9 tracks, 50 minutes
$5 (download only (320 kbps, ~134 megs))
: Press Release
: Listen to the track Clearly and Consciously
: Listen to the entire album on Bandcamp
: Listen to the entire album on Spotify
Clearly and Consciously
It's Easy to See, You Drift Away
We Are Drowned, But We Do Not Exist
The Color of Your Eyes
Ya Uznal ob Etom Poslednim
Heat Death of the Universe
This album is beautiful. I've listened to this continually now for the past couple of weeks and I've got no intent on stopping. This release is filled with swashes of well considered melody, drone and noise. On occasion these elements cascade into full blown rock tunes or odd dance cuts. Never out of place or intrusive and always engaging. I love this record.
~ Chvad SB
Russian project THORN1 is the creative vehicle of one Evgeny Zheyda, and is basically his one man band venture for exploring music mainly insides the scope of drones, ambient and post rock oriented landscapes from what I understand. “The Light of Random Star” is his second full length production as Thoirn1, and was released through US label Silber Records in the late summer of 2014.
The nine songs on this production does cover a fair bit of different musical ground, although a mainstay throughout is the use of either delicate fluttering melodic overlays or textured instrument motifs that does add a post rock oriented vibe to the proceedings, alongside the use of resonating or reverberating instrument details and various kinds of drone-oriented sounds.
Opening song Relict is a delicate, atmospheric laden combination of the aforementioned traits used to create a smooth, almost ethereal and ambient oriented cosmic landscape, while much darker toned sounds and effects dominate the later We Are Drowned, But We Do Not Exist, a dystopian and ominous creation that comes across pretty much as the direct opposite of the opening track yet still is pretty similar in being atmospheric laden and ambient oriented. Concluding track Heat Death of the Universe utilize similar effects but of a more dramatic nature, with a reverberating electric guitar drone creating a wall of noise slowly subsiding in intensity to allow textures more light in tone and spirit to be gradually revealed.
In between those three creations we’re treated to more distinct post rock flavored dronescapes and firmer creations using both post rock and drone oriented details in firmer song structures, such as the intriguing second track Clearly and Consciously. Electronic effects and rhythms enhances the striking and beautiful Vortex Gravity, a clear highlight on this production as I regard it, but we’re also treated to the odd excursion named The Color of Your Eyes, combining 80’s oriented synth pop, trance and a kind of minimalist take on 80’s pop Pet Shop Boys style into a confusing whole that even a compelling ambient trance sequence is unable to save from coming across as a detrimental oddity, at least for me.
Within the confines of music that combines the use of drones and post rock oriented effects to create a cohesive and recognizable atmosphere on an album, “The Light of Random Star” comes across as a rather varied an eclectic production. Within this finite context, to emphasize that aspect. It is also something of a roller-coaster ride, where for most some of the compositions ultimately will fell superfluous and out of place. An album worth checking out for the good bits then, and presumably those with a liberal taste for music that use drones and post rock details as a part of a greater totality might be considered a key audience for this album.
~ Olav Martin Bjřrnsen, House of Prog
I recently received the latest email from the Silber Media mailing list for “press” people (I guess I can call myself “press” – I’ve gotten into a lot of shows as a “press” person & have received many promo CDs, not even always quite ready for mass release, but sent to me to review just before it hits the street, etc.). Anyway, Brian Silber and the gang over at Silber Media are keeping busy, promoting material both brand new and some stuff that I’ve already gotten and reviewed (such as Electric Bird Noise, Feel No Other and a couple other bands that you can find reviews for throughout Independent Review).
Well, one of two albums I just selected for reviewing from this latest email is one by a guy from the wastelands of Siberia, a younger (than the typical age for Silber artists, according to Brian) guy called Evgeny Zheyda. His is basically a one-man band, with the name, Thorn1.
The Light of Random Star is Thorn1’s third, “official”, release for Silber Media, but Zheyda’s also done a couple musical projects on his own, most of which can be found on Bandcamp (http://www.bandcamp.com/Thorn1). The Light of Random Star is a shimmering, sparkling, brilliant object which radiates a unique perspective of drone/ambient sounds, with some smooth noise, experimental, yet amazingly accessible. It isn’t quite in the the harsh dubstep mode, but more along the lines of an ethereal, astral plane. Sonically intense, but not rigid or overdone. From the beginning, throughout, this was a pleasant album to which I listened.
Mr. Zheyda comes from a village called Barnaul, in Siberia. Where it is, exactly, in that wide open, frozen land of tundra and nerves of steel, I can’t say for sure, the literature I read about Throne1 didn’t mention specifics. But clearly, growing up in the rural, bucolic and blistering tundra of Siberia has an effect on one’s mood and outlook and, as for a musician, can bring quite a different perspective than, say, a reggae band from the Caribbean or Africa, etc. or a blue-collar, working class upbringing in a town like Sheffield or Birmingham, England or Detroit and surrounding communities, parts of Ohio – “the Rust Belt”, etc., here in the US or the polarized styles of California music – the laid back, but high-brow, experimental, technological sounds of the Bay Area: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Marin County even down as far as San Jose or Santa Cruz, vs. the Southern California scene, which, now, can be not-so-very well pigeonholed, but still has a different vibe than the Northern part of the State. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that Thorn1’s upbringing in a land far, far away from the familiar and, sometimes, overdone excesses of the “West” – which includes the US and the influences which have seeped out and into Western Europe, to countries like Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and, to some extent, France. Then there’s the UK, which is a bit different in this case, in that, since the early 1960s, they’ve been exporting their own versions of amped-up, re-tooled music which was the province of the men from whom rock ‘n’ roll was basically appropriated – the black blues geniuses from places like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, i.e., Southern-fried blues, up to the Chicago Blues scene, which had an edgier kick to it and then there was the hybrid of “hillbilly” music, i.e., Memphis honky tonk: the hybrid of country, blues, a little pop music about a synergy that was conjured up and set down on record on labels like Stax and Sun., which brought about Carl Perkins and Sam Cooke, etc. and eventually Elvis, the sponge, got his start down there.
So, one’s environment and experiences both have an impact in creating a musical direction and it’s the same thing with Thorn1. In fact, I’ve noticed, in the past few years, that a lot of bands and artists have been popping up from all over Eastern Europe: places like Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia and others are not at all like their Western counterparts: they were shut off from the “free world” for about 45 years after WWII, therefore, for the most part, not accustomed to the music or other styles of the West, which, now that the iron curtain has been torn asunder, are now accessible to wider audiences, to those who crave a wider, less homogenous styles. The younger generations who’ve come into this brave, new world may have had access to the music, clothing, advertising and other vacuous Western crap, but, simultaneously, they had many years to craft styles of music that reflected their regional tastes and, younger people, not unlike the youth of any nation, unimpressed or just plain sick of hearing old, ethnic folk music, etc., developed, on their own, a new, future sound that, given the openness of the past 25 years, incorporated what they found to be the best of Western music-American jazz, British ambient/drone music, a la Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Soft Machine, Stockhausen, Terry Riley: these are just a smattering of samples of what intelligent, musically inclined Easterners did – they charted their own course and they didn’t feel compelled to come up with carbon copies of American rock music or jazz, etc. They had their own groove in mind and what they had alone was a goldmine of great sounds, but when some of them discovered stuff like Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, Faust, Soft Machine – not to mention newer, contemporary bands and artists whose vision was not unlike their own, they would incorporate little bits and pieces into sounds that were uniquely their own. Now there is a huge amount of bands from the East who are making great albums of styles including ambient, drone, “shoegaze”, avant-garde jazz, experimental noise rock and dubstep, etc. It’s really a brand new, just-tapped mine of great talent that is now open to Western ears and it is finding more and more audiences in America, in Britain, in Germany, etc.
From The Light of Random Star, Thorn1 songs such as “Clearly and Consciously” has an amalgam of dreamy drone ambiance with the lightness of a bit of non-saccharine pop thrown in, with low-fi whispering, guitars that have been treated and prepared for eking out excellent sounds: reversed stringing, custom tuning, adding lots of reverb and, of course, the great guitar synthesizers that revolutionized prog-rock throughout the late 70s up to today. “Vortex Gravity” is another example of a piece from the album which attempts to mix ambient/drone/noise with a sort of minimalist dance music. Finally, “Heat Death of the Universe” is a space-y trip through the unforgiving cosmos that has walls of sound: “blissed out”, swirling dials of guitars that pull you in to it’s lair and makes you empty your mind of extraneous thoughts while you’re wrapped in a sheet of velvet in which you could lie forever – or at least until the music’s over.
So, for you seekers of new sounds out there in America, don’t despair: there are plenty of great minds at work creating a 21st century revolution in sound, with constantly improving methods of recording, sampling, sensitivity to the micro sounds as well as the macro.
One thing that I really love about this album by Thorn1 is that, listening to it loudly, one really gets a full-body rush of the depth and breadth of the brilliance of this album. If I’ve piqued your interest, then go to Silber Media’s website, where you can check out what they sound like along with their labelmates’ albums as well. Kudos to Brian Mitchell and Silber Media for bringing this great, underground phenomena to the ears of those who crave beauty and intricacy.
~ Kent Manthie, Independent Review
In an attempt already abused - not execrable, but often as of late - to combine ambient, electronic, shoegaze, and psychedelia is an operation that Bark Psychosis, Talk Talk, and Flying Saucer Attack designed and built between twenty to thirty years ago, Siberian artist Evgeny Zheyda, aka Thorn1 capable manipulator of sound, releases on the label Silber these 50 minutes of pretentious entertainment that would perhaps aspire to the construction of a new language, but are able to offer the most updated versions of Jean -Michel Jarre (‘Vortex Gravity’), Gigioneggiando on predictable 80s dance tunes (‘The Color of Your Eyes’), or saturating up to the limit of the auditory annoyance - complicit in the use of a substrate romantic stabbing - dilated cacophony of late matrix-teutonica (‘It’s Easy to See , You Drift Away’, ‘We Are Drowned , But We Do Not Exist’). Little original and interesting remains: certainly not the mellifluous and inconclusive ‘Relict’ in cool blood already in the opening, or the closing ‘Heat Death of the Universe’, which seals the album precipitated in a noisy maelstrom that old-growth obviousness of fashion, nor even the suggestion of a post- wave ‘Fractal trees’ whose exquisite melody line is suddenly scrambled by inessential drones and choirs from beyond the grave . Towering over a landscape of bleak flatness remains - lonely - the measured tread of a persuasive ‘Ya uznal ob etom poslednim ‘, guessing a beautiful harmonic line is the best way to enhance it, including an impressive recitation, an arpeggio, and a dreamy rhythm finally protagonist: it is not a spark that illuminates an isolated disc far from contemptible, but unfortunately fossilized on a conception of artistic and compositional style decidedly dated.
~ Manuel Maverna, Music Map
Nuovo lavoro per il siberiano Evgeny Zheida, ormai lontano dal suo passato grunge confinato nell'oramai defunto progetto Partisani. "The light of random star" tenta di coniugare ambient, drone, post rock e downtempo in una mescolanza che risulta omogenea, ben strutturata e sapientemente amalgamata. Gelide e sognanti ambientazioni, di chi ogni anno si ritrova a -50°C, si alternano a riff di chitarra e voci distorte dal tono malinconico, convergendo in ciň che viene definito per semplicitŕ drone-pop, ma che accorpa davvero molti generi ed influenze, dalla psichedelia al noise al rock lo-fi, che la maestria di Evgeny riesce a tenere insieme in maniera esemplare, anche se l'ascolto risulta difficoltoso e bisognoso di tempo e dedizione per poterne godere sino in fondo. Qui non c'č nulla di veramente nuovo e non c'č nemmeno una vena creativa tale da colmare questo gap, tuttavia nel complesso č un album nettamente sopra la media e meritevole di approfondimento.
~ Rosa Selvaggia
Что говорит он
«Альбом Евгения Жейды из Алтайского края. Крайне сложно определить стилистическую принадлежность, но если все же попытаться, то выйдет что-то типа lo-gaze-pop или post-pop. Релиз отличают неплохая работа со звуком и отличные мелодии. Впрочем, в некоторых композициях они запрятаны вглубь слоистой структуры, оставляя простор для воображения: иногда не знаешь, действительно ли ты слышал то, что слышал».
Что слышим мы
Больше всего альбом «The Light of Random Star» напоминает первую запись исландцев Sigur Rós, «Von». На ней, если не слышали, большую часть времени занимает вкрадчивый эмбиент, из которого вырастают всего две (но мощные) полноценные песни. «Von» не сделал Sigur Rós ни популярными, ни даже заметными, но по нему очень хорошо был слышно, как исландцы прощупывают почву, ищут свой звук и находят в итоге то, что на следующих альбомах сделало их известными на весь мир. У Thorn1 то же самое — это очень аккуратные, осторожные эксперименты со звуком, попытки понять, как написание звуковых полотен работает в принципе, и тут так же из эмбиента и лоу-фая иногда выныривают полноценные песни. Разница, разумеется, в том, что, если бы не все то, что с Sigur Rós произошло потом, «Von» была бы одной из самых неинтересных пластинок в мире, а за «The Light of Random Star» пока не следует вообще ничего. Но если Thorn1 сможет понять, куда двигать тот звук, который он так аккуратно вырабатывает, дальше, то и этот документ становления большого артиста будет так же интересен, как пресловутый «Von».