ISHTARis my second album and it explores much darker realms of psychedelic broken beat music. It is a result of a 5-year long path with many obstacles on the road, lack of time and many tracks left outside and unfinished. It is different from my first album for I continue to experiment and expand my creativeness and knowledge. I started digging the path, which I previously outlined by tracks like “Maytreya” and “Ra Maayan”.
Opening track “Alyan Vaala” is a recreation of a tribal circle dance, which evolves into a massive and ecstatic leap into cosmos. To forget about the boundaries of the body, lose ones ego and unite as a one mighty organism called Tribe.
Echoes is a unique drum and bass track based mainly on a jaw harp sounds and derivative effects. For that 10-minute epic, I have recorded over one hour of different jaw harps from my big collection. Most of the effects I did by routing my recordings through many effects with a complex automation. Instruments play simultaneously and form chords so that four musicians needed to play it live.
Playing faster than 165 bpm in useless on a jaw harp – impossible to keep up with the tempo while preserving articulation. To say nothing about the fragility of the instrument. That is why I did not want to speed up the track to fit the most common tempo of the genre.
“Hello uptown, hello downtown, Hello midtown, hello trench town!”
is pure madness – a cover version of the best tribal metal song ever by Brazilian cult band Sepultura. That is not a remix, but an original cover version of the song in break beat style. The song features the Mike Sandman on second vocals and Pavel Booblik on some percussion. I have recreated a song with tons of ethnic percussions like asalato (kashaka), bamboo, jaw harps (doromb), darbookas and tambourine played by Booblik etc.
Ratamahatta is a question and answer type of the track – I sing the first verse and Mike Sandman repeats the later. The lyrics are about drugs, favelas, cheap horror and – as I can imagine it – a massive carnival party with the whole town involved.
When I speak of carnival, I do not mean a famous annual theatrical entertainment in Rio. In contrast to the official holiday, the grassroots form of carnival is a temporary exemption from the prevailing truth and the existing sociopolitical system, the temporary abolition of all hierarchical relations, privileges, norms and prohibitions. I think of festivity — a form of the second life of the people, who temporarily entered the utopian kingdom of universality, freedom, equality and abundance. Such a life was not played as if an actor plays his role, but lived during the time of a carnival.
is a track that I call progressive breakbeat – starts with the 9/8 odd beat, evolves into cyber metal madness, leaps into rock and roll and finally lands in the land of unstoppable bong smoking. The track is a depiction of marijuana bad trip – uneven heartbeat and intoxication.
9/8 is an original Turkish beat – you will not find it in any other musical culture. I bumped into that strange measure when I started to play Baglama or Saz – Middle Eastern string instrument with a magic sound.
When I composed “Tarantul” – the 5th track of the album – I thought of cybernetic version of a traditional medieval Italian dance Tarantella is famous for its jolly and fast upbeat tempo with drums and tambourines. And it a dancing mania which was popularly believed to result from the bite of the wolf spider Lycosa tarantula. A dancing mania is also known by the name of tarantism.
Some claim that that tarantism was a mass hysteria, others claim that it originated from bacchanalian rites of Roman Empire or even from the Greek myth. They were both but not at the same time! I adore crude, sexual and exuberant ritual of Bacchus and Dionysus – gods of wine and religious ecstasy! Take that dance macabre and put into futuristic space – that is the message “Tarantul” conveys!
The song illustrates apocalyptic landscapes of the abandoned terrain and transform into the prayer to the goddess Ishtar in Akkadian language. I took the text from the Ammi-Ditana’s Hymn to Ishtar who was a king of Babylon in 1683–1640s BC. Linguists from universities all over the world reconstructed the sound of the ancient language and I borrowed the text to create a song.
I dedicate the song «Ishtar» to my beloved wife and talented artist Shelest Sveta.