Pavel Ambiont • Pagan & Urban
A new mini-album of Pavel Ambiont is about the relations and tensions between culture & nature, linear & cyclic times, concrete & wood – urban and pagan. ‘Pagan’ is used here in its original meaning – rural and ‘keeping the old ways’ – as opposed to the urban. This is music of a city-dweller whose soul belongs to his native village.
“There’s no techno on this release – but mostly broken and stepping rhythms, echoes, flute and mouth harp recorded on a cheap webcam. ‘These are the tracks that suddenly emerge when i want to construct another techno banger – but the sounds decide to assemble how they like.” – says Pavel.
The first 3 pieces form the ‘pagan’ part, conveing the field & forest moods – “Spirit reset” (originally made as a Spring invocation), “Matter Matters” – built of processed Morsing twangs, flute breaths and stepping beats lead through the dark woods to an even darker glade – then back to light and to glowing warmth of “Raptam Dub“.
“Siera Ziaziula“, the album’s midpoint, is a Belarusian folk-ballad told by Maryja Niabiesnaya – Pavel’s grandmother. The story of a girl who turned into a gray cuckoo to fly back home is heard through the grayscale dub fog. The following track, “Irrhythmia pt.8″, is a completely urban blend of soporofic but restless atmospheres and almost d&b beats (it is also a link to Pavel’s previous album – Irrhythmia).
The last two tracks are even more machinic. The hip-hop and dubstep elements here lack urbanized gloss and sophistication – the roughly chopped rhythms neither care about the variation nor do they try to seduce you – they just use this city vernacular to transmitl their message. “Slow Water Runs Deep” is a vocoder robo-mantra ‘water doesn’t feels like water’ coiled around rigid beats and jagged hi-hats. “Kryuja Strikes Back” follows the “Matter Matters” path – first leading to the beatless place, then striking back with gabba-like kicks – this time you’re not in woods but in a armored concrete labyrinth, and the beats urge you to fight or flight.
Need a spirit-reset? Go to track #1.
“Смесь ambient, dub и фолка производит удивительный эффект. Мысли бродят где-то в первозданном, а ноги притопывают в такт музыке! Альбом у оршанского музыканта Павла Нехаева получился мрачный, как лесная чаща. В таком и заблудиться не долго!”
“…du Biélorusse Pavel Ambiont avec une nouvelle salve de dub techno à la production enfumée, qui privilégiera semble-t-il la poésie en écho de la guimbarde ou de la flûte au beatmaking pur et dur. Sur les 8 titres de ce mini-album intitulé Pagan & Urban et inspiré “des relations entre nature et culture, temps cycliques et linéaires, urbain et païen…..
Pavel Ambiont’s stagecraft employs that stripped-down aesthetic in realms where “ancient shamanism meets the mysticism of the hi-tech era.” These areas of interest reflect Niakhayeu’s own academic career, dedicated to the overlap between ancient and modern performance.