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From Russia, with Filial Love

Andrei Tarkovsky, the Russian film director, is a familiar name these days. Steven Soderbergh has remade his film Solaris and science-fiction novelist William Gibson references him in the first chapter of his new book, Pattern Recognition. (Gibson can currently be heard reading the chapter on the New York Times’ book-review site, here or here.) Artemiy Artemiev is the son of Edward Artemiev, who scored various Tarkovsky films, including Solaris. Artemiy runs a record label, Electroshock, from Moscow. In 1999, Electroshock reissued cues from various Tarkovsky soundtracks, and it has released four albums by Edward, who also contributed to several of the label’s compilation CDs.

Electroshock, now in its eighth year, has released Visions, an “homage” — according to its subtitle — by Victor Cerullo to Andrei Tarkovsky. Visions takes the form of a dozen tracks, ranging from brief efforts in full-on musique concrete to 10-minute-long swaths of synthesized ambience. Elements of classical music, including samples of work by Modest Moussorgsky (Boris Godounov) and Luigi Nono, shift in and out of focus amid blankets of long, sinuous sound and bracing real-world elements, like breaking glass and water drops. The effect is at times consternating, and at others thrilling. Overall, however, the record emphasizes expanses of like-toned source material, which reflect Tarkovsky’s reputation for painstaking pacing and metaphysical contemplation.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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