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A Russian Permafrost Bonanza (MP3s)

It’s not uncommon that the initial release from a new netlabel is by the musician who founded the netlabel. It was the case with recently with Davin Sarno’s Absence of Wax, and with Dave Seidel’s mysterybear, and is now with Tukuringra (tukuringra.wordpress.com), which the Russian musician Kirill Platonkin named after a mountain range in northern part of the eastern region known as Amur. In a brief liner note, Platonkin compares the new release with his earlier Our Eternal Alarm, which appeared last year on the Dark Winter netlabel. Platonkin says that Stampede, the new album, is, like its predecessor, “of drone ambient style with field recordings,” but this time around, as he puts it, “Alarm turns to action.” Given the stoic content of Stampede, an eerie stasis that brings to mind the permafrost of Platonkin’s home region, it’s clear that “action” is a relative term in the region of music called drone.

Stampede is three tracks of extended length, ranging between eleven minutes and close to half an hour. Each (“Halo,” “Volatilization,” and the title track) varies widely once it gets going. At any instant, a Stampede track will seem static, but from a 35,000 foot view, it is as varied as could be. The title piece, for example, opens with a buzzy orchestral effect and closes with a choral one, complete with doomy bells, but in between there are shifting scenes of glistening chiming and haunting whorls. The accomplishment is Platonkin’s ease at moving between these scenes without ever letting a seam show.

Get the full set of three MP3s at tukuringra.wordpress.com. (They’re packaged in a way that doesn’t allow for streaming here.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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