By: Jordannah Elizabeth
If there was ever one musician I would envy in the entire span of my career it would be Amazing Electronic Talking Cave. I think I am probably the only reviewer to hear Felix Bondarev’s full length album before it is to be released on September 5, 2011, and I have to say it is one of the most important records of our shoegaze cult generation.
But this is not why I envy him. I envy him because his mixes are so impressive, so clean that it leaves me wanting to hear the world the way he does. His production ability was the first thing I noticed about his music many moons before Radio Psylence hit my inbox. It is the one true thing that really sets him apart from, if not above many of us Lofi experimental musicians.
The first track On Speed is a truly transcendental track that reminisces on the mood of Spiritualized’s “Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space”. Frankly, you’ll want to reject it as an opening track because of its length (6 minutes and 31 seconds), and it’s also an instrumental. But once you move through the entire album, it makes perfect sense. If you’re patient, and get to the next track “Tri Goda”, you are rewarded with sexy bassy pop anthem for the first few seconds of the song, and then eaten alive with Bondarev’s driving vocals that are similar to a dictator‘s political speech. You feel like he’s forcing you into something, but if you don’t know Russian, you’re not sure what’s he’s on about. Then the album moves onto Serdce, which is understandably the album’s most recognized single. Listening to this track seems to give you a realistic feel for Bondarev as an artist and as a person. As one of the shorter tracks on the record, Serdce is fairly moving and sympathetic which really doesn’t prepare you for my favorite song on the album, Kingisepp. Hailing as Amazing Electronic Talking Cave’s hometown (Kingisepp, RU), the song is truly inspiring. I am personally partial to African inspired drum beats and forward moving musical tones, and Kingisepp is everything you could possibly dream of when it comes to tribal inspired indie rock. It’s a wonderfully creative and imaginative song. There no vocals, but Bondarev’s superior musical instincts help you understand there’s not always a need for a voice. The track just makes you move.
We Fucked Your Statutes is a strange piece that is well placed after percussion driven Kingisepp. It’s a Middle Eastern inspired sound that really requires you to have a previous knowledge Bondarev’s art in order to sympathize with the work. It’s a good song, but it is the odd ball of the album. You wonder what AETC was listening to or thinking about when he threw this track in. Nonetheless, it does flow with the overall tone of the album.
The second half of Radio Psylence is kicked off by Uznat which really incorporates sounds from some of the heavier Brian Jonestown Massacre tracks like “One”, “Feel It , and “Bruttermainia”. Uznat moves the album into a heavier Eastern European aesthetic for a moment, and then pushes you straight into Permanent Black Marker, which has a similar tone, but is softened, smoothed out, and touched with those short moments of sensitivity that Bondarev can sneak in and surprise you with. Black Permanent Marker makes you remember that AETC has the capacity to love and to recognize the beauty of existence. The next track Allisoneisll, seems to be inspired by Jon Saemundur’s Dead art and sound installations. After Black Permanent Marker, Allisoneisall picks up the pace slightly, but not so much that you don’t lose the feel of the entire album. And finally Not Your Name, kisses you on the forehead and says goodbye. It’s a great final track that ties together this smooth, thought out, and well organized album.
Radio Psylence impressed me. I love AETC’s work, but I’ll have to admit that I was not expecting such a mature, professional, and tasteful record. Felix Bondarev deserves a lot more respect than he gets…musically.
At 21 years old Amazing Electronic Talking Cave is already matching, and at times outshining his predecessors. What our favorite psyche/shoegaze artists achieved at 30 years old, he’s already out produced them by a couple of miles. This doesn’t mean he’s at a peak, but he’s definitely on the right track to become one of the most important producers in psyche rock. This album is not just good, it’s really well done. Bondarev’s talent is on a level that should be recognized and respected.
Help AETC release Radio Psylence by donating what you can!