Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review by: Enko: Ukrainian Electronica from Dead-End Streets : Far From Moscow, thanks a lot.


The new EP from Enko comes to us from Bypass Records, a fascinating netlabel based in Beijing. They have been responsible for a number of recordings made not only in Russia, but Ukraine, Moldova, and Latvia. This bold sense of sonic adventure, unlimited by language or political geography, has been nicely displayed on a map at the label’s website. Bypass operates according to the following credo (we’ve altered the English a little): “Currently we publish idm, ambient, electronica and experimental music. We help artists both to release and promote their music on the internet. That’s what we do! We are limited neither by style, nor ethnicity. The most important things for us are the originality and attractiveness of electronic music.”

Which brings us to Enko, a solo project based in the northern Ukrainian city of Sumy, close to the Russian border. In fact the history of the town does include a period during which it was incorporated into that neighboring empire - and became a major industrial center as a result. Prosperity brings certain risks, though, especially during times of conflict. In WWII Sumy was pounded by German forces and consequently has a rather peculiar architectural appearance today, a combination of older buildings that survived the bombing - shown above- and large tracts of Soviet apartments, built on the rubble of the twentieth century. In terms of geography, imagery, and history, therefore, Sumy is a peripheral location, balanced between opposing states, in several senses of the word. MORE

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Review: Disquiet » Netlabel Release from China’s Bypass (MP3s) Thanks.

The China-based netlabel Bypass ( presents Noncompliance by Japan-based Mel, who’s previously recorded for Complementary Distribution, Test Tube, and other fine netlabels. Aside from the opening Noncompliance track, “Intro,” which offers free-jazz guitar squonking (credited to Junji) above light synthetic tones (MP3), the five-track album consists entirely of Mel, alone. What follows the anomalous “Intro” is percussive electronica, from a mix of gentle chimes and truncated beats on “Molecular Clock” (MP3) to the film-cue-ready dub-lite of “Steady State” (MP3). The latter track is particularly rewarding, with its momentary breaks for ear-rattling timpani. On each track, Mel displays a penchant for deploying a modest collection of melodic and rhythmic materials in a manner that suggests compositional development without overstating the promise.

Get the full album at More at Mel’s website,

By Marc Weidenbaum