Sunday, May 10, 2015

Igor Wakhevitch - 1979 - Let's Start

Igor Wakhevitch
Let's Start

01. Let's Start (21:33)
02. Taddy's Fruit Garden (4:02)
03. Eriador (12:04)
04. Monks in the Snow (3:48)
05. Taddy's Dream : Ramallah's Road (8:15)

Igor Wakhevitch/keyboards

As obviously indicated by the album's beautiful cover art, Igor Wakhevitch has packed Let's Start with more dadaist/surrealist/avant-gardist electronic progressive music.

This album starts off with the title-track that sounds oddly optimistic for the first 2 minutes, but gradually becomes sinister with a doomy drone and a black pulse that makes way for ominous buzzing. This album is actually fairly optimistic for a Wakhevitch release, though, with its fair share of happy synth lines, and "Taddy's Fruit Garden" is even a beautiful (really) little ditty played on what sounds like it could be a toy piano - very John Cage-esque. "Taddy's Dream: Ramallah's Road" is a similar track, except longer with some floating bass-like synth lines added to the end. "Eriador" is almost like a jazzier Tangerine Dream sounding track played entirely on synths, and also is quite beautiful. "Monks In The Snow" is a windy and stark minimalist experimental electronic track that sounds much like today's experimental Italian underground scene.

Of all of the Igor Wakhevitch releases, this one is most diverse, featuring multiple textures in sound rather than just creating droney and ritualistic choral music with chamber orchestra arrangements. Another factor that makes this album stand out among Wakhevitch's other releases is that the vocals are used very sparingly, and only at the last few minutes of the first track. The vocals aren't singing, however - they're echoing, disembodied voices, only saying "I say let's start" over and over again until the words become a meaningless jumble of claustrophobic blackness.

Because of the optimistic and slightly less avant-garde tendencies of this album, this is probably the best to start with in Igor Wakhevitch's discography for accessibility reasons. Definitely a great album to end his career with, although I could always hope for more music in the future from this enigmatic weirdo.

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