KSHETTRA - Fire In Brake

Kshettra - Fire In Brake

3 songs
28:35 minutes
***** ***


Russian experimental duo Kshettra were commissioned to write a piece of music for the nine-hour long drone compilation for The Day of Life Forgotten record label. They started recording half an hour of music, edited it down to half its length for the compilation, but then decided to work on the full session to make it their next record Fire In Brake.

Unlike a lot of wannabe experimental music where the contributors just do stuff and wait for what’s going to happen, Fire In Brake is a half hour piece with three distinct movements that are all quite different from one another. The opener Fist Turns To Palm is at seven and a half minutes the shortest track on the album, and also the most accessible one. Its first half consists of drums, bass and bass synths, before wind instruments – saxophone, trumpet and trombone – join in during the second half, making it all sound like a downtrodden coal miners’ orchestra. As this comes rather unexpectedly, it will take you by surprise and show you that ambient drone artists are allowed to enrich their music to hitherto unknown dimension. The second track Palm Turns to Palm is at a good eleven minutes the longest movement, and in some ways also the most challenging one. Not that much is happening here, but the foundation of the song is played on the Garmonbozia synth, a noise machine invented by Russian sound artist Dmitry Morozov, also known as ::vtol::. You can find some of his performances on music video sites, and just seeing those instruments played makes you not only want to hear this track, but also see it performed. A bass synth line is rumbling threateningly underneath it all, making it sound like a dark slow-motion acid trip from the early Seventies. The concluding ten minute long Magic Mystery Fist is performed on the Oxoma synth, an even weirder machine concocted by ::vtol::, and once again you must see it to believe it. This is experimentalism at its weirdest, but the song’s second half adds a strange hip hop part that ends the album in a more rhythmic way.

Although Fire In Brake is mostly ambient and drone, the two musicians from around Moscow are smart enough to add on the one hand some more accessible moments and on the other hand truly unique instruments to transform this half hour epic into a strange bridge between the known and the uncharted. This is experimental music at its most adventurous, best enjoyed when you’re quiet all by yourself to let yourself immerse into this weird sonic universe. Not recommended to listen to while driving a car or handing heavy machinery though!

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