Title: The Worst Love Songs Ever Written
Label: SP Recordings
Keywords: Ambient, Drone, Electronic
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
I would disagree absolutely with the title of this record. Just sayin’. This is, due possibly to a sudden brain glitch resulting in my having forgotten every single love song album I’ve ever heard up until this moment, the best love song album I’ve ever heard. Besides this, of course. Oh SPNet, what manner of gorgeous beast have you unleashed to make sweet, ravenous love to my eardrums? Apparently this time it’s Kostoglotov, an artist from London, the city of the moon.
From the very outset of the first track on this two track album you feel like you’re slipping comfortably into a psychedelic Tangerine Dream-esque synth masterpiece. It’s titled ‘I Put My Ear Against The Amp, And Asked If I Loved You’. It reminds me of times I used to literally fall asleep, my head right next to an amplifier. There are traveling synth sequences, lush chords, wild arpeggios of beautiful strangeness, Taurus-pedal bass tones, pure love transmissions, electric organs, ocean breezes, hearts on fire, subtle guitars, so much space and warmth, near-tribalism in places, a world so wonderfully familiar and yet so surreal. Words can barely describe it, I think, even though several were just made to do so. It’s got a very old-school feel throughout. The varied use of sounds in the ever-shifting audioscape is amazing. As synthetic as it is, it feels so organic in places, like you’re listening to life itself as it is unfolding. The emotion, often abstracted but universal, shifts perceptibly and strongly. Particularly toward the end, for example, during a phase in which the harmonies become darker and much colder and more synthetic sounds begin to predominate in the mix. The synths are almost crying. Crying out to you, to listen to their sorrow-song and find happiness. Probably. It’s very provocative, I found.
‘The E3 Light Machine’ starts with sparkling belltones, a background ambient drone chord, low bass with a touch of distortion… and then phasing strings like something off a Moroder record come in and give the track a hypnotic, hallucinatory vibe. It’s a subdued excursion into the sounds of an electronic past, an experience unlike any other. This isn’t just a drone record… it’s something far beyond that, I believe. Bass and synth modulation, perhaps via a low frequency oscillator start in after a bit… an absolutely wild pizzicato string just a bit later, possibly recorded on a distant planet with how many effects it’s being run through… it’s altogether probable that I’m not even hearing what I think I’m hearing. An electronic organ with subtle modulation begins playing, and I’m mesmerized. It’s… really, really good. Another strange sound loop, like a chime buried beneath a layer of soft breath. Lovely layers of synth chord wash over us. A percussive bass sequence keeps the pace, and later we hear xylophone and prog guitar. Everything closes with a fade.
Yeah… this album wowed me quite a bit. I really want you to hear this, so… I’m going to do something I so rarely ever do and put the link right after the last sentence of this review. There will probably also be a colon, just so that the grammar and punctuation police know I’m on the up and up: