Artist: iky iky
Title: Collection 2011-2012
Keywords: Ambient, IDM, Industrial, Electronica, Drone
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
iky iky, a wonderful side-project of the artist Laetitia Schteinberg who also goes by Ars Sonor, is collected here in this excellent work of sound! I am currently in the process of attempting to review as much of this artist’s work as possible in solidarity with her struggle to maintain asylum in Sweden due to the terrible treatment of LGBT people in Russia that she has been made to endure. This is an issue of human rights… different people are different, and all should be treated with dignity and respect, so if you would like to help in some way, and it would be much appreciated, here is a link to her story and a petition to the Swedish Migration Board which we all hope will force them to listen and reconsider her continued asylum. Of course, this is not the only reason for why these reviews are being written… this is amazing music, and so it is my hope that Laetitia will be able to continue producing brilliant, free arts like these, that she’s willingly given the global community in the past years to our great benefit.
‘Fada Pest [Karači Mix]’ begins with sweeps of ambient chorus and electronic-vocal waves that blur into the background majestically. It feels as if we are standing at the door of an eternal fountain of bliss… and then it fades, leaving us in silence momentarily before…
… the second piece, ‘Disbelief [Radica Mix]‘, comes in. The ambiance feels subtly more dissonant, more digitized… then this really nice, twisted electro groove is thrown down like a gauntlet, daring us dance in the mad frozen soundscape. The background of shrill mirages, tundra sounds and foggy lakes seem to swirl like a lightbulb would swing back and forth, shifting what it illuminates in the surrounding abyss. Distorted and precise noisebient.
‘Icon Of Putin Bleeds Out Of His Eyes’ sounds at first like a wisp of breath, frozen to ice but alive and coiling around our heads. An industrial breakbeat comes in sounding dark and flattened for all it’s heaviness, it’s denseness. Voices, indiscernible, seem to crawl through the tepid murk. A harsh sensual white-noise grows larger in the mix, blotting our illusory sense of self while the music hits us in subconscious receptors. A drafty anthem or march dwindles, downtuned on a gramophone while a subtle sine-wave ambient sound comes into focus. Wahtronics creep around in the back, samples seeming to ooze like so much poltergeist slime.
Next is ‘Summer Time’, with white noise, gradually detuned growling synths, a cavort of percussive noise hits. It sounds like the slow-motion experience of an aircraft landing overhead with technical malfunctions. Ends with a momentary pause of beautiful ambient sounds!
Then it’s ‘Natrix’, in which an unsettling aura of nearly organ or vibe type sounds in a strange key seem to haunt us while digital hands of ice reach out to shake us through a television static signal. Very lovely ambient chord structures swell in the mix, and I’m enjoying this track immensely… might be my favourite so far on this collection. Touches of feedback, what sounds at one point like the tell-tale sign that the artist is compiling sounds using tape, a small, barely noticeable glitch. Intense, yet serene, like staring uninterrupted into a crystal mire.
After this is ‘I Am Anticitizen One’, in which a low, synthetic and sustained rumble of drone is kept in the background while an amazing quasi-tribal percussive and IDMesque sequence gets louder and louder… this is really great too! A jungle of wires, tangled speakers, microboards flashing, cyber gorillas. Behind all of this, the drones… changing slightly, imperceptibly. A low piano tone hits at the start of every measure after awhile, alongside doppler boops and sizzling noise interferences.
‘Ring Around The Rosie’ feels sickly and ambient, semi-vocalic drones warping about in the background. A scream-scape develops, giddy with hellish energy! I was told once that the familiar childrens sing-song nursery rhyme ‘Ring Around The Rosie’ was actually about plague victims, rosies being the red, pustule sores that would develop rings around them when the illness got severe… that people would superstitiously carry posies in their pockets to ward off the plague… the line “ashes, ashes” referred to the eventual cremation of those who had become deceased from the plague, and that “we all fall down” accompanied by coughing and sneezing had something to do with the final, fatal symptoms of the disease, or referred to the held notion that eventually everyone would be wiped out by the plague. I don’t know the legitimacy of this claim, but it all sort of sounds like it could be valid, knowing what we know of how morbid children’s songs and folktales typically are! 🙂
‘Imaginary Freedom’ features Porc O’Pine, and begins with a sort of ambient/noise drone that feels almost like standing under the stars atop an Aztec temple. It has an expansive feeling and, yet, the frequencies do feel somewhat constrained. It is like being alone with a sparse natural surrounding; freedom becomes the only immediate reality and then simultaneously breaks down into a temporal meaninglessness in the absence of hierarchy, authority and society.
The final piece is ‘Nails [Redux]’, a vacuum of infrequent percussive and low noise. A shadow plays quietly in a large space.
This was a really cool collection of sounds, and totally worth your attention… here’s the link: