Title: Prima Vara
Keywords: experimental, industrial, folktronica
Reviewer: Carrie N.
Bagpipe industrial? From Russia?! Sounds quite exquisite, isn’t it? According to official history of the project, “Meklabor is a project of Dmitry Vlasov, a sound artist and bagpiper from Russia. The starting point for Meklabor was 2004, when Werk 84 was formed. Vlasov was experimenting with fusion of EBM, drone, ambient and kraut rock. After first (VST-based) release he decided to use hardware music equipment only. After some years of experiments with music equipment, playing at local festivals and being active at netlabel scene, concept of the project was finally formed. Meklabor explores sounds of bagpipes and other folk instruments, framing it with hardware-made synth backgrounds, distorted rhythms and ethnic percussion. Meklabor is not an authentic folk project, bagpipe tunes are being used here as a tool of traditional music syntax. The project went through various incarnations, recorded some material under the name SunBurzt, released some recordings through netlabels and published a 7-inch vinyl. The project collaborated with many experimental artists in the past, for instance, i.m.m.u.r.e. (Russia) and H-LR (Israel). Dmitry got a lot of experience playing in martial dark folk group, Ostov (ex-For Faith), performing live on the same stage with Of The Wand And The Moon (Denmark), Cyclofilidea (Russia) and Noises of Russia (Russia)”. Quite a background. Now, to the EP. A fusion of Balkan-inspired folktronica and something that strongly reminds works by Alex Brandon… that’s what the first track on this EP is about. Plus, occasional distorted beats, occasional flute… we got something quite unique here definitely! The second track sounds more like industrial fusion, occasional movie samples never break the flow, and bagpipe sounds here are just lovely. The third track continues the theme in a little bit more upbeat way and Brandon-inspired bells make their return to the mix as well. The fourth track finishes the circle with tribal trance soundtrack-ish attitude and sounds like a creative remix of the first track. The rooster sample sounds really creepy here! Creepy Balkan village sounds creeping around… Things happening on this particular sound canvas appear to be quite exciting! Mixing and mastering on the recording are very good as well! Actually, one of the purposes of this review is to encourage Meklabor NEVER to give up on music, no matter how it might feel now. The EP got 7 thousand downloads and counting, according to Sirona Records. Even if it might not be 7 thousand listeners, still… many people in this world (and perhaps not only) appear to listen to Meklabor a lot and perhaps are waiting for the new releases all the time! So, don’t give up, music like yours definitely needs to be around! And, the main thing is that you have TEN years of experience with music. Perhaps, something truly exciting is just on the way!