artist: Jelena Glazova – Ilia Belorukov
title: Split Tape
format: cassette tape / digital
keywords: experimental, electronic, abstract, soundscape
label: Steak Au Zoo http://www.steakauzoo.com
Ilia Belorukov is a musician, writer, organizer, Intonema label owner, collaborator and artist from Saint-Petersburg, Russia. His small biography made me think of a younger version of the legendary multi-cultural Moscow based artist, musician, organizer and poet Evgenij Kharitonov. I guess that these two Russians could probably move mountains of music and experiments together if the universe ever decided to put them in the same room in the same space.
But for now Ilia Belorukov isn’t doing a split or collaboration with Evgenij Kharitonov but with nobody less than Jelena Glazove from Riga (Latvia). She is like Evgenij also a poet, visual artist and works her way around combining her words and poems with experimental sound and installations. In other words Ilia Belorukov and Jelena Glazova are brewing of cultural expression and personal art and probably a well-fitting fit to be heard on a split.
Because in most countries and cultures it’s etiquette to let the ladies first, so here at YIKIS we simply do the unexpected and discuss first the ‘music’ that Ilia Belorukovhas brought to his side of the split.
It is a live recording of him performing in Alexandrov. I have no idea if this is the name of a venue or that it is perhaps a person and Ilia Belorukov is microscopicly small to manage to perform inside this person. But listening to it doesn’t make me feel as if Ilia Belorukov is a small person, in fact his sound sounds tall and strong.
For a few seconds at the entire beginning of his set there was a tiny fraction of my brain that thought this was going to be jazz music, but when the pleasant rattling, screwing, tumbling vibrating riddles of abstract sound experimentation started to roll in; the mindset was pleasantly surprised and enthusiastic. Ilia Belorukov seems to play with self-build sounds that are quite possible of an electronic nature but do also come across strangely as if they are touchable tools that aren’t normally equipped to actually make music on, they are being electrified for the purpose of new sound explorations. You can hear a bedazzled audience softly in the back as the sound artist feeds the room and our ears with a fine set of sonic journeys.
At times warm noises meet soft scraping ones, little cracks that give the set the feeling as if the artist is perfectly at home in this sound world and is in no hurry to present the sounds of choice in a relaxed timeframe. The music gets a very nice glow by inserting a morning jazz feeling by a sound that has the same pleasant vibe as a softly played trumpet played by a highly drugged chat baker. It’s just simple tones that it produces but because it’s done so nicely stretched out on top of all the other rattling and vibrating sounds; the soundscape sounds very active and yet fine enough for a Sunday morning breakfast in the middle of nature. In fact birds can be heard singing in the background as the electrified noises begin to take it easier as if they give way to that Chet Baker sound that nobody in the world could dislike.
This moment (starting somewhere in the middle of the set) is like an open sky that feels very relaxed and easy to be enjoyed. It’s the moment that you want to open a beer and watch the dragonfly fly by. From here the music becomes very pretty and gives the ears the feeling to inhale fresh air, sunlight and take some time off to fully enjoy the music. It becomes apparent that the artist supplies fieldrecordings to his music performance that transport the listener to a most pleasantly moment in time and space in the middle of summer.
If you close your eyes and hear this track you will see a friendly summersday in the forest with loosened up human activity in the back. The strangest ending is when suddenly it all gets taken away from us and we are just there in the room together with the performer and his equipment and astonished audience. The work of Ilia Belorukov simply abducts the listener to a pleasant time in which you totally forget that you are actually listening to a sound performer.
Now it is the high time to enjoy the works of the sound poetic artist; Jelena Glazova. The first track she donates to her side of the is a track named ‘Black (Blind)’ I guess it’s referring to the lack of view through the eyes when being blind, which this artist seemed to play on to make everyone experience such a conceptual feeling in sound expression. It’s in my ears an exclusive story that begins very bright with ringing warm tones as if the sun is burning intensively on the eye lids while feeding information to the ears. Slowly but surely the same sound gets more and more muffled as if the blindness has kicked in. A transformation that has the effect on the ears as if the artist first showed us a great intense view and then placed a pillow on top of our perception to take it all away from us.
Not that there is nothing to see, but it’s more as if Jelena Glazova wants us to look and hear inwards. Focus on the soft crust of muffled deep sound, our own blood stream, the sound of the previously heard blinding sun and perhaps our own heartbeat. Softer and slower the soundtrack becomes deeper and deeper internally, creating a feeling of being very much inverted into your own being to absorb the warm buzz that Jelena Glazova inserts so successfully. It’s an intense track that is almost like yoga session but than done with experimental audio.
The next track is named ‘Grey (frozen field)’ which seemed to start where the other expedition has ended. Our visual preceptor is being opened again to find out that the bright sun has been replaced with indeed a form of greyness. It is a tone that breath in the ears as if its air coming out of someone’s warm lungs while the outside is rather cold. It’s a much focused track without too many obstacles which makes it come across as abstract ambient that slightly reveals a certain depth with glimpses of snowflake sparkles.
The last track (White on White) is seemingly taking the best out of the two perceptions of the earlier experienced soundscapes. There is the inner focus of inverted music that makes the listener feel like listening to yourself inwards while at the same time the eyes of imagination are open to absorb and see the things that are happening outside. It’s a shimmering work that balances on the edge of these two feelings with neither of them taking full control. The end result is a calm feeling as if the artist gave us a spiritual voice of advice to look in our self to find piece and then look outwards to enjoy the external factors and passing the knowledge along.
This split between Jelena Glazova and Ilia Belorukov are two intensive sonic explorations of a different kind, but both have a relaxing outcome. It’s worth to get in the ears frequently and you don’t need a doctor recommendation to do so. You might actually move yourself to the Steak Au Zoo label and order one of these limited (50 pieces only!) splits on a good looking cassette: