понедельник, 13 мая 2019 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Шутник вахтовик (2019)

Hi everyone, I'm glad to present you latest single by Лосины Маршала Потемкина. It's called «Шутник вахтовик» which is a rhyme and can be translated as "Joker Shift Worker".

It is actually remake of songs created in 2011-2012 rerecorded as a band. Its post-punk sound gets little lo-fi as it's totally DIY. It was recorded during rehearsal sessions and mixed by me. I also added some samples from original "Shift Worker" (2012) and new samples of a train.

The title track «Шутник комнатный» tells a story of a "joker" who ate glass just to make fun out of it, enough said. The second track tells a story of a shift worker who killed a bear (also for fun) and then had been ironically killed in a train accident.

The cover was drawn by our drummer Igor Ezhen. Yes, this single contains live drums. A punk on the cover hold a bottle of anti-freeze (a nod to our EP «Тренды»).

Well, this single is not about new movement or new direction. There's no certain direction, it's a remake recording to celebrate forthcomig 10th birthday of our band. I believe we recorded it because it was meant to be recorded, I don't know.

You see, we've been in a strange position recently. Our studio CD got a few praises, but mostly it's been found "too difficult or just too bad". People didn't get it, I guess our mates also don't entirely understand what and why we've been doing. Neither knew I.

Just kidding. I was partially aware of what it was about. But now, after the CD is out, I feel I got lost, too. Lately I tried rapping. It was... an experience. I plan to do perfect outsider music record. I plan recordings and recordings. I want to record more than to do endless rehearsals. They simply get me no satisfaction. I want to feel if not proper satisfaction, then just some sort of feeling of things done right, and done in a right way.

There's a fork on the road (again). We'll see what would the next turn bring.

And now, you may check out the single!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 1 апреля 2019 г.

VA — Крики раненых и почти что павших (2019)

Hi everyone, we're happy to present you our new annual sampler. This year, it was titled "Крики раненых и почти что павших" ("The shouts of wounded and almost deceased ones"), and, despite the fact we turn 10 years this time, it's in no way an anniversary sampler.

The picture for the cover was taken by me in Moscow.

The sampler represents the way we feel in modern media and social environment. It's mainly about self-actualization.

We begin from an end: the title track by Wladimir Laznew is called "Вместо эпилога" ("Instead of an Epilogue"), and it's a retrowave piece, very moving and suming things up at the very beginning.

You see, there's no action anymore; it's not even post-action, it's more like post whatever (just like your T-shirt prints say).

I did hope and I do hope Wladimir would release a solo record one day, because I know how many outstanding minimal synth pieces he has in store.

Then we have an abstract hip hop piece by Лосины Маршала Потемкина (prod. HANGOVER). It's the first and only experiment so far, and it might be considered even as a demo record, but we'd check out if it's liveable. Perhaps we would go on. Anyway, there's some remakes on the go, and plans to record newer stuff as well. And yeah, it's the only track featuring lyrics on this sampler.

Then there's a short interlude by Nervoese Leute, the track from their forthcoming 4th longplay hopefully to be released this year; further exploration of weirdest noises ever heard.

Then there's a super long track by Automatic Alice, the new monkier of our long-time friend. We decided there's no need anymore to have any shapes and restrictions for our samplers, so let this almost 12-minutes recording flow right into your ears. It's also an exploration, it's prorably even sort of meditation, it's kind of weird psycho folk / post-industrial experiment hopefully to be released later on tape in Moscow.

And we end with an ambient requem to Mark David Hollis of Talk Talk recorded by Snowbringer. The sad thing is also that it may be the final or one of the final tracks by this project before disbanding: perhaps there'll be final longplay, but it's uncertain.

And this is devastating. Musicians do leave; yup, they grow old, turn 30 etc., and got some other activities to waste their precious time on, but still there's sort of grief about that. Only few of us remain, new ones never seem to come.

Maybe there's no time or no creative space anymore for obscure Russian lo-fi diy records, partially because these efforts had never been appreciated seriously, anyway, when the desire to be avant-garde and weird disappeared, some cherished pieces of soul deceased.

Well, this sampler is designed to be percieved as a whole complex piece in 5 parts. It's different, but, without a doubt, it represents our vision. It's ideologically completed and it's more like a missile than an actual music piece. Seems like we've faced a dead end.

You may instantly download the sampler (mp3 only, change .7z to .rar when downloaded).

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 4 марта 2019 г.

Awesome Poetry Time

Hi everyone! After a bunch of releases we decided to stop for a while, but it doesn't mean that we're on hiatus. We're constanly trying new activities!

One of such activities is poetry. We try to support promising authors, and even to translate their best works to show them to a broader audience.

So, we're happy to present you a video containing my declamation of a translation of poem "To a Friend" by Alexander Shvetsov.

Mr. Shvetsov is a romantic poet who has published 3 books of poetry. "To a Friend" hasn't been included in them, so it's a real exclusive.

Certainly, I got permission from the authour to translate and publish it. Hope you like it!

Best wishes,
John "Grey Lenes" Grey

среда, 9 января 2019 г.

Grey Lenses — Exploitation of Icarus (2019)

Hi everyone, we're entering 2019 with a brand new release, another soundtrack for a book by Grey Lenses.

The difference is that it is finally a soundtrack for a hardcover book, not a .pdf. "Exploitation of Icarus" is the title of the first story included in a book, and this album includes music which is supposed to be playing while reading first and last story featured in edition.

Since 2017, I annually release book OSTs, and they are always laptop dark ambient music. They are quite similar, I'm afraid it could be rather hard to tell one from another, but it's caused by the plot, because all these stories are connected, they share characters and show the development of both fictional narration and my skill in creating laptop ambient / post-industrial.

In this case, it's entertaining to think what is post-industrial literature and post-industrial music in general, and I hope this is something we can actually build by our own efforts.

To build is more fascinating than to demolish, it's some sort of creative credo. Despite the fact you might hear some quite disturbing noise and some occasional musical pieces here, it's all about sonic structures, it is by design. This album differs from previous ones because it has longer tracks consisting of different pieces. Previously, I created soundtracks making a track for a chapter; now these tracks reflect certain motives mentioned in a book, not particular chapters. This is why they are longer and even might be resembling dark ambient "sonatas".

"Icarus" is a typical "main theme", it exposes a sonic image of mythical Icarus which later disappears ("Disappearance"): a metaphor of losing the ideal role model. "Animal Blood" and especially "Death by Drowning" represent darker sound (there is honestly nothing cheerful in drowning), and final "In the Sandbox", "Reconstruction" and "Salvation" deal with an idea of liminal theme, topic of resurrection after a challenging encounter of death, all so traditional for world literature. The image of a sandbox is both Apocalyptic and modern, it's all about rebuilding. Reconstruction is a final phase of deconstruction, we destroy to rebuild, we'll never put up with empty spaces. And, in the end, everybody deserves salvation. If we're speaking about ideals, we should be moving towards such ideal unless it becomes irrational and/or useless.

Moreover, all my projects fight against music and it's pseudo harmony, because total harmony equals death. This is just another round, and I encourage you to be brave in creating most abrasive non-musical music which is not neccesary should be harsh. What is most valuable, is the method, the approach, not rawness for rawness. Just listen!

Stay tuned! 2018 was successful for our label, we had 2 physical releases and 4 web-releases, and I'm eager to make 2019 even more successful.

Feel free to leave feedback. Most physical releases may be ordered.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

четверг, 13 декабря 2018 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Трудно быть первым, когда ты лучший (2018)

Hi everyone, we're proud to present you a CD "Трудно быть первым, когда ты лучший" ("It's Hard To Be The First When You're The Best") by Лосины Маршала Потемкина. It's a result of hard, exhausting work that had started in July and have ended just yesterday when we received actual CDs. Overall, we've spent more than 78 hours in studio.

This is actually 5th longplay by the band, but it's the first LP CD, and the first LP recorded not as an one man band.

I'd like to dedicate the record to Mr. Mark E. Smith who had perished early this year. It was a significant loss for the culture.

So, it's a post-punk album, it's all about lyrics, but it avoids typical depressive post-punk topics. It's pretty much an upper, not a downer. It's built around lyrics which are sang against a repeatative bass riff. Probably, singing is not the best term for this vocal practice, because it's more about storytelling. Each song is actually a story which often has a plot, narrative, fictional characters, 1st and 3rd person narration.

The title track, "Нудный" ("A Dull Guy"), is a remake of an earlier electronic track:

Then goes "Кофейная культура" ("Coffee Culture"), telling a story of expansion of coffee culture which leads the narrator straight to a heart attack in the end:

The lyrics are full of cultural references, parodies, etc., so it would take time to explain it (when I wanted to jot a brief comment, I found out I'd need to write a book about the album).

Then we have "Стремные танцы" ("Weird Dance") which is actually really weird. It even includes a vocoder. I suppose one might do weird dances while listening to it.

4th song is "Внутренняя эмиграция" ("Inner Emigration"), and it's so up-to-date, so up-to-date, you got to understand. It also sounds wicked and dark, almost brutal.

Then goes "Винишки в Ростелекоме". It's rather hard to translate. "Винишки" ("Vinishki", from "wine") is a subculture represented mostly by young females enjoying cheap wine and listening to new school post-punk which probably has nothing in common with original one. As with any subculture, we're dealing with lack of values. "Ростелеком" is an Internet provider widely spread in Russia. It's so big they have to hire personnel who can't help users, and the song is dealing with problem of misunderstanding.

Brace yourself, because the intro of next song "Речной трамвайчик" ("Water Taxi") is rather eerie. The song is sort of sophisticated nod towards Alla Pugacheva's song with the same name, but it's not a cover at all. It messes around the line about a "tanker with corpses", so it's quite depressive, actually. It's also noisy and even a little scary. I'm afraid to live where I live, and I'm not afraid to die.

These are complicated emotions, it's fear with apathy, it's denial of depression, it's exhaustion and hopelessness. Die laughing, you know.

It's rather logical that the next song is called "Кризис самоидентификации" ("Self Identity Crisis"), and it tells a story of an incel who's deprived of social life and loses identity and then loses personality ("Now you are me", says the final line) and dissolves in observation of stray cats ("My only friends are stray cats"). To double the sarcasm, the song sounds cheerful.

You see, we don't have much fun here on this record. It's bruisingly sardonic. Then we have our favorite song "Бойцовский клуб" ("Fight Club"), it's not totally based on the novel, but it tells a story of a fight club in modern Russia. Aggression, irritation, bloodthirst become common now.

We end with the song "Сердитый" ("An Angry Guy"), it's opposing the title track. And it's almost jazzy which totally contradicts the lyrics. We make terrifying stories contradict to pop-oriented music, and we make aggressive, angry lyrics respond to pseudo-lounge music. It also touches upon mental health issues ("All I need is amitriptyline" — very old but effective prescribed drug) stigmatized in the society.

The lyrics, vocals and cover was provided by me, there were totally 5 musicians involved in recording, you can read the whole credits here. We used electric and acoustic guitars, different basses, mics, tank drum and metal percussion, electronic drums and synth, harmonica, plenty of things.

I don't care if it'll be a successful record. I don't get it if we need praise for this. I feel no satisfaction with current trends, and it was a huge sign of protest against all mainstream culture. I started to feel giant spiritual freedom and independence, sense of freedom is inner one, it doesn't matter where you are and what's happening around.

I don't wanna make major hits, I don't wanna sing about love or politics, I don't think I'd be understood if I write this for my compatriots. Instead, I wrote a bunch of stories. I tell stories about fear, isolation, loss of values and identity, loss of sense of reality, mental destruction and psychological breakdowns. It's funny that they often sound remarkably cheerful.

Well, you may order the CD as well as previous physical releases. Feel free to write me about that.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 27 ноября 2018 г.

Nervöse Leute — Concrete Rats (2018)

TL;DR? Then check out the video version!

Hi everyone, we're happy to present you 3rd longplay by Nervöse Leute which has already been available in October if you had previosly purchased a floppy disk "Mellow" (still available).

This album is an exploration of a frontier zone between music and non-music, an attempt to find an answer where music begins (and where it ends). The album contains samples recorded since 2003 until present. As in case of previous longplay, I did all the work myself.

The cover shows you what one can see when going downstairs leaving my apartments, and it's all about living in an old concrete box. The title of the album messes around an idea of us participating in a rat race which is held indoors, in a box made of concrete. Moreover, there's some musique concrete on the record, to be fair.

OK, let's turn to the tracks.

The title track, "Erziehung" ("Education") was shown before on our VA sampler "Pereat". It illustrates the topic of importance of education, whilst the education  which we get, is almost totally inappropriate (which refers to "Bad Education" by Blue Orchids). It also laughs at background music dedicated to educational purposes, which is, to my mind, is simply ridiculous. Music distracts. It's supposed to do it. It is also inspired by Japanese noise and explores abilities of distorting the sound of an acoustic guitar.

Second track, "Take the Chance", is an attempt to play industrial music using abovementioned acoustic guitar.

"Health" is much more a complex piece, almost a play. It's partially inspired by This Heat's "Health and Efficiency", and it's sort of "anti-cover" concept. It's more percussion oriented attempt of deconstructing the composition itself; and, as we know, This Heat's aim was mainly to deconstruct rock music in general. Moreover, "Health and Efficiency" idea: to be sober, to be responsible, to be efficient — is a doctrine which I'm very likely to follow for years. This Heat stated it was a counter-culture step, a protest against punk junkies, and this approach of fancy dressed modest guys seeking to commit an act of violence against music and an image of musician, is so close to my methods. 

But it's not only about a tribute to This Heat. "Health" also includes recording of a Russian history lecture read in university at the same time when in a church nearby there was an Orthodoxal ceremony, and at some moment you can hear bells of the church together with lecturer's voice. There is also an alarm clock recording which also represents discipline, and some sounds which were supposed to expose the genie coming out of the bottle. So metaphorical, eeh.

"Smash" is a "play" which "contradicts" to "Health" the same way "Take the Chance" contradicts to "Erziehung". Again, it includes acoustic guitar, metal percussion, and it's the central piece of exploration of the borders of the music. Its ending with naturally stretched notes refers to bassline of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus.

"White Noise 2003" indeed contains radio samples recorded in 2003. It's the only track under Creative Commons license, it's a nod to previous Nervöse Leute albums. Just another radio collage.

"Frosch" ("Frog") is a field recording of frogs in Moscow. They were chatting in the centre of the city in a pond in the park. And I thought if it could be music? We say "birds sing", but what do frogs do? Probably it's not singing, but can we call it music? The track is an "investigation" of this issue.

"Foretelling" is the only track which has lyrics. I was thinking about the future which is always uncertain, and it reflects usual paranoia, so common for Nervöse Leute. The track also has plenty of radio noise, metal percussion, acoustic guitar — all the elements featuring on the album.

The final track, "Mystery and Something Else", is short but not that simple. It refers to Blaine L. Reininger's hit song "Mystery and Confusion" and Tony Wilson's TV show "Something Else". It's also a field recording made during a walk. I was strolling down and thinkng about David Thomas' (Pere Ubu) idea of "the art of walking", and I started to doubt if the walking is indeed a sort of art; I was recalling his interview when he was showing the bottom of the cup, and I guess this is what I tried to expose on this album as well. "If the walking is art", I thought. "Then I got to check if it's music or not". We know walking has a rhythm. Soldiers march, marches sound rhythmically flawless. But when we're walking without any purpose (wandering around), will our steps be rhytmically organized, and would it be suitable to create musical piece out of it? So I made this record trying to get the answers.

I have to confess that Nervöse Leute is the only project which never causes irritation while I'm working on it. The less musical it was, the better was my state of mind when I had been working on tracks. It's also the most therapy-oriented of my projects. I am deeply proud of what I created this time, and I sincerely hope it can make some impression.

Warmly remind you that your feedback would be much appreciated.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 12 ноября 2018 г.

We are trying streaming

Hi everyone! Just before we load up two last releases for 2018, it feels like it's a proper time to catch a departing train of streaming. Recently I've tried to stream oldschool game GTA2 and talking about avant-garde as a method. Well, perhaps it might be not that vivid and active monologue, though it's mostly a test stream to find out if you're interested. If you are, I'll go on streaming and talking at our Twitch channel ShadowplayCity.

Hope you'll pay some attention to it!

Best wishes,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 8 октября 2018 г.

Nervöse Leute — Mellow (2018)

Hi everyone! We're happy to present you our latest physical release (proudly wearing "CVRP 03" code), a 3.5" floppy disk "Mellow" by Nervöse Leute.

This 3.5" floppy disk includes a brand new track "Mellow" (in mp3) and a flyer (written in English) with an instant free download link to a longplay "Concrete Rats" (in lossless), currently unavailable online.

We've turned to mid-2000's authentic 3.5" floppy disks as it's profoundly connected with nostalgia, a topic which penetrates the whole Nervöse Leute discography. We used aluminium for the cover to illustrate another topic which is peculiar to Nervöse Leute — the topic of paranoia spilled in modern life.

Track "Mellow" explores the opportunities of relaxation through noise and is genetically connected with first, self-titled album by Nervöse Leute. The album "Concrete Rats", a download link to which is included into package, provides new exploration of a frontier zone between music and noise and also includes some references to earlier Nervöse Leute works.

"Concrete Rats" LP will be available online as soon as certain amount of copies of "Mellow" will be successfully distributed. You can order "Mellow" by writing us, current price is just $1.2 + postal costs, and it might even be reduced when "Concrete Rats" will be available online.

There are only 16 copies of "Mellow" which makes it undisputedly exclusive.

Feel free to contact us if you'd like to purchase previous Nervöse Leute physical release, a split tape with Snowbringer ($3 + postal costs) (only few copies left!) or CD "Тренды" by Лосины Маршала Потемкина ($3.75 + postal costs) (only few copies left as well).

Hope you'll like it! And — stay tuned!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

воскресенье, 9 сентября 2018 г.

VA — Pereat (2018): Video

Hi everyone! Finally recorded a video where I'm presenting you our annual sampler "Pereat". You can check it out right here:

Stay tuned, as the end of this year will provide you with our new releases. I'm sure about that.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey