вторник, 27 июня 2017 г.

Grey Lenses — Heaven Accepts Ordinary People

Hi everyone, we're back again with my another album. This, "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People", is actually a lossless recording of my live set played this June.

The covers are my photos taken in the centre of Moscow in 2015.

I gotta say that, despite the fact "Grey Lenses" exist for 9 years, this was the very first gig for such a long time. I presented classic laptop dark ambient and some classic laptop noise.

The first two pieces, "Teleport Me Home" and "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People", represent more ambient side of my music. "Teleport Me Home" was inspired by the idea of despair, homesickness and nostalgia. Pretty much same things and same emotions. "Heaven Accepts Ordinary People" was inspired heavily by David Lynch's "Eraserhead", and the famous radiator scene.

The last two pieces, "Searching for Cats in Dark Rooms" and "You Were Out Again", represent more noisy, (post-)industrial side of my music. This is a very rhythmic noise, dymanic and active. Almost a music. "You Were Out Again" is made probably more in an oriental style, a friend of mine compared it with works by Kazumoto Endo, that's why I picked such name for this track. But that's not the only reason for such title: I thought it's a piece of a thought, very peculiar for outsider music and especially for Jandek, whose way of lyrical thinking I sincerely respect.

In the end of the show I performed my minimal synth song "External Approval":

And yeah, the show was filmed, but it's an incomplete version. On the other hand, this video version contains occasional vocals, inspired by abovementioned radiator scene and Japanese noise influences.

You can download the album in any possible format from BandCamp:

Stay tuned, we're working hard to present you new releases soon!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 2 мая 2017 г.

VA — ColdSpot Muzak (2017)

Hi everyone, we've just released our new annual sampler, and here's the information about it!

TL;DR? Then check out the video version!


It's called "ColdSpot Muzak", and even the title can already tell you a lot. Cold spot is a place in space which is extremely cold (well, that was obvious). It's a relict of very ancient times, and it may be a sign of presence of another universe or a "great void" — such a perfect term for us.

Moreover, "cold spot" is opposite to "hot spot", which is associated with electronics, so it can give you a sign that the sampler is purely electronic and minimalistic.

And "Muzak" might imply irony, and it's actually a sardonic word: this is background music which wasn't meant to be background music, this is the music listeners never pay attention to.

The cover also follows this "Coldspot" strategy, this picture was taken by me in Northern Russia about a year ago.

OK, let's check out the tracklist. We begin with my remix of a song "Money" by Пророк СанБой. It's rather enegry-filled track you can even dance to, and the lyrics are actually a nursery rhyme "Work While You Work" sang with significant accent. The intention of adding a chorus "Oh, money" is unclear to me, though I realize it has some sense. Our collaboration goes on, so maybe one day we'll release the 2nd album of remixes.

The second track is a new electronic song by Лосины Маршала Потемкина. This project exists as a real band for several months now, and the live sound differs greatly from what you can hear on "recordings". Anyway, fortunately, we play live quite frequently, so you can also check out our live sound. The song "Рив гош" ("Rive Gauche") tells a story about irritation connected with constant visits paid by narrator's interlocutor to Rive Gauche (fancy cosmetics store). There was also a song with similar name, so Лосины... tend to deconstruct it by humor, and its humor is based on a pointe (wendepunkt), an unexpected turning point, so if you study Russian culture and language, you might enjoy it.

The third track is a sound collage by Nervoese Leute "I'm Allergic to Music" (opposition to music / melodies has always been important to us), which can also be found on a tape split (still available for purchase!). This project is also developing and may even see its live debut soon!

Then goes the very first appearance on our releases: the artist's name is Jo Har Key, and the track is my mix of his 2000 song "Виктория" ("Victoria") is a superb synthpop recorded using analogue equipment.

Our friend from Moscow Hipstor Smith recorded an instrumental "My Favourite Dance Machine" especially for the sampler!

The next track is a very interesting electronic work filled with Soviet speech samples. It's called "Другие миры" ("The Other Worlds"), and the project which released it, is called "Диспозиция Линча" ("Lynch's Disposition"). Thorough work with samples, pads and synths makes its sound so profound.

Then goes surprisingly noisy track by Snowbringer:

And the final track is by project Concern Void, its it's 2nd song, and I want to believe, this project will go on. It's called "In Disguise", and you may consider it as both our manifesto and a lamentation.

Hope you like our new sampler!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

воскресенье, 23 апреля 2017 г.

Snowbringer — The Places I've Gone Without Going Anywhere (2016)

Hi everyone, I've just noticed I hadn't posted one of albums by Snowbringer released by him in 2016.

This "missing" album is called "The Places I've Gone Without Going Anywhere", and it's a classic "bright" ambient record divided into two parts: "The Places I've Gone..." and "...Without Going Anywhere".

Each part lasts more than 1 hour 16 minutes, so this journey is about to be long, though, I believe, it would be rather calm and inspiring. Even the idea of "remote control" journey is something which really seduces the mind, when one allows oneself to dream without limitations. Anyway, the author could imply something different from my interpretation.

So, check out this album — and stay tuned!


Sorry for brevity, got too much work these days.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

среда, 15 марта 2017 г.

Grey Lenses — Demotivating Tunes (2017)

Hi everyone, we're back with my new release, "Demotivating Tunes". The title says it's the opposite to my previous record, and actually it's a commission record, a soundtrack for my fiction story, published recently as an electronic edition.

The story has 7 chapters, and for each chapter there's an instrumental track lasting 5 minutes, so it's supposed that you should read a chapter in 5 minutes. The track's titles are actually the chapters' titles. Unfortunately, the story hasn't been translated in English yet, but I hope one day it will happen.

The photos for covers were taken by me in my native town in Siberia, in 2015–2016.

Musically, it's some dark ambient with some industrial and melodical pieces, and the mood of the tracks somehow reflects the mood of a chapter and even some events happening there.

There's not much to add, fellows. Hope you like it!


Instant flac download

Or check out YouTube playlist or SoundCloud set

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 14 февраля 2017 г.

Nervoese Leute / Snowbringer — Split (2016)

 Hi everyone, I finally managed to put everything together and tell you about our 2nd and last (so far) physical release. I’d honestly say in the very beginning that I feel sort of pessimistic regarding the possibility of releasing cassettes in the future, but this tape has become some true piece of art.


First and foremost, this C80 tape looks very rich. Hipstor Smith, who designed the cassette, has made truly huge amount of work. Just look: this tape is a very limited edition (37 copies), made manually recording analogue equipment, even the tracklist, included in a tape, was printed manually using a typewriter, and it was printed on authentic tabulating cards. Moreover, each copy has a different, unique cover which has originally been a part of geological map. 

Hipstor Smith was very enthusiastic in putting Nervoese Leute’s music back to analogue form, when he has found frames from analogue photo film, and the pictures were taken in 1983. I thank Hipstor Smith for such great work! You may purchase a tape or two directly from him, the price per copy is somewhat around $3.5 + shipping costs.

Now, let’s switch to music. Side “A” is filled with the second album by Nervoese Leute. It was meant to be called “Insane Cassette”, as it consists of tape collages made using analogue equipment. Sometimes humorous, sometimes scary, these 40 minutes hopefully demonstrate the further development of the project. Tape samples include ones recorded from FM-radio in 1990-2000’s and it shows the atmosphere of Russian mainstream radio back in those days. Nervoese Leute, as always, worked under Creative Commons License (Some Rights Reserved), and, as always, worked in a style somewhat similar to bands like Negativland.

On the side “B”, there’s a new album by Snowbringer. It’s untitled, and all the tracks are untitled. Snowbringer did it on purpose as he believes that listeners can name them whatever they like. He also claims this album is a result of long experiments, and the final track represents a darker side of this project.
So, this album is not available online, and, at least for Nervoese Leute, will not be available online at least for 2–3 more months, so the only chance to listen to it now is to buy it. Please support us, as it may play a significant role in a decision we have to make soon: if we continue to make physical releases, or not.

And stay tuned, we have some encouraging plans for future web-releases!

Sincerely yours,
John “Grey Lenses” Grey

понедельник, 23 января 2017 г.

Snowbringer — The Sadness of Beauty (2016)

Hi everyone, we start the New Year with a brief review of a LP “The Sadness of Beauty” by Snowbringer which was released in the end of 2016. It’s not a Concern Void release, but Snowbringer is our long-time collaborator.

 Album cover (textless)

This release represents typical “bright ambient”, peculiar for Snowbringer. “The Sadness of Beauty” probably shows not a great difference from earlier releases, and even the title might seem a little bit cheesy, it’s like naming the album “Love” or something.

Moreover, as far as I know, only 2 tracks were recorded specially for this album, the rest was recorded in 2014, but somehow these tracks were lost for a while.

But this release deserves your attention, mostly because of some topics mentioned here. Firstly, there’s a new part of “Becoming Invisible” (actually, the 4th part), and tracks dedicated to such topics as Orgone and Apophenia.

Apophenia, to my mind, is the most certain word to describe Snowbringer’s music. You may see there something, or you may not. There may be something in it, or there may be not. Kind of a game, you know. It’s like seeing faces on the surface of Mars, there will always be people who would recognize it, and there will always be people who’d claim it’s a coincidence. So, if we follow such logics, Snowbringer should always have listeners, and I believe you might become his new listener.

Check out this album and stay tuned!

Sincerely yours,

John “Grey Lenses” Grey

пятница, 9 декабря 2016 г.

ZARUBIN — Немузыка (2016)

Hi everyone! Christmas is almost here, and we prepared some kind of present for you, dear readers. It’s an EP by our long-time collaborator ZARUBIN. It’s actually his first release, although he is known for various activities which include frequent participating in our radio shows.

So, this is not a serious release, it’s a sampler of parodies. It’s called «Немузыка» which means “Non-music”, and the first two tracks are made with the non-musical samples: some “dark beat box” (that’s how I called it), sounds of the knives, clicking fingers, etc.



The other two tracks are parodies featured in our radio shows, and they are actually parody covers. The first one, «Песенка Берни» (“Barney’s Song”) is a Yakety Sax cover, and the final track «90-е» (90’s) is a cover of popular Russian band «Кровосток». Although the lyrics in both parodies are completely different, which makes the sound funnier. In case if you study Russian and can understand Russian humor, you’d be amazed, I guarantee you!

Download for free (mp3; instant download. Change “.7z” to “.rar” if there will be problems opening the archive. Please leave a comment if the link’s not working)

So, stay tuned in the 2017, plenty of new releases are about to come!

Happy holidays,
John “Grey Lenses” Grey

вторник, 22 ноября 2016 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Триумфальное возвращение (2015)

Hi, fellows! From the depths of profound sorrow I’m writing you now just because I need some readers (I wouldn’t dream of interlocutors) who would make me a company on this dark autumn (in Russia it’s already winter, actually) evening.

Poverty and unemployment are surely among our biggest troubles, you all must have heard about it. Actually I’m facing it every day, and I’d like to look in the eyes of those who claim that troubles like these can become some sort of sources of inspiration — how wrong they are!

The latest album by Лосины Маршала Потемкина, «Триумфальное возвращение» (“The Triumphant Return”) is basically about it. I wasn’t about to return to this project after previous release which turned out to be pretty devastating, but I think I had to return due to external reasons. I felt I had to remind that things are still going wrong.

The title cover was traditionally contributed by my friend Pavel Chainichkov, who also takes part in a conversation in the opening track «Алкоголик-фолк» (“Alcoholic Folk”).

Starting with this album, «Лосины…» correct their direction again. Having begun with “alcoholic folk” with heavy found objects’ sound, this project turned to completely acoustic folk, and then — to somewhat I call “conceptualist folk” on this record, meaning actually the influence of poets representing Moscow conceptualism (firstly, Dmitri Prigov, but also Vsevolod Nekrasov and German Lukomnikov, whom I had a chance to meet personally).

The second track, «Вторичный крик» (“The Secondary Scream”) refers to “Primal Scream” theory, as it’s easy to find out. I doubt if some accidents occurred during the first year of a life can determine the whole living, as there is always some breaking point, which, I suppose, is the “secondary scream”.

The third track, «Вечная гармония» (“The Eternal Harmony”) is another reference to Kirillov, mixed with real-life cautions and rows:

“One year ago I was told to get a job

And I still can’t get rid of the fear”

The fourth track, «Дискриминация» (“Discrimination”) doesn’t need to be explained, I believe. Well, maybe you haven’t been discriminated. Lucky for you! Poetically, it’s some kind of cut-up lyrics read using one-chord harmony and industrial synths.

One of favorites from this album is an instrumental «Музыка для поножовщины» (“Music for a Knife Fight”), one of few tracks from this record which got positive acclaim and pretty big (for me) amount of plays. Certainly, I used a real knife, recording it. When I tried to promote the record, some editor of a magazine wrote:

“It’s not music at all, it’s not art at all… you wouldn’t prove anything to me, because I have musical education”.

When I received this answer I was on cloud 9: I reached my goal! “Music for a Knife Fight” (knife fights quite often occur in Russian towns, because holding a gun is most likely illegal, and there’s a heavy risk of suicides, as Dostoevsky thought) contains some very heavy overloads, although it’s not harsh at all, it’s very sweet noise-pop with some sweet acoustic guitar, at least that’s what I thought.

The song «Камни» (“The Stones”) is a sad sadness song, like stuff from previous album. The title refers to Ivan Turgenev, who wrote: “I envy to the stones”. There is also a line about savage faces which was a nod towards my hero Blaine L. Renininger’s song “Teenage Theatre”.

“Look closer and you’ll see

Things which seemed to be made of iron

Are actually made of paper”

“I’m fed up with living in constant fear

I’m fed up with living with pain

I’m fed up with living like a dog

Who notices only bad things”

“When no-one knows you,

No-one’s going to forget you”

“Hopes of our childhood have been mixed with dirt”

“So many years have passed,

But I have just noticed how much I’m exhausted

How futile it was to envy the strong ones

How futile it was to envy the stones

Because the stones have crushed me”

Another sad song is «Чувство дистанции» (“Sense of Distance”). It nods to The Sound’s song “Fatal Flaw”. But the most depressing song here is, probably, «Похороны безработного провинциала» (“The Funeral of an Unemployed Province Dweller”). This character, unemployed province dweller, gave a title to second Лосины…’s album, and now I found out that he’s gonna die if he’s about to stay unemployed. Actually I’m still unemployed and in the hour of need there’s nothing to wait for. This song includes a hard work of applying effects to acoustic guitar, and I think I can be proud of the result. It also includes Akutagawa’s quote “I don’t have a conscience, I have only nerves”.

“I have nothing to be afraid of

I have nothing to lose

There is no difference at all

If I stay or if I go”

“Those who love the life that much

Jump down from the bridge”

“If you’re that far ahead

Maybe your way is wrong”

“When each and every of us was put in hell

You were thinking if you’ll be allowed to return for a cell phone charger”

The album ends with song «Времени нет» (“There’s No Time”), it repeated the Apocalyptic line “there is no time anymore”. I guess I was wrong then. Well, maybe I’ll need to release another Лосины…’s album then. 
Download for free from BandCamp:

Sincerely yours,

John “Grey Lenses” Grey