среда, 4 июля 2018 г.

VA — Pereat (2018)

Hi everyone, we're happy to present you our annual sampler! This time it's called "Pereat", it's a Latin word which can serve as sort of pessimistic motto, considering current situation.
The sampler starts with an anonymous short intro, it's an electronic instrumental by our long-time collaborator who decided not to sign this time:
Then goes a song by Concern Void band, it's titled Conscience, and we're really proud of it as it's a result of hard work on creating authentic minimal synth sound. I provided lyrics and vocals for the song, the music was written by Vladimir Laznev.
Then we have a new "Handshaker" by Snowbringer, and now it's "Modern Handshaker". It's a noise record, the sound is quite abrasive though it's not disturbing. It's also the longest track on the sampler. Snowbringer shows truly mature sound here.
Track #4 is a hip-hop by Alogical, he didn't write the beat, but the lyrics are original. It was first published as a part of Alogical Vlog, psychedelic and astonishingly modern. It's titled "Let's Get It", so it's based on a meme, and it's totally the least oldschool track on the sampler, which brings us diversity and all other valuable things nowadays.
The next track is an oldschool minimal instrumental "Time" by Vladimir Laznev, and it's supposed to be part of forthcoming soundtrack. It sounds really promising, and I'm looking forward to seeing the whole soundtrack released.
Then we have a new Nervöse Leute track, "Erziehung". It's a noise record and it's sort of a preview of their 3rd longplay hopefully to be released this summer/autumn. It's going to have less radio / tape noises, focusing on different noise sources instead; this track is an example of shifting quite primitive music to the spheres of sort of sophisticated noise.
Next track is a cinematic instrumental "Creeper" by Hipstor Smith. This track was written exclusively for our radio broadcast, Shadowplay FM, and it was aired earlier this year during a radio play "Post-irony".
The final song on the sampler is "Хуже не будет" by Лосины Маршала Потемкина. The title means "It won't get worse", and it's much a sardonic mood spread in the air these days. Together with a slogan "Pereat" it can be understood as a manifesto, and it was already honored to receive a comparison with a "sarcastic bomb". It's basically post-punk song, recorded in studio with live drums, though bass probably wouldn't sound really post-punk'ish, as it's too smooth. Anyway we hope to do something less sad next time we'll be heading to the studio.
So I gotta say we're proud of what we presented this year. From the one hand, there are no new projects / bands which would join us, there are even no guest artists this year, but I feel our "roast" is strong, mature and ready for new achievements. Hope you'll appreciate the result of our long and hard work.
What would you expect from us later this year? Well, we still hope to have 1 or 2 physical releases (they're on the go) by some of artists represented here. We hope to release a soundtrack by Vladimir Laznev, new Лосины's.. songs, and we also plan to release 3rd longplay by Nervöse Leute.

Probably we'll do something more. I feel like I need to invite new artists to our informal label. Let's see if I'll get lucky.
Instant free download (mp3 VBR) (Right click on "Click on this link — Save object as...").
Stay tuned!
Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey  

среда, 20 июня 2018 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Дебютный альбомчик (2010)

Hi everyone! Just before the work on a new Лосины Маршала Потемкина's single is, as far as I'm concerned, crawling to the end, it's time to tell about their very first release.

 While observing its cover, you might have prepared for extraordinary amount of weirdness, and this is indeed the weirdest Лосины...'s release. The history of the band, started in 2009, was frustrating at that moment, as mates began to leave it, and I remained the only member since late summer 2010 and for long, long years.

The "doctrine" of the band in 2009 and first half of 2010 proclaimed we ain't going to record, and we didn't even manage to perform live in a club then, so when I was left alone I felt like I should make this record just to save the impressions from being in a band. Of course, I was very limited in instruments.

The faces who stare at you from the cover were our avatars created in a PhotoRobot software which is, as we believed, was quite close to ones used by the police. The cover was also decorated with excise stamps from alcohol bottles which represented "alcoholic folk" genre we played back then.

I believe this EP is really, really hard to listen to. It's pathologically lo-fi. It's recorded to irritate listener. It's weird, it's atonal, it's noisy and hopelessly out of tune. It represents mostly anger.

The EP includes 4 songs, some of which we still play in 2018: I have to mention sort of "alcoholic folk anthem" "Я не могу сказать где, твои деньги" ("I Can't Tell You Where's Your Money"), re-recorded in 2011 and still quite popular in a post-punk version (set timecode to 36:21); "Мягкие игрушки" ("Soft Toys") — also check out truly magnetic post-punk version (the timecode is 7:17).

It also featured melancholic yet ironical "Шерстяная кофта" ("A Wool Sweater") which we still play in a modified version, and "Заначка" ("A Stash") with weird arpeggios, and it's the only song from the EP we don't play now.

Well, the primary instrument for the EP was a steel-string guitar, sometimes accompanied by harmonics and synths. The EP touched upon topics of alcoholism, fear and poverty. Perhaps it's anti-music but it's definitely not anti-folk; it's real Russian outsider folk music, as it's close to people.

Retracing this way, I find it easy to surprise how far we've gone, how much we've mutated, and before releasing a post-punk single, our 2nd post-punk release, and dreaming of making an abstract hip-hop record and conceptual post-punk album, it's fitting to recall the very beginning. Moreover, I found this EP missing on BandCamp, so this link is possibly the only chance to download it.

I feel sorry that our new stuff, including annual sampler, is still delayed, but it only means we'll have a bunch of new releases at some moment.

Stay tuned,
sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

пятница, 1 июня 2018 г.

Snowbringer — Brutal Handshaker (2018)

Hi everyone, today I'm gonna tell you about latest release by Snowbringer. It's not a Concern Void release, but it's worth your attention, I assure you.

Brutal Handshaker is sort of the development of ideas of Perfect Handshaker, released previous summer, and, to my mind, is probably best Snowbringer's release so far.

I remember enjoying Perfect Handshaker and thinking about making a remix of it which would sound more brutal, that's why I coined the title "Brutal Handshaker" to Snowbringer. Anyway, my remixes were never finished, and I just wrote lyrics and recorded vocals for a piece from Perfect Handshaker, which was called "Man in the Mirror" and released on a recent Concern Void mini-sampler (bigger annual sampler is still yet to come).

Despite the fact personally I enjoy this record with its solid post-industrial sound full of fascinating soundscapes, one might start to miss "classic" "bright ambient" Snowbringer, so that's much an issue whether its more "brutal" sound is a development, a step ahead, or it's just a spin-off. There are 2 Snowbringers now, actually: ambient one and darker one. Both sound pretty nice, though.

So I recommend you to check out this release. Our new releases will follow this summer!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 2 апреля 2018 г.

Nervöse Leute — Die Stühle in der Hölle (2018)

Hi everyone, I'm happy to present you a brand new remix by Nervöse Leute! This project was invited to paricipate in an ongoing international remix project "The Fencepost Reclamation Project": I received an invitation from British coordinatiors of the project, and Nervöse Leute created a remix using samples of field recordings provided by coordinators. I guess this remix shows how musique concrete samples can be turned into something entirely different, noisy, (post-)industrial sound. Not long ago I started to think we're lacking real industrial sound here, so it's an attempt to fill the gap.

The title, "Die Stühle in der Hölle" (The Chairs in Hell), is obviously a reference to Einstürzende Neubauten's "Ein Stühl in der Hölle". There are many reasons why it is so. First of all, provided samples included a bunch of recordings where chairs were actually used as sources of sounds. So, many chair samples equals many chairs in the title. Why are they put in hell, you may check out while listening to the track.

Secondly, "Ein Stühl in der Hölle", as we all know, is an interpretation of a folklore ballad "Lord Randall" about a young lord who was poisoned by his beloved one. This evolution illustrates long chain of influences: from folk to 80's industrial, from 80's industrial to 2010's post-industrial / noise. We're the representatives of the same culture, all in all.

Finally, in addition to desire to portray an industrial soundscape, there's actually a strong desire to portray hell. Pictures of sadness and torture fill our daily lives via newsreels, TV, etc., we hardly ever observe anything inspiring.

Well, I'm unwilling to add any other mourning cries here, instead I'd like to announce the 3rd longplay by Nervöse Leute. I'm uncertain whether it's gonna be a physical release or not, it's supposed to be released — probably this summer.

So, stay tuned and check out this remix!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

воскресенье, 18 марта 2018 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Тренды (Video)

Hi everyone, I've just recorded a video telling a fascinating story about CD "Тренды" by Лосины Маршала Потемкина, so now you may watch / listen to this post (in case if you wouldn't like to stare at my face):

Stay tuned, and new releases will follow!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 27 февраля 2018 г.

Grey Lenses — Music for The Cub (2018)

Hi everyone, it's time to put out a new release by our label: my latest soundtrack to my latest book.

This release bears proud "CV30" sign which is sort of anniversary for us. A picture for cover was taken by me in Peredelkino in 2016 (like to our previous release).

The record continues the direction I chose on Demotivating Tunes, a soundtrack to my previous book.

The book has pictures of stray cats and dogs on every page, basically pictures serve as background images for text, which makes it hard and painful to read it. It was made on purpose because reading is supposed to be source of your enrichment, and where's no pain, there's no gain, you know.

I know that cats and dogs have kittens and puppies, not actually cubs, but I chose these images to show there's no difference between cats and, for instance, cougars, because they're both predators. "Predator" type in literature has always been one of the most prolific, different writers used it, some liked it, but others blamed it. So when I decided to tell a story of a "little predator", no-one but the stray cat could match it better.

Basically, the story is more about an "accidental family", such typical and traditional topics which I believe I expressed differently. The story is finally published online, and I gotta say people tended to mistunderstood or being caught in traps I set just in every sentence. I don't want to explain what I meant to say, moreover, the story isn't translated, and I feel I'm totally unable to translate myself (though I tried so hard). Maybe some of our readers would like to help me out?

Anyway, I believe this soundtrack deserves your attention. It still has some dark ambient and post-industrial sound, but now the album is shorter, and it offers bigger variety of sonic structures. The structure of the sound is critically important, this is what I'd like to build in my tracks, and I try to build it the same way as I'm 'building' texts, it's construction, not composition.

And I also avoided to use musique concrete techniques, the only instrument here is the synth. Though I believe I'll do some musique concrete records, but probably under Nervöse Leute moniker.

All right, here's the album, and I hope you like it!

Stay tuned, I believe the spring is going to bring you our annual sampler, and probably a new Concern Void Video.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey 

воскресенье, 28 января 2018 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Тренды [Now availiable online]

Hi guys, this month's message is pretty short: our latest physial release, a studio EP "Тренды" by Лосины Маршала Потемкина, is now available online for free download in lossless or any other appropriate format.

There was quite long post about this CD a couple of months ago, so you may check it out in case if you've missed it, to learn the fascinating story of this EP. 

I decided to upload songs because I felt there's no need to make you wait :) 
Hope you like it. 

Anyway, physical CD is still availiable for purchase (as well as your previous tape split), feel free to contact me if you're interested.

In 2018 we hope to make 2 more physical releases and at least 2 web-releases, actually, it's our goal. We also plan to continue posting our monthly messages for you to keep you updated with our activities.

Stay tuned!

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

суббота, 30 декабря 2017 г.

VA — Миф новогоднего настроения (2017)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

We're saying goodbye to 2017 with a new short VA web-EP called "Миф новогоднего настроения" ("The Myth of a New Year's/Christmas Mood").

Photo by me
We can say we don't have "Christmas mood" at all. So if you have, I guess it's not the best time to check out this sampler. You see, we came to conclusion that "Christmas mood" is not real, it's a fake, or, which is probably more accurate, a myth. It has been constructed, we were made to believe in some special New Year's mood.

So this sampler represents such idea. It's as short as it could be: about 10 minutes. It's also as gloomy as it could be. And it's as sincere as humanly possible.

The picture for the cover was taken by me near Moscow, in famous "writers' village" of Peredelkino.

The sampler starts with a track by Диспозиция Линча, it's the second track published by this project, and it creates proper New Year's mood from the very first seconds.

The second track is a collaboration between me and Snowbringer: I provided voice and lyrics; Snowbringer provided an instrumental from one of his latest releases.

The third track is the first appereance of the project "Окно Овертона" ("Overton Window"), titled "Пост-рок" ("Post-rock"). Окно Овертона is a band where plays our long-time friend and collaborator who have participated in our 2014 sampler "We Could Have Been Martians" as John Francis Dooley. This is the longest track, and the most musical on the sampler. I gotta say this band has quite a lot of interesting instrumentals hopefully to be published.

The final track is an instrumental from Лосины Маршала Потемкина titled "Добрые, добрые, добрые слова" ("Kind, Kind, Kind Words"). It's actually my solo track and the only track where I play balalaika.

Hope you will like our sampler. You can download it for free (mp3; instant download link if the previous one is broken).

Stay with us in 2018, there's always more to come.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

четверг, 30 ноября 2017 г.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина — Тренды (2017)

Hi everyone! Just before the winter starts to freeze our bodies and minds, let me present you our latest release, an EP by Лосины Маршала Потемкина, called "Тренды" ("Trends"). (TL;DR? Then check out the video!)

(design by Olga Klever)

This is our 3rd physical release, and the first CD! And yeah, it's not just some home-burnt CD-R(W), but a proper limited edition audio CD recorded in a professional studio with professional sound technicians.

Лосины Маршала Потемкина exist as a real band for almost a year now, and this EP represents our evolution from neofolk & outsider music to post-punk. We played live quite frequently this year, and our performances (and, maybe, lyrics) encouraged people to tag us as art rock and avant-garde. This is much a direction of our forthcoming development, as I'm willing to believe.

You may check our live sound here:

But let's talk about the CD now. As I have mentioned, it's a very limited edition, even a promo edition. In 2018 we may print another edition with alternative mixes, but these copies are available for order (see details below).

The EP was designed by our friend Olga Klever, who made a cover and a beautiful booklet which is included into a hand-made envelope made of craft paper.

The whole package includes: abovementioned craft paper envelope, the cover and back cover with information originally handwritten by our guitarist and manager Alyona Kidun, the abovementioned booklet (4 pages: a page per a song) with elements of cover design, snapshots from shooting of our promo video (hopefully to be uploaded in early 2018), nice praise from wonderful people around, and some additional information. And, of course, the package includes the CD itself.

This EP includes 4 songs, and the first one is titled "Дэвид Линч" ("David Lynch"), and it's about David Lynch. It was easy to predict, I know. But David Lynch is such a cult person here, every hipster schoolgirl says she loves "Twin Peaks", so David Lynch is obviously a trend here. Don't get me wrong, we don't laugh at him, personally I respect David Lynch, but it's about public image, not the person.

The next song is a post-punk version of "Рив гош" ("Rive Gauche"), a fancy cosmetics store. It's also a trend. While listening to the first two songs, and "Рив гош" in general, I suppose I did my best to make Mark E. Smith grumbling that I've ripped him off ;)

(Earlier electronic version of this song)

The third song, "Незамерзайка" ("Antifreeze") is a topical song about tragic events happened in Siberia previous year. Yes, some people are drinking antifreeze. It's a serious social problem: vodka is rather expensive (a bottle costs ~$3.5 which is expensive for alcoholics), so the people who suffer from this disease, simply can't afford a quality product, they drink such booze, go blind or even die. And it's not about homeless people, or other misfits, but about workers, drivers; even a "regionally important poet", who is also a heavily drinker, can get in such trouble. And, obviosly, we're not laughing again. This is topical, but I was thinking about how Phil Ochs or even our 19th century writers could cover this issue. This is the longest track on EP, and, to my mind, it is seriously scaring track. While playing live, we used a live noise found object, for the studio I had to create an electronic sample. Technicians have made a cool mastering for this song, so it really seems that it was too cold in the studio. I read Joy Division used climate control systems to make the temperature in the studio really low, so that's a chilling coincidence.

The final track, "Утренний рейс" ("A Morning Flight"), is also topical, as it covers issues of suicidal tendencies among Russian teenagers, represented mostly wrong in the media. Unlike us, these millenials had happy childhood, and, becoming teenagers, they grow desperately bored. This problem is well-known to any keen Dostoevsky reader, for instance. On the contrary, the media tend to ignore our literature, and they created a criminal (though fake) version about malicious adults who encourage teenagers' suicides. Moreover, the song touches upon not only teenager suicide problem (which is definitely tragic), but also my personal experience of "wandering" and not having home, not just apartments, and this big amount of pain has turned into the song. Those teenagers often killed themselves early in the morning, in the same time when morning flights depart, and I remember sitting in the airport waiting for my morning flight and reading these stories about "suicidal games", and felt nothing but regret: I regreted their deaths, regreted my fate of a "wanderer", it was simply a depression I can never completely beat. That's why I tried to sing here as low as I could.

So, "Trends" is kind of sick name, really sardonic. The process of recording was tough. Technicians have removed almost all the noise, including the noise which was made by synths and added on purpose, especially in 3rd and 4th songs.

I can confess I learned a brilliant lesson: if you enter a studio while being inexperienced person thinking you're an underground hero, you'll be shocked by enormous expenses. We couldn't afford most of the proper equipment, we needed professional technicians, and it all costed us a lot. In addition, it was critically expensive and difficult to record live drums, so we had to ask for electronic ones. Because of all that, we bought more experience rather than this CD. I realize we need to continue learning, but I have quite ambitious plans for the next year.

"Trends" were presented in Moscow underground garage club recently, and I had some nice feedback from there. Thanks to my friend Hipstor Smith who organized the gig!

I want to thank everyone involved in making of this CD, technicians from a state-owned studio we recorded in, people who supported us and visited our gigs, helped us somehow, etc. Biggest thanks from me go to our bassist and guitarist Zhenya Dvoynishnikov, who is actually making almost all music here — I was responsible only for lyrics, vocals and some synths on the EP.

"Trends" are currently not available online, but it will be uploaded rather soon, I believe. Anyway, it's available for order. I feel I have no moral right to ask you to purchase it by real price (as it would currently be around $40, including postal services, to cover our costs, no joke, though in future it'll surely be reduced), but you can name your price.

Feel free to contact me in case if you want to order it or any of our previous tape releases:

Nervoese Leute / Snowbringer — Split ($3.5 + postal services)

VA — Music to Play With an Axe ($1.7 + postal services; only one copy left!)

Also, feel free to contact me to leave some feedback, as it's much appreciated! We consider our first CD and first studio experience as an achievement, and currently I'm really positive about out perspectives.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

понедельник, 30 октября 2017 г.

Snowbringer — Perfect Handshaker (2017)

Happy All Saints Day everyone!

We've prepared a special gift for you on this occasion: a new release by Snowbringer which differs greatly from other works by him, and, in my opinion, is so far his best!

Now this is not typical classic "bright ambient"; it's more noisy experimental stuff made with synth emulators (as far as I remember). These structures are filled with various emotions, and may even entertain the listener.

Also, pay special attention to the cover: this is a sculpture of a sheep: very fascinating and maybe even scaring! So awesome and suitable for Halloween!

By the way, Snowbringer had performed live for the 2nd time just a couple of days ago, so, stay tuned and remember to check out our YouTube channel to see more from us!

I gotta add it's a Snowbringer's own release, not a Concern Void one, but I liked this stuff so much that I even added vocals & lyrics for one piece, and this collaboration is about to be released on Concern Void sooner or later.

There's always more to come, guys. Just stay here. Don't leave :)

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey