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").

(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

воскресенье, 24 сентября 2017 г.

Nervöse Leute — Insane Cassette [Now available online]

Hi everyone, you might remember we've released a cassette in December, 2016, which included new albums by Nervöse Leute & Snowbringer. After a while, the 2nd album by Nervöse Leute is finally uploaded and available for free listening and download though some copies of the tape still can be purchased.

The picture for a cover was taken by me this summer, but the album was completed by me in 2016.

Online version differs from the physical one, and such long expectation has some benefits: online listeners get an extended version of the title track "The  Queen" and of the sound collage "Tonic Seizure" plus bonus "Bury Me Dressed Like a Chanson Star".

Now let's talk a little about the record. As you may know, Nervöse Leute (Nervous People) is a web project making sound collages from samples and occasional musical / spoken word pieces and live found objects recordings.

The main aim is to put different pieces into logically built compositions. We consider sound collage a form of art. No effects have been applied to the samples except changing the volume and the speed of the records, and occasional delay effect. The additional information and disclaimer can be found in an archive file below.

The album messes around tape samples and tape manipulations. Some of these tracks are tremendous tape manipulations, others are collages, some mix these two tactics, adding occasional lyrics, original musical pieces and found objects. The tape samples are all authentic and made using analogue equipment. The samples have been recorded in 1997-200? by a variety of people, whose contribution remains anonymous but not forgotten (some tapes have been found, so they performed as found objects, too). There are samples of what have been popular in this period in Russia. We are still faithful to radio samples, too. This is a solid nostalgic record.

Title track "The Queen", tracks "Give Me Your Hands" and "I'm Allergic to Music" are "tremendous tape manipulations" of pop music, while "Tape Sonata" is a manipulation with classical music.

Sound collages include "Postapoc in a Nutshell" and "Tonic Seizure". There is also an unique field recording titled "A Trip into the Past" which was recorded by an anonymous little boy in early 2000's, probably at school, — this tape had been found and turned into a collage by me.

For those who know Russian language, there are 2 humorous collages — "Unbearable Humor" and "The Art of Advertisement" which contain collages of Russian FM radio samples recorded (probably) around 1997–2004 by anonymous people and me — some tapes had also been found. These samples had been edited by me into humorous stuff, using basically "cut-up technique". I believe it's a proto- audio version of future video "cut-up" jokes (YouTube poops). "Unbearable Humor" includes DJs' conversations and funny song cut-ups, while "The Art of Advertisement" tries to make fun of awkward and sometimes risky 1990's Russian radio ads.

I am sure Nervöse Leute will go on and ahead, and I even hope to perform live again under this moniker; moreover, I'm sure this project will continue to explore weird spaces and release new stuff.

Stay tuned and check out this work of Art!

(instant download link, please change file type to .rar if you have some issues opening it)

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

вторник, 29 августа 2017 г.

Nervöse Leute / Snowbringer — 2nd Split (EP) (2017)

Hi everyone, we're happy & proud to present you our latest release, a web-EP split of Nervöse Leute & Snowbringer.

(click to see the album cover; images refuse to be imported by some unclear reason) 

This is like a large bonus to a split cassette released last year (still available for purchase). The picture for the cover was taken by me in 2015.

So, the tape is almost out of print, so we're preparing to upload albums from it, and while it's not done yet, you may enjoy watching all the covers (each tape had an unique cover) and listening to these tracks.

Nervöse Leute present here a 10-minute exploration of Russian chanson, a musical genre quite separated and distant from original French chanson. In Russia, chanson is supposed to be the music of criminals and young criminal wannabes subculture. This music has enormously big radio and TV rotations, and even the most respectable people tend to enjoy it, especially somewhat called post-chanson or chanson pop. Emigrants feel huge nostalgia while listening to it live in some Russian restaurants abroad.

A tremendous tape manipulation by Nervöse Leute distorted the structure of typical chanson cassette, making it totally noire, close to Bain Wolfkind, and maybe even apocalyptic. Above these distorted layers (by the way, no actual distortion effect was applied) there is a song, "Bury Me Dressed Like a Chanson Star" sung by me imitating typical chanson singers' intonations. I also played guitar here. After it goes apocalyptic folk version of this song, resembling some of David Tibet's whispers.

You know, the idea of being buried "dressed like a chanson star" is some kind of dream of getting rich and die, not having a chance to use benefits of being prosperous. The dress code is extremely important here because "chanson stars" dress like kings of far 3rd world countries, their look represents success & wealth, not style. Also, I can tell you it's some kind of dialogue with Nick Cave's "Higgs Boson Blues" where he expressed wishes how he'd like to be buried. Irony, irony everywhere.

Regarding Snowbringer, I gotta confess I don't know what else to say about it. He presented his classic untitled work, "bright ambient", "Andromeda music", "Northern lights soundtrack" — and there's not much to add. I believe now he moves to a different sound, cruder and firmer, and this split shows more a glance to his past than to his present. I hope this autumn or winter I'm gonna tell you about his latest release which, in my opinion, is so far his best.

And now you may download this sampler for free (flac; instant download; if broken, please change file type to .rar) and check it out!

Stay tuned! I'm sorta worried we release only a couple of projects this year, but I keep dreaming of expanding our label and of new physical releases.

Sincerely yours,
John "Grey Lenses" Grey

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