AMN Reviews: Piblokto – Colourless Fields (Ujikaji)

Piblokto undertakes an emotional journey across a largely featureless landscape, all the way from the Siberian wastelands to the “plateau of placid abandonment” in India. Taking his name from a possibly mythical psychological disorder suffered only by residents of the High Arctic, a kind of cabin fever, Alexius Cai´s guitar is sound medicine, classically voicing the hopeful lonesome and the heart-lifting elegiac, brushed quietly up against by droning electronics and ringing sitar.

The effect is chillingly beautiful on the opening ”West of the Sun” and warmingly so on the title track. On a “Long Walk” he is is joined by an opinionated electric violin. In fact, Cai enjoys the company of several travelling companions en route (Leslie Low, Andrew Lim, Joan Chew, Evan Tan), contributing just the right washes of faded yellows, greens, and browns on acoustic and electric guitar and “additional sounds”.

Mastered by James Plotkin, ”Colourless Fields” is only just over thirty minutes long but seems to hang in the air for far longer. A vinyl version is being prepared for release in June and will feature artwork by compelling contemporary Russian painter Denis Forkas Kostromitin.

Stephen Fruitman