AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Sonologyst & Kshatriy – Time is the Enemy (2016; Unexplained Sounds Group)

Before Raffaele Pezzella became known for running the Unexplained Sounds Group of labels and curating experimental music from around the world, he recorded over a dozen albums as Sonologoyst (a stage name that he still uses in recent efforts). Time is the Enemy is a collaboration with Russian sound artist Bulychev Sergey. As I explore the Sonologyst back catalog, I hope to find time to write more about it, as Pezzella and company have put out some very strong material that remains overlooked by many.

Pezzella and Sergey draw from history, philosophy, literature, and film, mostly sticking to esoteric concepts. The largely-improvised music fits this mold, with a heavy emphasis on experimental drone and electroacoustic ambient. Four of the five tracks are collaborations of this duo, while one was the effort of only Sergey (though it appears that Pezzella provided editing).

The overall sound is fairly consistent throughout, with low-frequency drones virtually constant while the upper registers incorporate a more diverse set of features. The pace is deliberate, haunting rather than hurried.

Said features include cosmic, burbling synth, foreboding chords, sculpted feedback, and various cracklings, rumblings, and blended static. Unaltered Mind combines slow-moving chord patterns, feedback, and electroacoustic elements in a foreboding, cinematic mix. Venus Smile employs chanted vocals, cavernous synth, and shimmering static. Self Luminosity is the solo effort from Sergey, with a watery and spacious feel, consisting of a handful of synth themes with fluttering effects. Chronopolis employs dark chording, harsher tones, and discordant textures. The title track rounds things out with a more pastoral approach yet still exudes disquiet. Reminiscent of Robert Rich circa 1995-2000, the synth is accompanied by clicking and popping effects as well as high-frequency waves.

Despite being six years old, Time is the Enemy sounds fresh and is a more than worthwhile way of spending 50 minutes. But be warned, as soon as you finish the album, you’ll want to start it up again.