Romislokus - Digital Autumn - 2002
The Russian Prog Band Romislokus plays an original hybrid of electronic and acoustic fusion. While on the surface, the swirling apparent dominance of electronic keys washes with the coldness of electronica, there is a foundation of acoustic instruments that are woven into the mix with extreme subtlety. The final overall sound is very relaxed and laid back - a perfect easy listen while you are working. But at the same time, if one wanted to dive into the sound, the complexities are truly there.
The acoustic side of Romislokus' sound is represented by violin, cello, drums, and vocals, while the electronic side is represented by keyboards, computers. The band states their use of Electric Guitar, which is subtle but again, effectual, serves as a bridge to bind both extremes of music.
The band consists of Evgeniy Gorelov on keyboards; Mikhail Voronov on guitars; Yuri Smolnikov on guitars, vocal; Dmitriy Shelemetev hitting and programming the drums, Maksim Karavaev working the computers; Mikhail Brovarnik playing bass; and Irina Unakovskaya on Cello; with Anna Goya on violin and vocal.
"The Snow of the Rails" is an ambient intro that takes off where the first Romislokus album began but "Face of a City", the next track, takes us to where the album ended. So the first two songs were more or less a review of the band's overall sound.
"78" gives us a bit of funk, the cellos and then some electric guitar. I'm reminded quite a bit of the excellent art rock band, Tindersticks on "It is Winter". "Miss the Target" is also a stand out track with a slowly building tempo. The foundation of music is built on computer samples that is very reminiscent of the creative early days of Brian Eno, especially his days with Roxy Music.
"A tree by the wall" is also excellent for it's languid guitar. "Tuner" is filled with swirling electronica and the closer "Smoke" is back to the laid back melodic crooner that makes the band a Slavic, very modern spin of the experimental elements of Roxy Music with the ensemble feel of bands like After Crying.
There is not a bad track on the CD. Each of the ten songs is very different and well developed. Song lengths vary from about 3 ½ minutes up to 7 minutes, the average falling around 5-6 minutes.
The band is skilled enough to pull of the opposing sounds of electronic and acoustic without allowing the forces to oppose one another. If you would like a comfortable, unassertive listen from time to time, Romisklokus is doing something new and fresh. But something about it also seems familiar, dating back to the days when electronic music was still a part of the analog world.