Bardoseneticcube & Shinkiro - Beyond The Edge Of The Universe [Zhelezobeton - 2019]Collaboration albums in the genre of experimental music have always been interesting proposition, as the blend between different sonic approaches-often create a distinctive one-off sound. Even though Dark Ambient, as a genre, is widespread and a huge number of projects work in this style, there are a certain number of the most respected artists whose work always deserve the close attention from fans of this genre. The Russian project Bardoseneticcube, working at the junction of Dark Ambient and Industrial, headed by Igor Potsukaylo, is one of such respected projects.
The first album of Bardoseneticcube, was released back in 1998 on its label Puzzle God. Over the twenty years of the project’s existence, its discography has fifty seven full-length albums, five singles, and EP. The number of full-length albums of the project includes several joint albums, two of which, Bardoseneticcube released with Japanese musician Manabu Hiramoto and his dark ambient project Shinkiro. This project began in 2003. The debut album called Deep Blue was released in 2005 by the French label Athanor. At the moment, Shinkiro's discography includes nine full-length albums and one mini-album. So, in the discography of Bardoseneticcube and Shinkiro, there are two joint albums. The first one, called Four Noble Truths, was released in 2011 by Athanor. The second album Inner and Outer Space was released in 2015 on Zhelezobeton.
This year Russian label Zhelezobeton released the third joint album of Bardoseneticcube and Shinkiro - Beyond The Edge Of The Universe. The album is released either a CD, cassette or digital format. All these are available for ordering on the label's website, as well as on the Bandcamp pages of a label and projects.
The album cover shows the vector geometric structure of blue-pink color, through the edges of which an asteroid cluster flies. The titles of the projects and the album are also included in these geometric lines. In the center of this structure is the name of the album "Beyond The Edge Of The Universe", made in a simple white tech font. The cover author has arranged the title as follows - "Beyond The Edge" is written in its usual form, and "Of The Universe" is located below and is reflected vertically. In the same way are the names of the projects, made in the same font, but smaller. The inscription Bardoseneticcube is above "Beyond The Edge" and the name of the project Shinkiro is under "Of The Universe" and is also vertically reflected. All these elements are located on the background of stellar outer space. It seems to me that despite the very professional design of the cover, it lacks ideas and atmosphere. The image is thought out and balanced, but it has the effect of a design object, rather than a full-fledged artistic canvas. Perhaps this was the idea of two collaborators, but I felt it didn't quite fit the musical part of the album.
The album consists of four fairly long tracks and has a total duration of fifty and a half minutes. It is very difficult to describe in words this multitude of atmospheric sounds flowing over and into each other, synthesizer passages, noise elements, subtle audible nuances, and ghostly vocal lines. By the way, two vocalists took part in the recording of the album. Their voices give a very interesting intonation to the general sound and mood. Even though the album turned out to be rather solid, how ever I will discuss each track separately, since, as it seemed to me, each of them has their own personality.
The first track "Messenger from the Galactic Core" lasts just under sixteen minutes. The beginning of the track is quite slow and calm. Against the background of atmospheric drones, cautious tapping, squeaking, and ringing are heard. All this reminds a soundtrack to some kind of Buddhist rite. Then, the saturation and loudness of the composition increases and many new sound elements enter. By the end of the track, the sound acquires full strength and is saturated with noise and industrial elements.
The second composition, "Dark Matter", lasts almost eleven minutes. The structure of the track almost coincides with the first composition. This is a gradual increase in saturation. But, unlike the first track, the sound here is calmer and sublime, with a lighter atmosphere. On this track, there are elements of ghostly female vocals, which are very organically woven into the abundance of other sounds. Toward the end of the composition, when the total sound saturation has reached its maximum point, we can hear the synthesizer arpeggio, typical of classical electronics.
The third track lasts a little less than twelve minutes and is called "The Void". It seemed to me that this is the most gloomy piece of the album. In this track, there is a large number of industrial elements, as well as 'cosmic' effects. Despite the apparent cosmic atmosphere, this track reminded me of some works by Raison D'tre and Desiderii Marginis.
The final track is "Ultimate Fate of the Universe", and lasts exactly twelve minutes. Artists return us to a ritualistic Buddhist atmosphere, supported by atmospheric synth passages in fairly light colors. To my surprise, in the middle of the track, a clearly distinguishable female vocal enters, singing a Russian folk song about nature. This contrasts somewhat with the general atmosphere, but it sounds quite interesting. By the end of the track, the atmosphere becomes sadder. And the album ends on this note.
It should be said that the tracks included in the album were written over a rather long period - from 2015 to 2018. However, the artists managed to create a single atmosphere. As a result, we have a very serious, solid album in the genre of Dark Ambient, with elements of Industrial and light ethnic motifs. I can't that this is an innovative album, but a few fragments seemed to me very inspiring. This is a good, strong work, without any claim to originality or been a masterpiece. However, I can see my self playing the album again and again.Sergey Pakhomov