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Yuri Morozov – Strange Angels

Buried Treasure

Yuri Morozov - Strange Angels

Kept underground by the Soviets for too many years, Yuri Morozov‘s legacy is finally spreading its wings and flying into your ears. His Inexplicable and Human Extinction albums house some of the most unhinged electronic experiences I’ve tasted for a long while, and this teasing compilation from Buried Treasure scoops a lot of the same, whilst getting fruity with the progressive tinkles.

An eclectic approach that opens your mind like a cleavered melon, especially when the Serbian yodelling comes into play. This baby navigates some groovesome new age utopias and dizzy prog sensibilities. Comparisons like Magma and Goblin slide into focus, but the merchandise here is firing off in a dazzling myriad of punches and tone-torn somersaults to be nicely pigeonholed, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The sound creeps in there, a touch of the familiar, fluid basslines and hawking percussive rhythms mixing with spritely splinters and space-age spiritualism until you are hijacked by the tonal extremes, a musique concrète that’s playfully pawed on “Machine Dancing”, sounding like radiophonic torture of R2D2. Some bits sound so modern, whilst others feel like they are still revelling in a ’70s coma of excess, then you’ve got the contrasting smooch of “Avida”, all plaintive twinkle and sweet synthesis. An olive branch that extends to the balalaika majestics of “Blue Star Wander”, the gentle bubblings of the title track – all hinting at Yuri’s classical leanings – that sense of enlightenment flickering steadily through.

But for me it’s the more out-there tracks that light up my cranium. The metallic conversations of “Return To Atlantis” bringing to mind Forbidden Planet‘s traipsing tones and wiggly worms of intrigue. The jazzing fizz and tri-active crispiness that is “For Sadly All”, whose keylined tractions chromatically slide a slur of Russian. A vibe that holds to a pulsing itch, mirages into a menacing vocode that gets all weirdly soul brother before “Algamaguma” plunks out the crown jewels in a throat-sung deluxe of karateing undercuts and ninja(ing) Cyrillics. (Probably my second favourite track of the year too.)

You could say this packs plenty of surprises, but the Laibach vs James Brown boxing match of “Shall Come Forth The Demons” is something else, blunderbusting its curvaceousness in a raspy saw-tooth buzz. Closely followed by the glam-rock oddity that is “Ein, Zwei”, a whacked-out burn of Circle-esque theatrics that ends with your still beating heart glistening to its manic farewells, Aztec style.

Strange Angels is a Molotov of colourful explosion and exploration that hints at the joys still waiting to be unearthed.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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