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chanel no. 303
hymen   2001
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album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 8-Dec-2001
roman belavkin is the person behind solarx, the founder of russian art-tek label and probably one of the most acclaimed russian electronic artists. a few years ago I got a hold of "x-rated", and I would have never imagined back then that he would make his way to hymen records.

"bionic man" opens side a with bubbling breakbeats integrated in power rhythms that might remind you of huren oh zhark label, but infinitely more playful; staccato of punchy percussion streaming along quirky analog melodies creates peculiar streamlined atmosphere.

by the end of side a, the seeming simplicity disappears and all the bouncy simple rhythms gradually become tangled up mess of bouncy electronics, still punctuated by prominent breakbeats.

"double bubble" that opens side b is a wonderful composition where analog melody and complex beat structure dominates chaotic percussion twitches and all kinds of splintery idm cookies that swirl and stutter creating a complex canvas for the melody.

"speedbal" continues with more industrial strength high-bpm technoid rhythms contrasted by analog samples. an exercise in complex "percussion management."

finally "chanel no. 303" closes with yet another melodic composition sparkling with simple analog melodies and heavy fast-paced breakbeats.

this combination of tough breakbeats and playful analog melodies is something not uncommon, but solarx does it in his own way, creating a fragile and yet powerful mixture.

I suppose once you start looking deeper at more technical side of the music, you can justify appearance of this project on hymen, as it gradually proceeds to disassemble breakbeats and idm, creating its own strangely emotional and yet highly mechanized atmosphere.

although national pride tells me otherwise, I still cannot praise this album too much. it undoubtedly has great tracks, great production, distinct atmosphere, and quite a few interesting sounds, but overall seems to have this "assembled" feel something that roman probably strived for, rising above simple melodies of idm. or maybe I am being too critical, trying too hard not be biased? listen to this record and judge for yourself.

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