Ligovskoï: Dilip EP and Remixes

Ligovskoï's Dilip release is interesting for a number of reasons, but perhaps the thing that's most interesting about it is the way it presents such contrasting sides of the Ligovskoï project: the double-EP's first half showcases Nikolaï Azonov and Valerio Selig's talent for ambient soundscaping, whereas the second half—remixes of the duo's four originals—generally beefs up the Ligovskoï sound with a heavier rhythm dimension.

There's a striking backstory to the release as well, given that the seed for the group's debut outing on Dement3d was planted at one of Ligovskoï's first live performances, which occurred in 2011 in Paris where artists provided live ambient soundtracks for Peter Hyams' Outland. Ligovskoï's performance was such a standout, it prompted the commissioning of remixes by In Aeternam Vale, Abdulla Rashim, Antigone & Francois X, and HBTVSK (Heartbeat & Voiski).

Ligovskoï's originals are fog-drenched, slowly mutating dronescapes so epic in scale the listener feels consumed by them. Blinding light seems to emanate from the center of their dense swirl, its intensity muffled somewhat by the haziness of the presentation. A quietly seething colossus, “Goha” provides an especially powerful example of the duo's approach, though the other three are no less effective in their impact. Subterranean rumblings and alien disturbances bring an unsettling ambiance to the kosmische sound design of “G.Y.,” while a plaintive melody triggers a droning mass's intensification during “Dilip.”

On the remix front, French electronic pioneer In Aeternam Vale amplifies the already powerful sound design of “G.Y.” with a foreboding reboot, after which Abdulla Rashim bolsters the rhythmic drive of “Labiate” with softly pulsating synthesizer patterns. Their treatments set the stage for the most club-oriented of the remixes, which involve Dement3d co-founders Francois X and Heartbeat pairing with Antigone and Voiski, respectively, for techno versions of Ligovskoï's material. The clockwork groove in Antigone & Francois X's “Dilip” pounds with unapologetic fury, but it's the eleven-minute “Goha” overhaul by HBTVSK that proves to be more striking for its slow-boil and incremental build. Heartbeat & Voiski's version ends up offering a near-perfect marriage of Ligovskoï's soundscaping and their own rhythm-focused treatments. As well-crafted as Ligovskoï's originals are, it's the closing techno tracks that make the strongest impression.

August-September 2014