Marso & Gala: Promise / Monochrome
Blu Mar Ten Music

Regardless of whatever associations Blu Mar Ten Music has with drum'n'bass, this two-track single by Marso (Alexei Manezhin, born and raised in the city of Krasnoyarsk) & Gala (Gala Kucherenko, born in a small Taiga village north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory) is decidedly not drum'n'bass. The duo, who met in 2002 but only began making music together in 2012, channel their creative energy into another direction altogether, as attested to be the wintry vocal-based settings presented on this release.

Certainly it's hard not to think of winter when Gala's sultry voice emerges out of ice-cold mist at the beginning of “Promise” before Marso chimes in with a rich array of wide-screen atmospherics and beat science. Sonic scene-painting at its finest, “Promise” offers five minutes of entrancing synth flourishes and Rhodes twinklings, all of it crowned by the purr of Gala's singing. A different side of the project is presented in “Monochrome,” specifically one rooted in downtempo hip-hop with the hypnotic grandeur of the vocal matched by the panoramic sweep of the instrumental accompaniment. It's detail-packed stuff that makes a powerful impression, even if it's only a ten-minute sampling of the duo's sound.

May 2015