Riverz End: Transfer

The full-length debut album by Riverz End (real name Roman Kolesnikov), Transfer is an uncompromising exercise in cybertronic IDM and, one presumes, an indication of what's currently being created within the Russian electronic scene or at least within Lagunamuch's corner of it. Words like percolating, restless, combustible, and alchemical come to mind while listening to the album's resolute machine music, especially when one is exposed to endlessly mutating, fire-breathing organisms such as “N+1” and “Score.”

Transfer often sounds like next-generation Autechre, like the experimental material the hypothetical spawn of Sean Booth and Rob Brown conceivably might create after reaching an age where they're able to start playing with their progenitors' toys. It's worth noting, however, that Transfer's twelve tracks are glitch-free and therefore sound more like descendants of the pre-Confield Autechre. Beats occasionally lend Transfer's material a firm foundation. A downtempo groove imposes some semblance of stability upon “Minor” at album's end, while the locomotive chatter of drum machine beats powers “Optimum Confusion” with an unstoppable cyberfunk pulse. Kolesnikov does let up on the controls now and then, thankfully. “Sad Sailor” plays like a welcome rest stop of sorts, somewhat like a three-minute refuel before the spaceship resumes its intergalactic travels.

While the material is largely synthetic in sound design, acoustic drum sounds surface during “Overlook,” even if they're sometimes overshadowed by a dark synthetic mass that threatens to bury them altogether, and, rather inexplicably, acoustic guitar strums materialize near the end of “Shine.” There's no shortage of atmospheric scene-painting (“Shine” perhaps the most dynamic example), and Kolesnikov is clearly no shrinking violet: Transfer is a bold, personal statement. Uneasy listening it might be, but there's more than enough room for that in the listening universe, too.

April 2012