Svarog: Interstellar EP
Black String Records

In a number of ways, Svarog's Interstellar aligns itself clearly to other releases in Black String Records' catalogue, yet in at least one way it departs from the label norm. On the one hand, Ukrainian producer Oleksa Moroz's material oozes a dark, elemental vibe that comes from its underground techno design, and the tracks' carefully considered arrangements are free of anything superfluous. The change-up in this case surfaces in the title track, which apparently features the first-ever 4/4 kick drum beat to grace a Black String release. That departure aside, it's business as usual, with Moroz—a rather unusual individual who looks to mountains and architecture for inspiration and who reportedly enjoys playing the reed pipe—serving up four atmospheric, industrial-strength tracks on the outing.

Very much in the spirit of the label's sensibility, the opening “Distant Line” bolts from the gate with an insistent broken-beat rhythm as its power source. With the changes in the cut's dynamics and polished sound design executed with restraint and effected almost subliminally, Moroz's artful touch is already evident at this early juncture. The clubbier title track follows, its frothy beat bolstered by a relentless bass throb and thick layers of sooty atmosphere, and the cut registering as machine-music hellbent on following its preprogrammed path. As active and disorienting as a blinding snowstorm, “Rangers” works itself into a dizzying lather for six gyroscopic minutes, after which “Sunset Trip” crowns the release with one final punchy dose of Svarog thunder.

February 2016