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Szkieve, "Ekranoplanes"

This concept mini-CD accurately represents its subject, massive plane/boat hybrids known as ekranoplanes, in sound. Dmitri Della Faille (Szkieve)'s passion for his material is evident on this 22 minute homage to, and study of, these anomalies of Russian scientific technology.  The opening "Le Songe de R.E.A." evokes an ominous mood, conjuring up images of the metal beast preparing for take off. Sharp, shrill electronic tones and analog synthesizer miasma cut through the sounds of slowly chiming bells. "Le S.M. 2P" focuses on whirring and chugging sounds that recall those made by an engine working to keep the large entity afloat or aflight. The cycling rhythmic patterns and steady moaning tones of "Le K.M." mimic the steady flight of the vehicle soaring through the air as a plane. "L'Orlyonok" gathers the various strands presented in the shorter tracks into a piece that seems to be a musical response to the other tracks. This is the only track that features beats and a melodic theme running through it. "Le Lun" perfectly captures the feeling of a plane that was once steadily flying at a fixed altitude suddenly dropping as it prepares for landing. For the first three of its four and a half minutes the persistent sound of the vessel sailing through the sky is realized by the sound of one loud, all-encompassing drone. As the sound fades out gradually during the last minute it reveals layers of engine hum and the pitter patter of various working parts. In creating such a vivid aural description of his subject, Della Faille presents a full experience in a short amount of time. Although this is a 3" CD, the tracks don't feel incomplete. Instead, Ekranoplanes is the musical equivalent of a short film, and is successful on several levels. As a tribute, it forms enough of a picture to be directly connected to the subject, yet it allows the listener enough space to place the story in any setting the imagination can invent.



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