From Chaos To Cosmos
Aleph is back with his second release, From Chaos To Cosmos. Six rhythmically-charged originals that seem light years removed from his days of fronting a metal band.
His classical roots though still seep through his compositions, as do those countless hours spent behind a drum kit. Here we also see him joined by a couple of our current favorite remixers, Jacob 2-2 and Distal, who each offer up their own unique take on his music…
In advance of Siberian producer Aleph’s new EP coming out in January on the King Deluxe imprint, here we have a video for the first track on the record, “Omerta.”
The video takes scenes from the 1985 French film Gwen, or the Book of Sand, by Jean-François Laguionie, in which a young girl journeys through a post-apocalyptic wasteland to relocate an abducted companion. The music itself is similar to other compositions sponsored by the Canadian label, and marries modern, hyperactive percussion with melodies reminiscent of Jean Michel Jarre and other synth-heavy Krautrock from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Aleph’s EP, with the working title From Chaos to Cosmos, comes out sometime next month and contains remixes by Distal and Jacob 2-2.
Hailing from Omsk, Siberia, Ivan Erofeev aka Aleph deposits his 2nd EP of knotty electronica on Canada’s King Deluxe label. Adroit and complex, his music is imbued with a restless rhythmic spirit and melancholic soul, evidenced in the skittering junglist patterns and noir-ish cosmic synth arrangement, or the pressure-split HipHop beats and almost accordion-like tones on ‘My Sad Story’. Adding some remixed energy, Distal jukes ‘Under a Layer of Ice’ with a twisted Footwork torque, and Jacob 2-2 dives deep into nautical boogie dub with his Ocean Probe mix of ‘Astyanax Mexicanus’.
Last March an excellent EP appeared from British Columbia, Canada, in which the King Deluxe netlabel showcased work by Siberian performer Ivan Erofeev, aka Aleph. As we mentioned on that first visit to his catalog, this young artist has now left his snowbound village (quite literally) and moved to the city of Omsk. His Canadian colleagues relay Erofeev’s enduring conviction that Omsk, despite its bright lights and better jobs, is still an excessively “cold, gray” place to live. As a result, he entertains fantasies of escaping back to the snow and trees. Erofeev, put simply, wants to get out of the city “and dreams of living [once more] in the Siberian wilderness.”
Whatever his tenuous location between city and forest, Erofeev continues to write music. Western reviewers have remarked that Aleph “blends various genres whilst holding a steady foot at the dubstep end. There are spacey sounds, unique beats, and some glitchy two-step feelings” throughout his small discography. These kindly words have now been amplified with the release of a new album today, entitled “From Chaos to Cosmos.”
Once the sampler was uploaded onto Soundcloud, the positive reactions could be recorded, being both loud and frequent: “You are amazing, man!”; “This is probably going to be on many 2012 Top Ten playlists”; “Wow, the whole album sounds wicked!”
Good reason to smile.
[photo of Ivan Erofeev with friend, 2012]
Erofeev, despite this success, remains tightlipped. He is happier to produce and/or recommend tracks through a range of social networks. The only text of substance evident since last year(!) has been a tiny promo-blurb from King Deluxe. The label’s staff remind us that Ivan has a classical education on the violin, but has slowly jettisoned both that instrument and tradition in favor a laptop – which ushers in a spiraling series of influences. “Ivan composes electronic music that’s inspired by many other performers – both from Russia and beyond.”
As his position within fading traditions and (absent) audiences leads to a sense of aesthetic “homelessness,” so new habits and patterns are established in order to map the slow progression from “chaos to cosmos.” A sense of home is marked out – sonically – amid bewildering numbers of unfamiliar musicians or the 1.1 million inhabitants of Omsk, all as yet strangers.
В январе Aleph выпускает свой дебютный EP, который получил название From Chaos to Cosmoso. Aleph решил побаловать слушателя предальбомным клипом на первый трек — Omerta. Видео нарезано из моментов фильма «Гвен» («Gwen») 1985-го года, снятого режиссёром Жаном-Франсуа Лагьёни (Jean-Francois Laguionie). Клип несёт в себе постапокалиптический характер и атмосферу ретрофутуризма, что очень подходит под композицию Aleph’a.
Релиз состоится на канадском лейбле King Deluxe. Саунд в стиле experimental idm с примесью sci-fi-атмосферы явно придётся по вкусу фанатам The Flashbulb и Aphex Twin.
Here’s a brand new tune/video combo from King Deluxe’s Aleph. Man’s got a new EP, entitled “From Chaos to Cosmos,” and it drops in January.
Quite often I switch on my soundcloud app on my computer to create some background music while I’m working so I can keep up with what people put up at SC in combination with my work. At some moment I was constantly going from my work to SC to check the music. 9 out 10 times it was some new stuff Aleph just had uploaded. Amazing music somewhere between IDM, electronics and 8bit. Perfect Lowriders music I would say.
He came to notice when he released his digital debut EP on King Deluxe: Haunt For Little Blind Fish. This first taste of this young Siberian producer had this freshness I liked: a re-assembling of styles. So I started following him on SC.
This new release From Chaos To Cosmos on King Deluxe again, has the same amazing blend of styles which inspires me. The piano in combination with thick bass layers, 80ies synth cathedrals, stuck into one song is great.
For the Distal footwork remix Distal didn’t have to do much to make this an great remix. Just switch on the Distal modus and use the Aleph sound library and voila a great remix. It proves how great the different layers of Aleph‘s music is.
Du nouveau chez King Deluxe, le collectif / label canadien. Aleph, un beatmaker russe, plus précisément sibérien… Donc, petit aparté pour ceux qui n’auraient pas vu (ou lu) le documentaire sur les blanches contrées de Sibérie réalisé par le magazine Vice : la Sibérie, ça craint pas mal.
Même s’il est originaire d’Omsk, un coin touristique, Ivan Erofeev ou Aleph, agé de 19 ans, n’a eu cesse de vouloir se barrer. Alors, en attendant d’être financièrement émancipé, la musique lui sert d’exutoire. Une formation classique – le violon – finalement dévolue aux contrôleurs électroniques, au Hip-Hop instrumental aussi. Tout en noirceur, complètement barré et riche, un second opus qui sent la névrose à plein nez.
Девятнадцатилетний Иван Ерофеев из Омска, или, как называют его друзья, «Фося», начал делать первые хип-хоп треки за домашним компом около пяти лет назад. Сейчас, буквально совсем скоро, выйдет второй релиз под псевдонимом Aleph King Deluxe – канадском лейбле, сфокусированном на звуке будущего. «From Chaos to Cosmos» — воспоминания о синтетическом краутроке конца семидесятых, рассказанные языком глитч-хопа. Сегодня на Big Echo – премьера самого драматичного трека с наступающего релиза, «Theatre of Matter», закручивающего слушателя в атмосферу пост-апокалиптического абсурда:
- Big Echo
Amazing. Aleph is the nom de plume of one Ivan Erofeev who, born in a Siberian village and now ensconced in still-remote Omsk, is all of eighteen years old. Not only that: From Chaos To Cosmos is his second release for King Deluxe, with the first, the EP Haunt For Little Blind Fish, having appeared in early 2011. While he received classical training on violin, Erofeev’s instrument of choice is the computer, as shown by this trippy batch of electronic instrumentals. Hip-hop’s part of the mix, naturally, but the Aleph sound resists such easy capture. Instead, the material draws upon an assortment of styles and influences, and sounds in places like the kind of thing one might expect from a Zomby or equivalent UK figure.
The new thirty-three-minute collection, dare we say, shows Erofeev maturing at an alarmingly rapid rate, with a track like “Omerta” evidencing a sophistication and command that we might expect from someone with at least a decade of production activity under his/her belt. What impresses most is the restraint that Erofeev brings to the breakbeat-heavy track, especially when it would be so easy to go in the other direction. That same combination of imagination and skill informs the release’s other tracks, whether it be the psychedelic explorations of “Melt of Time” or the exotic dramatics of “Theatre of Matter.” The “Distal Footwork Remix” of “Under a Layer of Ice” is, not surprisingly, jittery in the extreme, but that doesn’t make it any the less enjoyable. Elsewhere, an acoustic piano part adds a bit of old-world charm to the otherwise synthetic sound-world of “My Sad Story,” and “Astyanax Mexicanus (Jacob 2-2 Ocean Probe Dub)” ends the recording with a downtempo and surprisingly bluesy exercise in hip-hop swing. In these multi-layered constructions, 8-bit melodies and occasional dub bass lines rise to the forefront of Aleph’s complex beat programming and slippery rhythmning. One therefore might think of From Chaos To Cosmos as some ever-mutating future-funk re-imagining of Warp-styled IDM.
I don’t have it in front of me, but I know there’s a line or two in Phyllis Webb’s poetry book Hanging Fire that goes, “The proper response to a poem is another poem.” Rather than evaluate the merits and shortcomings of Aleph’s new EP, From Chaos to Cosmos, I’d like to enter into a more vital, fraught exchange. This is an attempt to fold over the relation of production and consumption into the discovery of the essentially stercoraceous nature of reproduction: processing, or processing-through (redundant, important), followed by delivery or expulsion. (See David Foster Wallace’s “The Suffering Channel” in Oblivion.)
In order to let the work generate its own response. To borrow is to begin, to have already begun: “Aleph is 18-year-old Ivan Erofeev, born in a Siberian village, now hailing from still-remote Omsk, which he describes as cold and gray, and leads to dreams of living in the wild.”
I. Siberia → Omsk
ears skim bio
oak bier isms
a moss biker, I
II. Ivan Erofeev
one fever via
fire nova eve
om / tare
IV. Melt of Time
teem to film
elf / mime / tot
felt me omit
motif — let me
V. My Sad Story
VI. Astyanax Mexicanus
a sunny ataxics exam
P.S. What goes undetected in an inability to coordinate voluntary movements? The blind cave tetra has no eyes. An inability to coordinate voluntary movements frustrates vertical structures. Lateral lines are acutely sensitive to changes in pressure. Complexity sometimes decreases, putting pressure on the teleological mythology of progress. Human forms are not especially coordinated. The distance between chaos and cosmos cannot be measured. If the wild is outside, the inside is still not a field of voluntary movements.
Siberian 19 year-old Ivan Koreev, also known as Aleph, has been busy working on his new single for King Deluxe records. The new EP, ‘From Chaos To Cosmos’, blends ambient jungle, broken beat Hip-Hop and Chillwave melancholia for a sombre jaunt through the annals of contemporary electronica. The video for ‘Omerta’ has already been featured on XLR8R and the single itself has received extensive coverage on Boomkat.
The new EP also features an outstanding couple of remixes, the first a Distalreworking of ‘Under A Layer Of Ice’ (the original can be streamed below) and the second a Jacob 2-2 reworking of ‘Astyanax Mexicanus’. Distal takes ‘Under A Layer Of Ice’ from a scatty, pitched up Chillwave number to an understated Footwork shaker with rattling tom toms and staccato bass, while Jacob 2-2 takes ‘Astyanax Mexicanus’ into much dubbier territory without descending into wobbly bass anarchy.
In 1945, Argentinean author George Luis Borges published a short story called The Aleph. In the story, the Aleph is a point in the universe which contains all other points, an infinite vantage point from which all angles of the universe are visible simultaneously, “without distortion, overlapping or confusion.” Aleph has a number of other meanings as well, notably in early language and in mathematical set theory, all of which carry some connotation of the infinite. Infinity is a dominant theme in From Chaos to Cosmos, the debut EP by Serbian born producer Aleph. Track titles like ‘Theatre of Matter’ and ‘Melt of Time’ connote the cosmic and metaphysical aesthetic of the CD.
Sonically, the music is almost unrelentingly dense. Hip-hop is a definite ancestor but the album pulls in a rich gamut of electronic genres including dubstep, electro and house. The result is warped, unquantised electronica that draws on a similar sonic palette to many artists on the Brainfeeder label (Flying Lotus’ 2010 Cosmogramma is a definite reference point). Where the album is at its strongest it moves organically and unexpectedly, as in the stuttering beats and 8-bit game sounds of opening track ‘Omerta’. Where it is at its weakest it gets trapped in dogged grooves that repeat but never grow.
Throughout the release there is a sense of elasticity in regard to time. Unquantised beats, for those unfamiliar with the term, are those that fall slightly late or early on the pulse, they eschew the metric accuracy achievable by computers and instead opt for human imprecision. Aleph uses this technique to hypnotic effect, stretching and compressing time around the gravitational pull of the kick drum.
From the mosaic-like cover art by Tim Hodkinon to the mosaic-like construction of the musicFrom Chaos to Cosmos concerns itself with intersecting lines of music and genre. Whether these lines are visible “without distortion, overlapping or confusion” is up for debate, but to my taste the most exciting moments are when they are not, when the cosmos is downplayed and the chaos is allowed a little more room to breathe.
There are few joys that rate higher for a music blogger than the much beloved “naming of a new sub-genre.” So Aleph’s latest, From Chaos to Cosmos, is a special treat for us today, kiddies, as it’s the first time i get to use and you get to read about blunted robo-ghost-glitch-hop. What else can we call this? Sure sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a movie about break dancing, un-undead androids haunting their still operating robotic butler brethren as the latter group of automatons attempts to save the robo-president from synthetic vampires to me. Of course, i smoke a LOT of the reefer, so there is that. Regardless, if you’re looking to get your electro groove on, baby, this King Deluxe madman has the goods for what ails you, spreading cosmic chaos since the beginning of time immemorial. Or at least the past few minutes, son. Don’t ask me, i just work here.
King Deluxe artist Aleph’s new release From Chaos to Cosmos on a basic level starts as a gash in the spatial fabricate. Ivan Erofeev (Aleph) packs dense, unique sounds together to construct a soundscape that ascends to expansive places in the universe. In a way the tape feels all encompassing, burgeoning with a raw energy that engulfs by way of break beat drums, star smeared synth, and jolting effects. Those elements accompanied by remixes from the minds of Jacob 2-2 and Distal makes for a superb second release from the 19 year old producer that solidifies his unique niche in sound. If you’re searching for a new, vibrant region in sound this would be a quintessential place to start.
Siberian-born beat scientist Aleph (aka Ivan Erofeev) returns with, From Chaos to Cosmos, where he continues to dismantle conventional beats and reconstruct them according to a strange, asymmetrical architecture. Within his warped framework, the St. Petersburg-based producer fills space with shadowed digital textures, ultraviolet cosmic ambience and humble, overcast melodies.
True to the title, From Chaos to Cosmos starts with an utterly broken beat, “Omerta”. But as the album carries on, beats evolve into more tangible, conventional forms; peaking at the album’s stylish banger, “My Sad Story” (which kicks in around 6:50 on the album preview below.
Although From Chaos to Cosmos lacks the lush density of Aleph’s debut, the Haunt for Little Blind Fish EP (such a rad name), the more spacious approach to texture and melody is a better match for his mutated, geometric beats.
From Chaos to Cosmos closes with a smoothed out, booming re-cut of “Astyanax Mexicanus” (from the Haunt EP). It’s still Aleph, so the song is nicely warped and glitched, but the more immediate, tangible thump is an excellent way to end such an ethereal, restless trip.