Grundik Kasyansky & Alexey Sysoev – Selene Variation

4.22.22 by Matty McPherson

Let’s talk about the crackly pops – not Budzo or Pop Rocks or New Coke, I mean that tacit sound that appears within your friend’s collection of worn vinyl. A few bleepsters or crate diggers like to play with the crackles and make for an atmospheric, “temporally unfrozen” type of listen. An addictively bloody sound I’ve always found to be; perhaps a reminder of my own psychology, which has been much too heightened this past month with sciatica. I cannot be 100% certain that Grundik Kasyansky & Alexey Sysoev were thinking exactly in that manner with their Selene Variation cassette for Dinzu Artefacts. What I do know though, is that those crackles are practically the foreground of their four tracks and that they are quite enticing soundscapes, giving off a vague, icy pulses.

The general dealio here is that Kasyansky is taking Sysoev’s Selene piano piece (released in 2015) and manipulating it with an unspecified “feedback synthesizer.” What was classical piano now feels like the shards of a funhouse mirror, while the minimal electronics offering a microhouse means to escape into. These four pieces are resultantly precocious compositions that evoke ghostly aberrations and ominous fog, even when there’s a chilled, libidioless BPM running through things. Variation I bobs and weaves, as the pulsing crackles contend for this music to be placed in the most austere, haunted chill out room. Meanwhile, Variation II slowly fizzles the piano to the edges of the mix, leaving that pulse and the quips of Kasyanskys electronics at the forefront. It’s a patient, deep listen that seems to be less of an experiment than a laying out of parts.

A theory which is confirmed with side B’s single longform, Variation IV. Syosecv’s snippets of the piano piece are placed for great, threatening (not frightening) effect. They jump and quiver against the jitters of Kasyansky’s electronics. Themselves on this track, there’s a real sense of direction, from the bizarre dub-pulse hiding at a tertiary level near the start, to the computer-machine sentience of the piece’s midpoint. When the two begin to meet for their final third, it’s a cyber-esque banshee beat. Yet it’s all wiggled out and white-eyed, peering dead ahead with a thousand yard stare. Ah cripes, I didn’t mean to make this one sounds so scary, but dammit! The duo really did make a nail bitter of a closer. Dinzu Artefacts ya did it again!

Edition of 100 available at the Dinzu Artefacts Bandcamp page.