Steeped in history, the Russian city of Smolensk has an endearingly traditional feel to it. That’s why the emergence of producers like Gamayun and Indoor Plants AKA Vyacheslav Shutov might seem like a real curveball, especially coming from a city where the best-known musical export is classical composer, Mikhail Glinka. The exploits of Smolensk-born cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into space, are probably a better match for their expansive soundscapes. That said, the ex-USSR scene has become fertile ground for electronic experimentation – labels like Gost Zvuk Records and Muscut have made it their business to sign up music that varies from material influenced by exploratory styles like Kosmische and Musique Concrète to inimitable takes on house, techno and ambient. Udacha is another label that fits the mould, and marking the official debut for Indoor Plants, its latest release is no exception.
Picking a favourite was tough, but with hints of fourth world and early English electronic experimentation, ‘Dandelions’ has an undeniably bucolic quality we couldn’t resist. Waif-like synths pass over the nebulous amalgam resembling light trails or thin wisps of smoke, weaving through a forest of noodling basslines and pitter-patter percussion like tendrils. It wouldn’t be an Udacha release if this wasn’t all experienced through some sort of psychotropic lens, however. As the momentum shifts from one sequence to another, we slowly see the kaleidoscope turn, presenting another angle to view Shutov’s otherworldly vistas.
Udacha 15 is out now – buy the vinyl here.