Thursday, February 27, 2014

FIDELITY CASTRO: Grisha Shakhnes

Grisha Shakhnes
leave/trace LP
Glistening Examples GLEX-1301

With my discounted scotch sittin proper, let's talk tape dudes right quick. There are a shit-ton of em at work around this green world, some content to run the TV in the background and leave us to figger out the motives behind they's smothered mishegas. Some finna conceal they sources like folks stow tacos in they bras on the way into a movie megaplex. Others, the best of the species I reckon, leave just enough murk and squalor as-is and let the rest ride plain as a daylight drive-by; tuggin yer coat with seductive detritus but leaving enough wind and ungreased swingsets on which to stable yer soundholes. Grisha Shakhnes, ya mighta deduced, be in the latter crew. Born in Moscow he now be operatin' outta Tel Aviv (Is there even a regional context for this dude? Alla the Youtube footage sees dude settin' up in a cluttered apt whilst Endtroducing... of all thangs bumps on the stereo). Earlier releases came under the nom de sumpthin-er-other Mites: mostly a grip of CD-Rs and the occasional cut on a comp of drone and [oh the barf I've postponed at the sight of this word] "experimental" shits, but otherwise scarcely catching a quaff of heat outside the relatively small clan of field recording heads. Ya can count me as one, low profile though I be keepin'. Though you mighta also deduced I'm a touch jaded on the whole scene. Like so many thangs in this age, instant grat has lead to underdone loaves ya can just as soon form back into raw dough. And so few of the deserving cats at work in this area is makin' enough raw dough to release reasonable editions for the [admittedly mostly potential] masses.
This is Shakhnes's first release under his IRL handle and hoo boy yo, this is quite the entrance. As anybody what heard the Mites recordings can say, it ain't so much the sourcing but the deft hand workin that there mixer box machine into elevatin' and harnessin' the limited fidelity for maximum heft. I ain't just talkin' what mosta these folks cater in, i.e. texture and atmosphere. Like almost no other ferrous oxide peddler in my Rolodex, Shakhnes reduces music to shifts in volume and fundamental techniques (reversing, bass boosting, overlap, the blush of a good slow fade-in) most overlook for superfluous fireworks or aimless irreverence. It's a tall task but he conquers it like Jerusalem the chickpea. I'd throw some contempo parallels or ideological antecedents in yer maw but instead lemme put it to ya plain: Jason Lescalleet runs Glistening Examples what put this out. That there is stamp of approval and and context all cuddled up and spoonin' together. Most impressive, inspired and inspiring thang in this canon that's graced my house since The Breadwinner. Get at it before errybody else on ya block does samesies.

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