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act 173 · szkieve · ékranoplanes · 3"cd

tracklist:
le songe de r.e.a., les plans du bureau, le s.m. 2p, le k.m., l'orlyonok, le lun, le spasatel.

szkieve (pronounced s-kee-vh, a misspelled equivalent for the word "skew" in the brussels' dialect) is dimitri della faille who founded the project in 1998. he was born and raised belgian and is currently living in montréal / canada. dimitri is currently working on his phd thesis in political sociology and during his graduate studies he visited several universities in argentina, belgium, canada and the united states (as a student or a scholar). besides several szkieve releases, dimitri has also collaborated with martiens go home and vromb, made a split-vinyl with ammo and performed live in europe and in north and south america.

szkieve's music is made of intense and complex compositions that assemble rich textures and expansive sounds. this is then combined with chords, string melodies and high-pitched synthetic tones. szkieve's sound explorations could be described as 'scientific', comparable to the works of modern electronic composers. but instead of 'dry, academic experiments', szkieve transforms moods into music and the result is quite unusual for this genre.

'ékranoplanes' is a concept work:
because they require huge amount of resources and money, science and technologies have always been at the mercy of politics. this mini cd is a study of a lost technology of the former soviet union. that is, the futuristic vision of one man confronted by the needs of a country engaged in a battle for the world. ékranoplanes are the platypus of transportation, they are both planes and boats or something entirely else. these incredible monsters of steel and oil broke the waves of the caspian sea while intelligence around the world were still trying to figure out what they were. made of tons of rivets, motors and grey matter - those having the chance to spot such a special animal never forgot the sound of its metal bouncing on water or its wings cutting the air. with this release, szkieve renders the grandeur of this forgotten technology and pays a tribute to the developments of modern science.

packaging: 3"cd-digipak

szkieve discography:
ékranoplanes. 3" cd. ant-zen act173. 2005
le pavillon des oiseaux / le monorail. (collaboration w/vromb). 7". hushush hsh15. 2003
des rhythmes de passage. cd. hushush hsh11. 2003
une occasion de chute (collaboration w/martiens go home!). cd. hushush hsh10. 2002
perturbacée / terra amata (split w/ ammo). 12". ad noiseam adn14. 2002
des germes de quelque chose. cd. hushush hsh02. 2000
palimspeste. full-length mp3 release. www.szkieve.org. 1999

szkieve website: www.szkieve.org

reviews:

black
der belgo-kanadier szkieve hat schon immer gern in avantgardistischen und electroakustischen elektroniken gegründelt. nach seiner kollaboration mit vromb scheint auch das interesse für retro-futuristische technik erweckt worden zu sein. waren seine früheren arbeiten (man denke an das erste album auf hushush und die split mit ammo für ad noiseam) noch radikal-abstrakt und tönend, so ist diese kleine 3"cd ein schatzkästchen an atmosphären und pulsierender mattigkeit. er spürt den ekranoplans nach, den auch im ostblock bis in die 1970er noch sagenumwobenen sowjetischen flugboot-hybriden am kaspischen meer. und so fiept, rauscht, zwirbelt es metallisch und geheimnisvoll. dabei sind die analogen ambientstücke nie selbstzweck. mal pulsiert es dynamisch, mal summt es säuselnd. aber immer mit einer musikalität, die ich so von ihm nicht erwartet hätte. sehr zart, sehr mechanisch, sehr schön. kratziger vromb mit einer firnis aus mittelwellenrauschen und schellackknistern. (tô)

igloo
when i bought a vertical cd player for my room, i had not thought of 3" cd's. luckily, i have only two mini-cd's, but i must play them in my cd walkman. one of these is ekranoplanes, and listening to it with headphones unleashes the whole beauty of the conceptual work of szkieve. he has been inspired by ekranoplanes, a russian hybrid between an airplane and a boat, and you can hear the results in the seven tiny tracks that resemble the gigantic engines starting, or the immense metallic surfaces of the wings hitting water or air. it's not just pure experimentation, not mere academy --the sound design is rich and deep, frozen melodies break through tinny clicks and gloomy buzzes, giving you feelings of mythological technology. the artwork doesn't give you a precise idea of how bizarre those airplanes were, seeing the pictures, i can hardly imagine how such things could fly. this music is a very fascinating, a disturbing ode to mysterious machines. (luca maini)

octopus
Szkieve est un projet canadien qui aime la complexité dans les compositions électroniques. A mi-chemin entre une électro ambient minimaliste et une musique concrète colorée, le mini CD Ekranoplanes est un nouvel assemblage de textures monochromes, de souffles froids, et de feulements métalliques, de pouls sourds. Mais c'est une musique climatique, dont les tentatives mélodiques trahissent une volonté de civiliser la machine. C'est s×rement là le lien artistique avec la thématique du disque qui se veut un hommage aux technologies oubliées. (Jérôme Langlais)

grooves
who says electronic music isn't about anything belgian grad student (studying in montreal) dimitri della faille has an elaborate concept for this seven-track 3-inch cd: an homage to a seaplane relic not unlike howard hughes' famed "spruce goose" and related to hovercraft. track titles refer to different names of various soviet "wing-in-ground" craft. well, at least it's not another tribute to an ancient synth or drum machine. as you might expect, szkieve unleashes an electronic din to sonically evoke these massive mechanical assemblages. "le s.m. 2p" sounds like a takeoff, complete with whirling propellers, before devolving into an ambient drone. other tracks suggest a flight crew continuously fiddling with the various knobs in the cockpit ("le k.m."), or engines in various stages of throttle ("le lun," "le spasatel'). while the back story gives the disc a little context, ekranoplanes also works as just a restless and dark slice of industrial ambience. (sean portnoy)

neural
un piccolo dischetto (cd 3") assai interessante, ancora una volta dalla ant-zen, etichetta di operose formichine elettroniche, che per mano (e computer) di dimitri della faille rielaborano idealmente i suoni di una delle tecnologie dimenticate dell'unione sovietica, una sorta di hovercraft, metafora del disagio epocale che procura il passaggio verso orizzonti immateriali, piuttosto che esaltazione della grandezza industriale sovietica (i nostalgici sono avvisati). szkieve (si pronouncia s-kee-vh) in appena ventidue minuti, riesce quasi a convincerci del suo approccio 'scientifico', modulando vibrazioni elettroniche d'antan, ricche di tessiture, di variazioni di tono, seppur minimali nelle forme, astratte ed epiche. per nulla accademico (come molti nuovissimi che fanno ancora il verso alle avanguardie storiche) ma neanche allineato all'omologazione di certe pattuglie estreme del contemporaneo. non male. (aurelio cianciotta)

brainwashed
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. (jim siegel)

d-side
distillant son oeuvre au compte-gouttes, le belge dimitri della faille (canadien d'adoption depuis de longues années), par ailleurs créateur du label hush hush, ne nous en offre pas moins à chaque fois une musique ciselée comme un diamant, d'une précision qui justifie à elle seule le recours à des formats plutôt qu'à des albums. mini-cd trois pouces, ékranoplanes est, comme les autres travaux de szkieve, un disque conceptuel, consacré cette fois-ci aux monstres technologiques imaginés par l'ex-urss et aux relations ambiguës entre la science et la politique. a travers les absurdes ékranoplanes, léviathans d'acier à mi-chemin entre le bateau et l'avion, szkieve compose une oeuvre évocatrice oŁ des sonorités rouillées, passées, se heurtent à des micro-beats contemporains, le tout composant des textures compactes et réfléchies, bien plus intellectuelles que corporelles. (jean-françois micard)

premonition
dans la rubrique disques "concept", szkieve a décidé de rendre hommage à l'aviation soviétique avec un mini cd 7 titres intitulé "ekranoplanes" (ant-zen), du nom d'une famille d'étranges machines volantes évoluant à mi-chemin entre le bateau et l'avion. lourdeurs aquatiques (d'épais drones parcourent les morceaux) et légèreté aérienne (percussions minimalistes et glitches délayés se côtoient délicatement), voilà justement ce qu'évoquent les différentes textures sonores utilisées dans ce disque. esthétiquement, on peut donc dire que dimitri della faille a réussi son pari, mais du point de vue de l'originalité, on reste un peu sur sa faim. sauf, peut-être, si on est fan d'aviation. (carole jay)

two reviews in russian language at stigmata:
http://www.stigmata.name/

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