Various Artists, Udacha 5

[Udacha]


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With so many years of electronic music history to contend with, it can be tough for artists to carve out a fresh or recognizable sound. Not everyone is Burial, ya know? For certain types of labels, it’s probably even harder. Not only do they have to find music of distinction and coherent style; they also have to extract it from a bunch of people with varying creative trajectories, studio equipment, aims, attitudes, tastes, and skill levels. I guess this explains why I’ve become so rapidly enamored with Udacha. The Russian imprint is five records deep now — the first having dropped in March 2012 — a number which seems a workable minimum when formulating opinions on catalogs as a whole. Thus far, its consistency has been admirable, both with regard to quality and style. Trading in dreamy, pleasant house with an organic bent, the label has proven much more about sinking into a comfy chair, or moving easily on an intimate dance floor, than it has about chinstroking, or adrenaline-powered fist-pumping.


Various Artists, Excerpts from Udacha 5

What I like most, however, is that Udacha has managed to nail this mood from so many subtly different angles. Udacha 5, its inaugural compilation, is no exception. From A5 — the label’s owner — “Raymanzarek Solo” has an elegant, synth-heavy pulse, for instance. But on the same side of the record, Alex Danilov, Brother G, and Yuri Shulgin’s “Untitled” moves much more like waves; whether using rosin-crusted strings, glassy chimes, or rubbery synth. Via both palette and arrangement, these two also serve to throw light on the label’s jazzy inclinations. But like Floating Points’ work, this influence is mercifully underplayed. Trueman’s “Odyssey Saga” also takes a stab at this combination and comes up trumps, its jaunty, sampled-sounding motif drifting comfortably back-and-forth. On the same side, the record’s strangest cut, “Leitweg,” is provided by a Russian trio named Kurvenschreiber, who record “live improvisations on eight-track tape with only a bit [of] post production,” True to description, their weird, synth-heavy effort ambles in and out of focus, feeling pleasantly free of structure. Like the other three tracks, it slots perfectly into the Udacha canon, while still sounding exactly like itself. I don’t know how long it will be possible to keep winning this particular game, but for now, Udacha and its roster of obscure artists are dominating the scoreboard.

Trackbacks

Talking Shopcast with Udacha – Little White Earbuds  on December 9, 2013 at 12:01 AM

[…] seven 12″s have been a tour de force fusion of house, jazz and good-natured synth weirdness. Udacha 5, for instance, is bookended by two slices of sharp jazz swagger, while the middle is dominated by […]

Talking Shopcast with Udacha | electronic podcastselectronic podcasts  on December 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM

[…] seven 12″s have been a tour de force fusion of house, jazz and good-natured synth weirdness. Udacha 5, for instance, is bookended by two slices of sharp jazz swagger, while the middle is dominated by […]

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