Though we here at the Moshville Times cover primarily heavy metal and rock albums, you should never be afraid to stray outside of the comfortable bubble of angry growls and shrieking guitars. Today, we leave behind heavy metal, and stray in to the bizarre and uniquely beautiful world of ambient music, with the Russian one-man electronica project Satanath and his most recent album; Your Personal Copy. Satanath has grown from it’s early inception in 2011, having appeared on various split albums, and one album of their own prior to Your Personal Copy. Though it would seem that Aleksey Korolyov, the brainchild behind Satanath and the head of the record label under the same name, has now truly come in to his craft.
Listeners are greeted with a gentle and simple, almost childlike, melody in introductory track “Pietifuv”, sounding well rounded, harmless in a way, repeating itself, though growing quieter and further away with each repetition, making the minor key chord progression turn from quietly beautiful, to borderline intimidating. This is the perfect metaphor for this album, with Your Personal Copy descending further in to a dark and almost frightening-sounding listen the more you hear of it. The method of having a gentle piece deconstructed in order to give it some edge and grit, accompanied by massive-sounding waves of distorted noise, echoing in the distance, quickly becomes a theme throughout the album, with “Inratit” being a perfect example of this. “Inratit” repeats a simple, yet pleasant, guitar riff, which is displayed almost undiluted and untampered to the listener until it becomes familiar and welcoming. It is after a brief silence that the riff is changed, becoming a highly distorted, semi-atonal mess of it’s former self; a bizarre and cruel joke by Korolyov, where the listener has their comfort taken from them and shown that it can just as easily be a nightmare.
Korolyov conposes his music in such a way that as soon as you begin to relax, the very thing that had created your relaxation is taken from you and warped, creating something to cause anxiety and distrust. It is a strange form of musical anarchy, a protest against comfort and everything which could possibly be referred to as ‘normal’. As you travel further in to Your Personal Copy, you become skeptical of melody, and begin to embrace the chaotic collection of noise which surrounds you. “Erimop” begins with an 8-bit style winning theme, akin to those heard on the Sega Megadrive or SNES, yet barely makes an entrance before the sound of gunfire can be heard, immediately vanquishing the idea of triumph or victory, enforcing a reign of hard, unforgiving electronic tones which demand to be heard.
Your Personal Copy is a collection of noise and melody, pulled together from a broad spectrum of sound to create something spectacularly surreal and more than a little enchanting. Drawing upon a wide rage of influences, spanning from nostalgic 80’s Nintendo games to Brian Eno and Jean Micheal Jarre, to Godflesh in a bad mood, this album creates a feeling of constant change and disruption. It contradicts itself, relishing in sweet, melodic harmony only to completely disregard that and replace it with harsh, industrialised soundscapes. Unique is too generic a term for Your Personal Copy, an album which stands at the forefront of experimental electronica, defying what it means to be normal and challenging you to do the same. The album itself is not exactly what I would call an ‘easy listen’, but one that I would certainly say is worth listening to.
Your Personal Copy is out now and available on CD and as a digital download here.