Artist: Albert Artemyev
Title: Above The Sky
Release Date: 2014 November
Genre: Chillout
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: O2

Introduction

Albert Artemyev – Above The Sky is a throw back for me.  It’s an a chillout work that makes me think of some of the first works that I heard when I started checking out netlabels.  This is still a style of music that I enjoy a lot.

Albert Artemyev – Above The Sky

Very specifically, listening to the opening track ‘Above the Sky’ makes me think of Abyssal Plains, in particular the track Alaska.  There isn’t a lot of resemblance in terms of the over song structure or melody, but there are some textures and instrument sounds that are fairly similar.

Maybe there isn’t a coincidence here.  It seems that some of these early works shared themes or concepts.  For example, Abyssal Plains had another release called Hemispherical Sky.  So a commonality of themes seems to a link between these artists.

But, there are things that I really like about this work that stand out.  For example, the use of electric piano as a lead instrument on the opening track of Above The Sky.  And the more open, structure of these pieces which allows them to expand in directions that Abyssal Plains decided not to go in his work.

And there are some portions of this work that can feel a bit more on the straight light-pop in style.  Like the later portion of In Stratosphere, and On Wing.

There are some faults with this release though.  For example, On Wing contains a fairly clichéd melodic hook, and synthesizer string sounds that don’t do the overall work justice.  While the strings are a distraction, the melody is what really gets in the way here because the melody starts to feel self-conscious.  There is a need to call attention to the melody instead of letting it unfold with the harmonies and textures of the of the song.

Which is really a shame because it feels like there has been a lot of time spent working on presenting these pieces without falling into the stereotypes.  Listening to the opening of Distant Horizon, for example, it would be easy to take simple echoing synth sounds over sustained chords, and make them into the standard hackneyed soundtrack style music.  And yet, Albert manages to stop short of falling into that trap, not once but twice before reaching the main body of the song.

There is also a lack of depth in these pieces.  While Albert has done his best to present multiple facets to the musical concepts, they all stay within something of a narrow range.  Maybe that is intentional, but I can’t help thinking there could be some additional colors added in the textures and harmonies to bring add another layer to them.

Conclusion

Despite the misgivings I have about some clichéd melodies, and the desire to hear a bit more depth of texture and harmony, I do like this work.  It’s still the kind of music that I like listening to for writing, reading and other activities.  It’s also good for just vegging out, it has just enough variation that my mind can fixate on these works without getting bored…  And sometimes, that is all that is needed.

Albert Artemyev: Above The Sky

Free / Purchase
7

Rating

7.0/10

Pros

  • Internet Archive release is free
  • O2 Website release requires purchase
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Posted by George De Bruin