Title: First Flight
Release Date: 2014 Oct 04
Genre: Traditional Electronic
License: CC BY-SA
Label: United Studios Corporation
Dealon’s First Flight is a collection of recordings made by Dealon (aka Roman Seredenko) between 1998 and 2003. Why did it take ten years to collect and release these recordings? Well, the release notes don’t quite explain why, but observe:
Sometimes long-awaited events are used to being postponed till better times or cancelled [sic] at all. Some of them are to happen and some of them are not, as if it was designed in some mysterious plan. Nevertheless, this doesn’t detract their importance.
Which is really difficult to argue with. After all, how many times have you had a plan, or wanted to do something only to have to postpone it for a long time? I know there are things that I have wanted to do since I was in college that I haven’t done yet – over 20 years later. But I am not giving up on them, just looking for the time when it is right to actually finish them.
Dealon’s First Flight
But, given the age of these recordings one might be tempted to question how well they hold up. It’s a fair question. Obviously there are a lot of things that have changed over time, and especially in electronic music where just the technological changes alone are quite rapid.
It would be a lie if I said you wouldn’t hear some of the age in these recordings. The instrumentation and arrangement have the ear marks of the period in which they were composed and arranged. But that’s not all, there are other indicators of the period in which these pieces were conceived, like in the way Russian traditional elements are woven into the pieces.
However, these are not bad attributes to this recording. If there was a sense of false sentimentality to older times, it could have backfired and come across as sappy or possibly insipid. However, these qualities are all genuine in this release. It makes for a release that has a nostalgic feel, without the reinterpretation that would normally accompany the passage of time.
Where I can fault this release is that the majority of these pieces have a very light, pop style feeling to them. Even while a few pieces (such as ‘Lispa’) do have an element of urgency or mystery to them they are in the minority. Instead we have pieces like ‘Emotions’ which is light, almost disco dance piece with that traditional element to it, or ‘Dealon’ a mid-tempo light dance piece. Even on the ballad ‘Sundown’ the sense of darkness or mystery is hammered into a more traditional sounding pop piece.
However, that isn’t much of a fault. The focused structure of these pieces, along with arrangements that are correct to the period of the compositions make this a very listen able release. It’s kind of like having déjà vu while listening to something that is completely new.
The only piece that I have any real problem with is ‘Noname Theme’ which has a sound that at first sounds like an asthmatic woman. As the song progresses it turns into the sound of a woman in the throes of passion. The song itself is okay, but the sampled womans voice basically ruins the piece.
This is a recording that I think will be a curiosity for many who like older style electronic music. It has elements in it that we don’t hear often — in particular the integration of many classic traditional Russian themes. And, it’s a period correct release of songs that we’ve not heard before, from a period that largely is ignored in electronic music.
As I listened to this release, I didn’t find myself so captivated by any specific song. I didn’t have the feeling that this work escalated above average. And that is why it will be a curiosity: it’s a good, solid release that is unlikely to leave its mark on the listener.