Ilya Monosov – ARCHITECTURES ON AIR AND OTHER WORKS

Elevator Bath

A collection of small sounds, field recordings and idiosyncratic compositions plus a nerve-shattering audio documentary involving CVA survivors suffering from speech impediments, this album by sound artist Ilya Monosov is certainly diverse and alluring. The author’s vast field of interests ranges from mixtures of concrete/acoustic sounds and Alvin Lucier-like piercing frequencies (“Music for Electronics and Hurdy Gurdy 2″) to microsound improvisations with music box, toothpicks, turntable and objects (“Composition A”) and lo-fi urban experiments (“Performance I”). “Untitled” is a near-silent piece with Larry Polansky, while “Architectures on Air” is the abovementioned recording of heart attack victims blowing and talking into harmonicas by way of therapy. Their broken voices and panting efforts are truly something to be heard, the deep pain of baby demons trying to utter their first syllables. My favourite track though is “Autonomous Guitar Music for Marc Schulz”, in which a motor is put against the wood of the guitar body, setting off a continuous scintillation of jangling strings whose slight dissonance sounds like a cross between Remko Scha and Fred Frith (“Water/Struggle/The North” on Guitar Solos 2).

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