Review: Zherbin – Расстояние (Magma Tones, Jul 13)

On Расстояние, Finnish artist Dmitri Zherbin’s new CDr out on Magma Tones, otherworldly collages draw their contents from a vast pool of sound sources. Zherbin harnesses collections of field recordings, tape loops, feedback, acoustic guitar, and what sounds like some circuit bending too. The whole thing doesn’t even reach 21 minutes, but it’s paced well, evolving through varying moods and atmospheres. “Часть 1” begins with a pleasant clip of people talking over a semi-buried melody, a nice natural mix of sounds that stands well on its own. Before long, Zherbin brings rumbling, mechanical electronics into the mix, keeping them mostly in the background and subtly unseating the feeling of comfort that had crept in. Electric wails and clunks conclude the piece, descending into uneasy, tense territory, before “Часть 2” begins and the beauty is back. This is probably the best part of Расстояние, as flitting stereo-spread guitar meanders around a droning circuit tone; really gorgeous stuff. The latter part of this piece and “Часть 3” largely retread territory already explored, which is disappointing considering the release’s short length; but Zherbin also proves they know how to work with and shape these abstract sonic elements.