Review: Vindfængsel – You Can’t Regret What You Don’t Remember (Nazlo, Jan 17)

Even if you haven’t been following this increasingly unwieldy wall of text for long, you’ve probably figured out—whether from the Kidz mix yesterday, or Temporary Places a couple months ago, or Outcast on the Ivories back in June, or any random reviews in between—that the fastest way to my heart is with a tape recorder, a piano, and the auditory majesty of nature itself. You Can’t Regret What You Don’t Remember (both a false statement and terrible advice, by the way) opens with such a cardiac shortcut in the form of “Swiet Niezdiesznij,” the longest and most conventionally beautiful of the five tracks that comprise this debut release by Russian project Vindfængsel. It helps that the drifting, sighing ambient suite reminds me of some specific favorites: the repetitive piano serenade, somber and elegiac, that acts as both melodic ornamentation and structural anchor evokes the Idea Fire Company’s “The Island of Taste”; the layered major-key progressions near the end when the small plastic-fan-like noises hit the same tender spot as both Mémoire vide and Michael Brook’s sublime score for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After this sweet-but-not-saccharine introduction, things become darker, more mezzanine and psychedelic, while retaining a strong harmonic backbone; “Ghostly White Spiral” is a ghostly, almost ritualistic murk of airy white noise and light metal percussion, while “Night’s Blade Solar Wound” concludes things on a seething, ominous note with smothering industrial gloom and stereo field paranoia. The immersive soundscapes of You Can’t Regret What You Don’t Remember certainly provides the sensation of entering some place deep and forgotten. It does not, however, acknowledge the possibility of any sort of exiting.

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