Review: SIC! – The Snow (Akt-Produkt, May 7)

a0416194520_10The second in a series of place-embracing improvisational sets from the Siberian Improvisation Company!, The Snow follows up last year’s Berlin-recorded Spreequell / Die Waffe des Proletariats from the drifts of Kemerovo, the collective’s home base. It sees founder and central member Alexander Markvart joined by Egor Miroshnik (for Spreequell / Waffe SIC! consisted of Markvart and Max Evstropov) for an evolving suite of “street improvisations and field recordings” captured in various places around the city, the music finding footing in anything from completely unaccompanied passerby noise and other natural ambience to stretches of mysterious radio grabs, rattling guitar, squealing tensile drones (presumably bowed—with considerable force—on Miroshnik’s “cross with strings,” whatever the hell that is), opportunistic episodes using surroundings such as chain-link fences and gravel; the works. I see so many other beloved favorites throughout the throes of these motley yet carefully considered pieces: Ruda Vera in the languid near-inaction of “Bridge I”; R.O.T.’s Klein Eiland in the evocative, cavernous physicality of “Dome”; Three Forks and their unforgettable “Drunken Traffic” in the distant highway hum and plunking folkisms of “Bridge II.” It’s difficult to discuss The Snow without at least mentioning the form its physical release takes, which is a small jar of melted “dirty snow” from the coal-streaked expanses of the Kuznetsk Basin whose lid sports a QR-code that links to the Bandcamp page. It’s interesting and novel and certainly speaks to the music’s undeniable indebtedness to the location in which it was created, but that indebtedness is so thoroughly implanted within the music itself that you won’t need to shell out for shipping costs to fully experience it.

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