Review: Rose Sobchak – Intangible Asset (E.S.O.D. Productions, Jun 17)

It’s been a while since I heard anything new from Rose Sobchak, the flagship alias of Moscow’s Aleksandr Cheskidov; a few years, in fact. It seems the project has taken a new direction during that time, leaving behind the straightforward, loud analog churn of the 2019 untitled CD-R on Heart Shaped Box in favor of a more stifled, sleazy atmosphere in the vein of Legless, Sissisters, or many of Chris Conroy’s various aliases. (In other words, to quote the release page of love shy clown, “Smart harsh noise […] decided to be a little sad.”) Though audibly recorded straight to tape—if it’s not a four track I’ll eat my Rat—Intangible Asset somehow feels remarkably well-suited for a digital-only netlabel release, especially one made freely available on It’s all over the place and yet still quite focused, the disparate anemic assaults of feedback squeal, chunky pedal-chain bursts, radio grabs, and home-glued junk electronics threaded together by the fuzzy, limiting fidelity in which all is swathed. The first untitled piece is a bit odd on initial listen, broken up by several lengthy pauses that at first seem more like dead air between tracks than suspenseful stop/starts, but in no time at all I came to greatly appreciate it for how it obfuscates and loosens everything, especially in conjunction with the following track, the misdirect-opening of which is probably the release’s finest moment. The ten-minute closer is the most traditionally harsh of the four, and it is excellent, the final damning piece of evidence that Intangible Assert is really something special.

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