WOMBA: EVIDENCE OF LETTA
CD: R.A.I.G. R016 [2006]
Ltd x 500

Ulyssea
Kopfhousent
Aereh 389
Sbroz
Morozovka Kultzal
Zukowka II 12
Bakovka 1 ETR
Eloziklethe
Timmelpunkt
Lesnye Dali Korp 1
Vochako Zkeip
Kultrup 43219
Talsaa Hax
Ravdaplot AGF
Dmakiel
FTAD Katok
Kiovskerwerk
Podolskew R
Viruu KUK
Olympiktron Occhio
Zkeip 001
57st Looftas
Magmel
Alessia

From the moment I saw the packaging for this latest release from Womba I just knew it was going to be something special. Call it a hunch if you like. The Russian Association of Independent Genres (RAIG) record label don't do things by half. This latest release from them comes enclosed in cardboard folder with a 6 page booklet attached. This booklet has some fascinating photo montages coupled with written passages from selective authors and sets the scene for what to expect musically.

I missed out on the previous Womba release "The 27th Baku Comissar" (an omission I'm already regretting), so this is my first encounter with this (I'll call him eccentric here) Russian artist who goes by the name Tikhon "Hee-Haw" Kubov. "Evidence of Letta" is a 24 track 75 minute release that is quite frankly... BONKERS. A madhouse of experimental cut-ups and avant-garde weirdness that sounds like an drug induced cartoon playing from the stereo. This form of music is normally very hard going and accessible to only the hardiest of souls. No-one though does the whole experimental thing quite like the Russians. The artist himself explains it thus: "This was a sort of my personal musical day to day diary, where I could express my vision of reality or reflects certain situations and happenings without limitations to any particular genre".

His manipulation of sound and samples creates a musical panorama that delves into cinematic ambience and drone work whilst still retaining an unconventional slant over proceedings. By looping and cutting & pasting continually from a variety of sources his musical collages are beautifully created. The aural equivalent of a television flicking through 100's of channels over an electronic backdrop. If you can't grab that concept then imagine putting a whole load of old records onto an iPod. Then snatching random tracks at will from it and twisting and turning the sounds into ever convoluted shapes. Then adding crackles and fizz and assorted electronic noises / effects. The end result would sound similar to "Evidence of Letta", but not as good because you're not Tikhon. The music works whether listened to from start to finish as a single piece or by randomly playing back the tracks in whatever order pleases. Playing the tracks randomly... letting the CD player make your choices for you... actually adds to the longevity of the recording by making it sound completely different time after time.

To say "Evidence of Letta" is a strange recording is an understatement. Whilst it takes a softer approach to avant-garde / experimental music its appeal is very limited. Not everyone will fully appreciate the sheer unpredictability of the music generated. Those of you into the more obscure aspects of individual artistic licence will be enthralled by the carefully and skilfully crafted sounds that abound from "Evidence of Letta" and should make this your number one priority. Inquisitive souls searching for that "something different" are also most welcome to explore the inner workings of Tikhon's mind. Best I go and track down a copy of "The 27th Baku Comissar" before its too late.

ANM

[Womba] / [R.A.I.G.]

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