Review: Dmitri Zherbin – Dmitri Zherbin (Mineral Tapes, 2012)

Dmitri Zherbin, the co-founder of the Finnish label Jozik Records may be associated with the psychedelic folk genre, but at a stretch. His vision of folky psychedelia is less based on melody or evoking a “magical” atmosphere, but rather on creation of loose, primal soundscapes which seem to be taking more cues from the more abrasive, noisy end of experimental music and rudimentary musique concrete than from “Finnish Elves”, as Piero Scaruffi described many musicians in the Finnish folk scene.

The self-titled cassette, released on new American label Mineral Tapes and housed in handmade package, doesn’t really sound like actual musical compositions. It is muddled and hazy, with one primeval soundscape shifting into another slowly over the course of time in the vein of the most hard-to-describe releases from Stunned Records. The eerie, seemingly neverending droning loops have a sort of “pre-historic” mystery to them, like the most primitive music from the beginnings of mankind translated into the language of tape music and electronic experimentation, reminding about the ultra lo-fi noisescapes of The Skaters.

The caveman loops will then mutate into maniacally repeating, abstract sound sculptures made of disjointed drum sounds and randomly plucked sounds, like a Rude Goldberg machine playing on many musical instruments, performing a strange algorithm in a series of mathematical repetitions. Like the heavily textured artwork of the tape, the music of Dmitri Zherbin is dark, murky an abstract – definitely not easy listening, but definitely an adventurous one.

Buy the cassette from Mineral Tapes

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