Album Review

Slava Ranko – “Arctic Hysteria” – [Adolescent Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/5/2014   12-inch, A Library

DISCLAIMER: Dear weird heroes of today, we apologize if we at KFJC
do not discover you before you perish. We try….but…

Anyways, 1981 Don Philippi renaming/rehsaping himself as
Slava Ranko, and working in KFJC’s backyard up in San Fransister
puts together these analog wave whorl worlds. Largely built of
synth lines chasing themselves, as other electronics and some
ghostly wordless vocals or shamisen (Philippi had an interesting
connection to Japan per his Wiki) Apparently he actually
played the biwa an ancestor of the shamisen with a deity’s blessing.
The album features an Ainu glyph, symmetric with curves on the cover
(from another of Philippi’s passions) The songs here are meditations
of a sort, but not necessarily of the soothing variety. Certainly
not industrial, they are percussion-free, but the rhythms of
the synth lines give them a repetitve undercurrent. Sounds
sort of careen off each other, and it has that 80’s flavor of
synth that is squelchy, squishy and more viscuous than silky.
This might be an original copy, sorry Slava/Don for missing you
before you left this realm in 1993. This album speaks for one
side of you, and for those curious for more, check out the
online honoring by Frederick Schodt at http://www.jai2.com/dlp.htm
-Thurston Hunger

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