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Album Review

Bookwar – “Obryv” – [Post-Materialization Music]

Thurston Hunger   4/15/2016   A Library, CD

Ivan Bookwar or Chitai Bookwar with industrial beaten
hip-hopaganda. Made from nothing but the finest Soviet
era instruments (Polivox, Altair 231, Ritm-2) and drum
machines. You definitely get an abandoned factory vibe
especially as songs usually start with quite a bit of
the machines alone warming themselves up before Ivan
comes in with a very metered flow, lyrics pumped
po-russkie and delivered with a monotone hammer and
sickle cycle. “Lapta” (“Bat”) has some cool echolocation
squiggles flying along the mix (man I wish I spoke
enough Russian to have a semblance of understanding
on these tracks, instead every 11th word triggers
my broken Broca vocabulary like a land mine of
unintelligible recognition. But the detachment
of the singer is universal. Fits with dark-wave
dreary fears quite nicely, but at the same time
there’s a kind of spirit to the dinginess. The way
Alan Vega still gave a damn while spitting out
suicide lines. “Obryv” (like a steep slope I think)
sways between bass fuzz pulses and eventually
incorporates disconsolate la-la-la-las behind the
ironic curtain. “Bezymyannaya Voda” (nameless
water) could be a Dark Entries find from the 80’s
but it’s just the drip drop of Xmas 2014. It’s the
catchiest and shortest of the three tracks, but
still warped by chords of decommisioned equipment
(our CD appears to be missing “Crowdfunding” by
the way) As Prurient goes with a Vatican Shadow,
Bookwar looks sharp and shattered in Kremlin Mascara.
-Thurston Hunger

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