On their seventh Opal Tapes release, Lumisokea seems to be having more fun than ever. Not only is the album rife with percussion, it oozes old-school authenticity, as Koenraad Ecker and Andrea Taeggi borrowed a bunch of hundred-year-old noise instruments from Moscow in order to make this album. Transmissions from Revarsavr pays intentional tribute to such groundbreaking composers as Arseny Avraamov and Vladimir Popov, while sounding squarely like a work of the 21st century.
Lumisokea’s last album Mnemosyne was moody and dark, striking a tone that is virtually absent from the new set. We featured lead track “Generation Z” in our Winter Music Preview, and it’s one of the obvious highlights. Multiple percussive sources build and intersect, the most unique being a snare that sounds as if it is covered with aluminum foil. When the bass finally enters, the track becomes a club stormer, something we never expected the duo to produce. If “Buk” comes across a bit more like “vintage” Lumisokea, with its rusted swing and slow, deep, tribal drum, it’s only a setup for “Whirling Dervishes”, which sounds exactly as one might expect. Trancelike and repetitive, the track invites twirling, whether or not one owns a flowing robe. The excess sounds have been trimmed to allow the drums their space. But if “Whirling Dervishes” is for twirling, “Hyman Otor” is for moshing. At either 150 or 300 b.p.m. (depending on one’s counting technique), all it needs is a shredding guitar.
The beats continue until the album has almost ended, exiting only for the penultimate track. By that time, the listener has already enjoyed so many beats that the shroud comes as a respite. The shroud lifts at the very end, unleashing an irrepressible force that draws a sonic line between the centuries. Our Soviet friends would be proud. (Richard Allen)