Astrowind might be a slightly ridiculous band name, especially if you consider the fact these two Latvian guys play lush ambient music on Soviet synthesizers. But nevertheless, it’s a good name. An accurate name, at least. Because there is a feel of acroamatic escapism, there are these huge chords of
hissing analogue synthesizers and you can even find this special kind of Slavonian melancholia (or Baltic, respectively) people use to rave about. Astrowind bring up a lot of references in their beautiful and, well, obsolete music. 70’s Krautrock Avant-gardists like Cluster or Harmonia make up for the most obvious comparison, but you can also find some influences from contemporary composers like Arvo Pärt (listen to the stagnant organ-chords on Impressions) or Terry Riley (the overall tonality). Add some traces of experimental guitar-music (on The Night the Stars Flew for instance) and you get an idea. But who’s behind the Astrowind-moniker? The project consists of Kriipis Tulo and Mahi Bukimi. Tulo is an important figure in the electronic music-underground of Riga, the humming capital of Latvia. He founded the Kolka-label, released several EPs at Nexsound, Sutemos and Synergy Networks and travelled Europe for several live-gigs. He was collaborating with a lot of influential artists ranging from fine arts (Ritums Ivanovs, Voldemars Johansons) to free improvisation (Derek Holzer, Maksims Shentelevs). After collaborations with Rodions Zolotarevs (duo Oloolo) and I/DEX, he started Astrowind in late 2006 with Mahi Bukimi. Bukimis’ approach to music is even more academic. He’s been into Avant-garde film music (see Ieva Arone) and real-time algorithmic sound-processing, when he teamed up with Dutch Derek Holzer for diverse field recordings in deserted Soviet military zone Karosta. Under the alias of Kur Zeme, he explores some more ‘musical’ ideas, fusing field recordings with baroque piano arrangements and expanded synth-scapes. He released at Kolka and met Kriipis Tulo at K@2, the cultural epicentre in the outskirts of Riga. You can see: These guys know what they’re doing. Astrowind got the harmonies and the sound to become one of the most interesting Baltic acts to emerge from a scene rich of innovative musicians (Muschraum, Joel Tammik, Selffish, to name just the most obvious). Astrowind ir audiovizuaals projekts, kas savaas audio ainavaas pauzh visuma ilgtspeejiibas nemainiigo virziibu. Maakslinieks restaurees skanas no pagaatnes kas kaa veca radio charkstona piepildiis telpu ar taalaam un nosleepumainaam melodijaam.
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