The sounds of AL90 come from far away. More specifically, they originate in the Russian port of Murmansk on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Here we find ourselves on the edge of an empire, too, in the very last city established under the czars. Amid arctic snowstorms, far across the Barents Sea, lives AL90––a musician who cultivates a related air of distance and anonymity. This is the lo-fi chic of some growing absence––the naïve, yet resolute dance music of a prior decade. Barely audible, yet somehow enduring.
The logic of lo-fi enterprise in provincial ports is considerable: the wistfulness of cassette culture that has fueled Russian experimental music for the last few years. These faltering beats and gentle waves of white noise together form, in the words of Osip Mandelshtam, the noise of time. Antique house and techno reverberate within emptiness––on the streets of a prior empire and with the waning resolve of some prior industry.
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