Xumla - Statix

Xumla

Xumla is the artistry of Ilya Goryachev, who at 30 years of age is living in his town of birth Yaroslavl, Russia. Xumla was born in a search for simplicity. Xumla likes to produce naivety within sound. Marked by gentle, almost fragile melodies, broken rhythmic patterns, minimalistic arrangements and characteristic textured layering of musical themes. Xumla gravitates to the meditative sound and the minimalism in the means of expression. Each work of Xumla is an element of live musical canvas, micro fibers which grow into each other. According to the author of the project, he tends to perceive his micro-sound as a living flesh. He comments the artistic process:

“As a rule, working on some track, I catch the central theme or idea and then I shower it by lots of layers and variations. Then I start to make the way to the core of composition again, removing all unnecessary and leaving only the material that my aesthetic perception does not allow me to refuse.”

Statix

Statix is the result of 10 years of creative formation. The works span some Xumla’s early controlled experiments, contemporary pieces and live improvisations. The album consists of layers of creative and personal experience, passages of faith and doubt, truth and the right to be oneself.

Statix is abstractive, and furthermore, transcendental in some way. The music of shapes and objects in a specific moment. Each track tells its own clear story. For example, live track “Morni” recalls the melody alarm, which can be easily put on the phone – this is a pure morning, from the first sounds heard in a dream to steps within the closed eyes before waking up. Statix expresses the frozen moment, the movement in the absence of time. “Another sky” depicts the night sky of Chernobyl. Those who has been there know that the sky of Chernobyl is very close to the observer, it is deprived of oxygen, full of movement and constantly watching the people.

Statix contains a sense of passage. Journeys through the fractal patterns of Petersburg’s yards, the white magic of Valaam and the magical colour of Cuba. A visit to the dead abyss of Chernobyl, the loneliness of Yaroslavl’s grey walls and the timelessness of trips through Russia, a motherland. The author admits that only travel reveals the true movement inside you.

AB052 | June 2014

 

 

Reviews

  1. Vital Weekly

    Delivered in a nicely printed digipack we find the music of Ilya Goryachev, aged 30, from the nice city of Yaroslavl in
    Russia. A project born 'in a search for simplicity'. Like much of the music released by Audiobulb Records this deals with the use computer technology and software, and the music from Xumla seems to be no difference. It's music in which everything seems to be reduced to the bare necessity, without sounding like just a clicks and cuts. It's interesting to hear that Xumla is always looking for the musical element in his compositions. Digitally treated piano sounds, a sustaining synthesizer pattern, organised but chopped up beats and such like. Sometimes these beats are more organised in sequenced patterns. These twelve pieces are quite short and very much to the point, and that's another point of reduction that works well here. It has the well-known elements of microsound, of clicks 'n cuts, of intelligent dance music, and is not unlike some earlier Oval, or a milder Fennesz; it's like hearing twenty
    years of computer music being pressed into these twelve pieces of music, but it would be too easy, I think, to say
    that Xumla is merely copying what others do. Xumla offers quite some variation in his pieces, from the very ambient title piece to the more up tempo 'Another Sky' and anything that goes in between here, which makes this a most enjoyable album of varying textures and changing colours. A great release, but it's especially the variation here that makes that this album works best.

  1. Bleep

    Gorgeous exploratory electronics from Russian sound designer Ilya Goryachev aka Xumla, courtesy of Sheffield’s
    Audiobulb Records. On Statix, Goryachev’s debut release, he constructs gentle, melodic pieces that seem to float
    into each other like a series of nostalgic dreams. On ‘Dancin’ Dust’, a lovely string loop is embellished with barely
    there percussion and a warm, machine-like hum, while on the euphoria-inducing title track, a finely chopped sample is processed and layered with heavenly pads. Things do get a touch darker on minimal tech number ‘Another Sky’ and on crackling droner ‘Atoms Heart’, but the sound is still overwhelmingly heartfelt.

  1. Igloo Magazine

    Formed by young Russian electronic sound designer Ilya Goryachev, Xumla is an abstract minimal pop-ambient project which encompasses innovative-eclectic sound territories and gorgeously emotional fragile vibes in a clear introspective dreamy like style. With an equal pleasure and with an eloquent sense of picturesque ambiences, this superb album provides to the listener an incredibly moving soundscaping tapestry full of sincere and poignant electro textures. Each track develops its very own atmosphere, sometimes experimentally droney, sometimes blissed out, with skeletal electronic rhythms, disembodied melodies and warmly meditative sonic dreaminess.

    The impressionistic minimal electro-pop colors of a few tracks reminds me the simplistic but efficient melodious attempts of legendary experimental krautrockin bands such as Cluster (in Sowiesoso) or Harmonia (in Tracks & Laces) or the pioneering organic ambient trio formed by Moebius-Roedelius-Eno. The ambiences are delicately approached with nicely done juxtaposition between glitchery expressions, clinical rhythmical scintillations and micro-tonal melodies. A very pleasant and infinitely dreamlike digital electronic morphology that clearly enthrall listening disposals. An impressive, delicate, moving, carefully conceived and intensely creative album that will ravish enthusiastic fans of modern classical / dream pop artifacts of Alva Noto, Christian Fennesz, Dag Rosenqvist et al.

    A very promising debut effort which perfectly fits with other advanced post-modern ambient releases signed on the very recommended Audiobulb’s catalog.

  2. Infinite Grain

    Beneath the ocean of sound design is found Statix, a fantastic album by Xumla, who manages to create a diverse exploration of an unrivaled sonic panorama. Cushioned atmospheres, soft tones and serene structures mixed with the right amount of hypnotic rhythms. Arpeggios built as tunnels of fragmented pianos that lead to a diverse listening experience based in an self-referential system built of fractal melodies, cyclic cuts and a strange but very comforting ability to catch the ear with the right amount of sound. Microsonic landscapes extracting the soul of time by combining synthetic and organic territories in order to find extrapolated notions of exploratory listening that roam between mystery and tenderness; sound spirals drawn on a fragile search within the convergence of mind and sound, transcending the mere act of hearing in order to create an expedition to inner worlds.

  3. Textura

    Melodic electronica is alive and well, insofar as recent releases by Xumla might be seen as reliable indicators.


    Aside from the fact that it's a computer-based production, Xumla's Statix represents a bit of a departure for the British label Audiobulb, which is more prone to releasing experimental electro-acoustic material as opposed to playful song-styled electronica of the kind Xumla specializes in. The debut album by Russian producer Ilya Goryachev under the Xumla name, the twelve-track Statix is a concise affair at thirty-six minutes, though not unappealingly so—brevity in this case a complement to the innocent and child-like character of the material.
    Tracks such as the bright opener “Morni” and “Neverphone” possess a clicks'n'cuts quality that's not far removed from early Oval, the key difference being Goryachev's emphasis on succinct song structures. Stated otherwise, Statix's tracks are like melodic pop tunes dressed in ornate Oval-esque garb—not a bad proposition overall. Given such a description, one might expect to be met with digitally generated textures, fractured beat patterns, and synth-based melodies, and said expectations would prove to be well-founded.


    Goryachev takes a few left turns along the way, and consequently the album offers a generous amount of variety. The title track, for example, presents a Spectrum Spools-styled drone exploration—in a miniature form, of course—that's predictably heavy on trippy synth elements, while “Roof Talks” exploits treated electric guitar as a sound-generating device rather than synthesizers. Contrasts are plentiful, with Statix alternating between a buoyant piece like “Chinese Toy,” the broken beat exercise “Zima,” and a comparatively more ponderous meditation such as “Sol Y De Gran Altura.” The album's peak moment arguably arrives in the penultimate position in the form of “One-Eyed Girl,” a production whose scope seems positively panoramic when heard alongside the album's other more modestly conceived tracks. It's in this swirl of broken beats and electronic textures that all of Goryachev's strengths as a creator and producer come into fullest focus.

  4. Chain D.L.K.

    According to the press notes 'Xumla likes to produce naivety within sound' and, instead of being a catchy phrase for marketing purpose, is the most pure definition for this release. His musical outcome is similar to the ones released by artist like Sawako that remains in a fragile balance between experimental sounds and an outcome similar to the heritage of watercolor paintings.


    The small sounds of 'Morni' introduce the listener in a quiet environment and 'Neverphone' continues the journey with grace and 'Dancin' dust' sounds like a form of avant-garde carillon. The drones of 'Statix' mark a development in the release so 'Roof talks' continues the search for a musical model where calm doesn't mean static. The rhythmic noises of 'Another sky' begin the second part of this release where the musical parts of the first tracks start to evolve in a new form. However 'Chinese toy' returns to more familiar paths and 'El sol y de gran altura' and 'Atoms heart' continue the use of drones. While 'Zima' and 'One-eyed girl' reveal some drum'n bass influence. 'Outro' quietly closes this release with sparse notes of piano.


    Perhaps this release isn't ground breaking but sounds like a warm blanket in a winter evening, a sort of reassuring charming entity. A really nice release. .