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CD Feature/ Saralunden & Andrey Kiritchenko: "There was no end"

img  Tobias

On a purely theoretical level, pop and sound art can not peacefully coexist. Thanks to “There was no end”, there is now enough evidence that it is however thoroughly possible in practise.

Of course, this work of opposites mainly succeeds because of the open and bipolar constitutions of its two protagonists: Sara Lunden a Singer/Songwriter with a knack for intruiging textures and Andrey Kiritchenko an experimental musician with an interest in the song format. Their musical relationship is less a complementary one, but could be described as two inversely shaped sine waves reciprocally reinforcing each other’s wave peaks.

Then again, “There was no end” feeds from more than just a single contrast. Commissioned by the Swedish Institute, it is an intercultural project between Lunden’s home of Sweden and Kiritchenko’s native Ukraine, binding together purely electronic and traditional acoustic instruments, field- and studio-recordings. Keeping all this in mind, it is obvious why this mini-album has turned out so eclectic in its stylistic outreach  - and quite astounding that it has ended up so homogenic in its emotional impact.

The latter must be attributed to the fact that Sara Lunden was responsible for the entire raw song material, which was later augmented by the inclusion of her partners’ “objects, drums, programming and editing”. Her pieces are like thought-loops, short impulses which run circles in her mind for a couple of minutes, before disappearing into the void again. Lunden passes on these moments seemingly without filter, sharing erotic, passionate, depressed states and obsessions freely with the listener.

Just as with experimental prose, the result is that repeated text passages are constantly changing their meaning, sometimes assisted by subtle transformations in recording techniques. “Don’t you remember” starts off as a dialogue with a former lover, then gradually evolves into an inner monologue, with Lunden whispering the words “Don’t you remember at all?” as though she were trying hard to bring back the memories herself. On “Erotic Dreams”, meanwhile, which has a distinct melodic similarity with PJ Harvey’s subaquatic fantasy “Down by the River”, the mere insinuation of her private dreams is much stronger than actually spelling them out in full.

Kiritchenko’s contribution is much more than a mere production assignment, fully justifying the credit on the cover. His cinematically wide bass fields, cool tribal drumming, bird chirps, backwards echoes and discreet organ harmonies provides the pieces with rich layers of sound, without ever clogging up their pores – tracks always have enough breathing space, except for those instances, where a slightly claustrophobic sensation is part of the underlying theme.

With Sara Lunden also handling synthesizer duties, their work gets mutually  intertwined. “There was no end” is a true collaborational effort, which feels as though both artists couldn’t be sure at the end, who played what. The experimental factor adds to the intensity of the compositions, but it integrates itself so seamlessly into the pieces that the result feels completely relaxed and casual: Even though it uses elements from both worlds, this is definitely more pop than sound art.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Sara Lunden
Homepage: Andrey Kiritchenko
Homepage: Nexsound Records

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