Orfeon Gagarin – Orfeon Gagarin

I came across this recently, and enjoyed its voyages through proto-step-filtering enough to share it here. His later work has been sporadically reissued over the last decade (check Menstrual Recordings for one example), and features a more academic and acousmatic sound. There is one comb-filter-esque effect in particular that is invariably associated with that school of production and which (to my mind) completely sullies every piece of composition it gets anywhere near – including Gagarin’s latter work. A personal conviction, no doubt, so it may well be worth your perusal.

Fortunately, this album owes as much to synth-pop and musique concrète as it does to arpeggiated synth experimentation. ‘Eucarystics”s step-filtered squelches backed with a slow bass sample and brooding chords are dated but melancholically effective. On the stranger and perhaps more worthwhile side is ‘Voces Mauritanas’ which (along with a couple other tracks) reminds me of both Joe Meek & The Blue Men and Ghedalia Tazartes. Synthesized percussion drives relentlessly, and not always rhythmically, atop a distorted sample of Arabic folk. Given that Gagarin was born in Spain, it may well be an industrial study of the ‘otherness’ of Moorish (or more broadly Muslim) culture in his society. Perhaps just a modern European reinterpretation of the music, though there are certainly darker overtones to the piece than Tazartes’ contemporaneous work, but I may well be reading too much into it.

Get it here.