A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Style: Modern Classical, Minimal, Ambient
Oleksii Sakevych, the sole man responsible for Endless Melancholy’s pensive, emotional classicism, was kind enough to reach out to me, some months ago, sending me a promo of this slight EP. He was inspired to write, based upon a review of the most recent Nils Frahm record, Screws, over at my old J’s Heaven blog. He thought that i would dig the light ambient touch of 5 Songs, and he was right!
Here’s what he has to say about it:
Five Songs is a small, semi-improvised EP, recorded in one week. Please, find some time to take a listen while having your morning cup of tea or coffee. Don’t forget to think of the ones you love and where do your roots come from. Don’t forget to think of a place you were born. And remember one very important thing: this is not the end.
This inaugural flight from EM will delight the ears, alight the senses, of any fan of solo piano exploration, or modern classical music, with just a hint of grit or field recordings. Ambient music is embracing lo-fi, as a human element is becoming increasingly mandatory, to rise above the bland continuity of entirely digital music. Even techno is getting homemade, handmade. Throughout Five Songs there are faint murmurs of pedals and keys depressing, you can practically feel the warmth of cherry wood beneath yr palms, feel the cool weight of faux ivory. Five Songs will transport you, elevate you.
It’s a curious thing, but i’m noticing that i tend to gravitate towards this kind of music, during transitional seasons. It’s light, complex, emotionally loaded; there’s a song called ‘Nostalgia’ on here, as well as one called ‘We Have Met Before’, so it is assumed that there is an element of memory, involved with this record. Its like walking down a long tunnel, with fuzzy photographs from throughout your life, blown up and placed behind plexiglass. This music summons images of puddles of warm light, dust motes dancing languidly in the cross breeze. It’s music for staring out the window, or watching trees burst into blossom. It is melancholy, sure, but surely not Endless, and Sakevych’s sadness is laced with sweetness.
After however long of music becoming more complex, with artists striving to make things LOUDER, FASTER!!!, cram more genres and signifiers into every song, it is not surprising that many musical movements are moving towards simplicity, towards refining the basics, sticking to what works, what feels good. Oleksii Sakevych’s music is based upon melody; simple, hummable, emotional. The performance on these five songs are superb, there’s no flawed notes or noticeable edits or overdubs. The overall effect is of a sensitive, poetic musician, sitting at their family piano, hooked up to a 4-track and a couple of microphones. Sakevych’s wish that people simply still their life, and give his music a little attention, is probably the most admirable and honest mission statement i have heard in a hot minute, and i highly encourage you to do so. I have been, and my existence has been the better for it.
Everything is in transition, and i am in a time of reflection. I just moved into a new house with the love of my life and some dear friends. I’m living in a slanted attic bedroom with my girlfriend and our black cat, and the perfection is so much sometimes, it pricks my eyes with burning nettles. I’ve had Five Songs in steady rotation as we move in, unpacking boxes, liquid Portland sunlight (the rarest of commodities) splashing across angular stucco walls. I’ve come through so much darkness, to end up in so much beauty and light. And here i sit, in Sellwood library, listening to this gorgeous piano music loop and trail like a moebius strip. I am lost in thought, lost in memory, lost in reverie; it is an honor to have talented, passionate musicians send me their shit, and i am pleased as a peacock to help spread the love!
If you like the airy piano works of Erik Satie, some Debussy, Keith Jarrett‘s Koln Concert, or more modern fare like the aforementioned Nils Frahm, Olafur Arnolds, or either of Gonzalez‘s Solo Piano records, this is for you. It seems current, yet timeless, and is available, by suggested donation, or via streaming, at Bandcamp. He’s also got a new EP, with his friend LIGHTS DIM, slated for imminent release. It’s clear this is a new artist, with a lot of energy and potential. Let him soundtrack endless walks and cups of tea.