Russian producer Vlad Kurdyavtsev started his career in the mid 2000s, releasing curious electronica albums on a variety of digital-only labels. He's now graduated to Cologne-based imprint Ki, and here delivers his most accomplished set to date. Like his previous releases, it delivers a set of tracks that are devilishly hard to pigeonhole. There are forays into bright electronica, crystalline IDM, snow-flecked deep house and the kind of garage-influenced experiments usually associated with Sepalcure, Boxcutter and Hyetal. While the nine tracks that make up Saints perhaps lack a little of the punch associated with those acts, there's no denying that it's a gorgeous listen.
Russia's Monokle has been one of the most promising talents to come out of the wider electronic sphere over the last 10 years, but the artist seems to have largely remained in the shadows. Whether this is due to personal preference or something else it's certainly surprising given his far-reaching talents behind the production board. He's up on Terminal Dream this week, bragging a delightfully meditative album that stretches the term 'ambient' to its maximum potential. The opening "Remembrance Of Things", for example, is a wild and diverse playing field of rhythmic synth sounds and drone waves, while the more mechanical structures of "Outside" add a subtly industrial flavor to the equation. "Last Dawn" is open and nostalgic, sounding a bit like AFX in his more pensive moments, and "Lagoon" offers a rougher, more noise-laden journey straight from the source. Wonderful.