steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Andrey Kiritchenko

"Bees & Honey" CD


Genres: glitch, ambient  experimental electronica

4518 Avondale St.
Apt. B
Bethesda, MD
20814 USA

Jan 26 - Feb 1 2004

Bees & Honey is Ukrainian sound artist Andrey Kiritchenko's most recent album under his own name, following a number of MP3 releases and compilation appearances.  Also known as Nihil Est Excellence and Sidhartha, Kiritchenko has a unique, glitchy approach to electronic music that is quite peaceful and ambient, though far from commonly accessible.  Elements of Fennesz, Farmers Manual, and the more experimental side of Pluramon all reside in his unique sound, which occupies the first five tracks of this album, followed by ten remixes.

The main selling point of this album is probably going to be the last ten tracks, which feature names such as Scanner, Kim Cascone, Cray, and Freiband.  However, one shouldn't feel any need to skip past Bees & Honey's first tracks; they are, in fact, some of the best on this disc.  Kiritchenko has a knack for creating mesmerizing, pretty tablets of ambient sound sculpture.  Each of his tracks is comprised of clicky, glitchy sounds spliced together seamlessly.  Opener "Moonshine" is reminiscent of Fennoberg's legendary recordings, while "Bees Scattered" is pure Farmers' Manual.  All of this will appeal to fans of the Mego, Touch, and Ash labels.

The remixes, or, more accurately, reconstructions, don't stray far from the album's general formula.  The two last tracks, remixes by Cray and Freiband, seem to be a bit more glitch-exclusive, with little to no tunefulness at all.  Violet also contributes a very noisy piece of sound.  Contributions by Scanner and The Moglass are among the best, though they aren't too far off from Kiritchenko's source material.

Overall, Bees & Honey is a very satisfying experimental electronic release.  Its niche is very specific, but Kiritchenko succeeds in staying in the genre's boundaries - and in the end it's all for the best.  Recommended.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]