Dazed Digital



September 17, 2012

The noise band releases its fourth album Karpet Birch

  • Text by Kristina Voytovich

Pavel Eremeev and Artem Galkin are the ex-members of Ya Sleva Sverhy (I Am on the Top Left) who back in 2007 decided to split off and create their own band, Usssy. Their fourth album "Karpet Birch" was just released and Satellite Voices met with Pavel and Artem to talk about their sources of inspiration and recording process. Hypnotic, loud and powerful, the band's largely instrumental musis experiments with synths and samples on the new record.

Satellite Voices: Tell us about your musical style?
Pavel Eremeev: We released four albums so far but each of them is very different. In general, our style can be described as noise rock or noise core, but this is only a tag that highlight our punchy sound.

SV: What inspired "Karpet Birch"?
Artem Galkin: We had a totally new approach in creating tracks while working on this album. We recorded cover versions of various folk songs from all the world. We took the original songs and recorded our instruments over them. The original songs themselves were the main sources of our inspiration.

SV: Where do the niche tracks' influences come from?
Artem Galkin: About five years ago, after I came across a collection of tracks called "Music of Islam", presented mainly by North African and Persian music. I got interested in unsual quarter-tone melodies and inconsistent rhythms. As a result, I focused my attention on the Eastern music, rather than modern Western like Iranian, Afghan and Indian music.

A couple of years ago put quarter-tone modes into my baritone guitar, sold the old jazz acoustic guitar and recently bought a Kurdish tanbur - my current main instrument. Although, I haven't used in the Usssy songs yet. My consciousness shifted. The playing technique and understanding of the unusual harmonies came to me easily.

SV: What Russian bands do you recommend on checking out?
Pavel Eremeev: Now I am quite interested in Leonid Fedorov's music from the rock band Auktyon (Auction). I listened to him before but I have recently discovered him again. It is very powerful and impressive. I am experiencing some kind of a wave of re-listening to my old favorite bands like Ya I Moi Drug Gruzovik (I and My Friend Truck) and Tekilajazzz. I didn't listen to Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense) when I was young but now I am into this band. Masha i Medvedi (Masha and the Bears) too.

SV: Do you enjoy experimenting with the sound? 
Pavel Eremeev: We always try to find an original sound. Sometimes it is possible to experiment with a sense of space within the sound, such as re-recording the stereo microphone and moving it away from the source of the sound. Or imposing unusual effects such as a denoiser, designed to suppress the noise on voice recordings, on the guitar or on the entire record.

For example, the drums on “Karpet Birch” were recorded partly at the country house, partly at the rehearsal studio, partly at home. All other instruments were recorded at home. The next album will be entirely recorded at a country house. The acoustics are really great there, especially if you put the extra microphones in the hay or in the attic.

SV: What are you doing now?
Artem Galkin: We have two more albums to release. We are also rehearsing a lot and writing the new songs. Moreover, we are planning to have a few gigs in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. We also want to take creative vacations this winter, and go travelling.

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