Ukrainian artist Oleksandr Demianenko is a jack of all trades and a master of many. Photography? Absolutely. Music? Obviously. Label founder? Yep! Watercolor? Apparently. It's a safe wager that he's both an excellent conversationalist and Trivial Pursuit partner. Now based in Tbilisi, Demianenko's current curiosities are rooted in analog mediums, and on his new album Tapes Recorded for Watercolors Vol. 2, this fascination shines through.
Just as he captures and preserves images on film, Demianenko collects field recordings when exploring remote corners of the world. Sometimes he manipulates these found sounds, setting them to IDM-style beats, but a good chunk of tape on Watercolors Vol. 2 is presented in raw form, against a more muted backdrop. There truly is an impressive amount of sonic diversity found on the album. For instance, Watercolor 2.13 opens with synth, but then washes into wood chimes and birdsong. This track is not to be confused with standout cut Watercolor 2.31 later in the album, which layers ambient drone with chunky breakbeat drum loops. Moments on Watercolors Vol. 2 bring to mind Pantha Du Prince organic/synthetic-style blends, but Demianenko seems to move slower, more pensively. To close out the album, he sends us off with a dramatic solo piano piece as rain patters outside - the finishing brushstrokes on a beautiful piece of art. Tapes Recorded for Watercolors Vol. 2 is out tomorrow through Hush Hush Records (linked here), and preview a track below.