GENTLE REACTOR by VIOLETOV GENERAL
|Catalog #||OE 015|
|Release||W 08 - 2023|
|Format||Vinyl - EULP|
|€ 22,99||incl. VAT, excl. shipping|
- Haotichen Izgrev
- EDIT Exhibition (Master, Mix)
- Rain Thoughts
- Give me all your love-III
- Slow Dancer
- Black Cat
(RH Record of the week review at the bottom of this text)
Welcome to the magenta world of Emil Valev. During the late 1980s and 90s, at the helm of Violetov General, he pioneered a darkly melancholic, avant-garde formulation of the new wave sound. The band enjoyed international acclaim, spending time in the underground scenes of Bulgaria, Berlin and Slovakia. Since then, Valev has gone on to refine his hypnotically idiosyncratic style with a number of solo releases and appearances at electronic music festivals. Now, Osàre! is honoured to present Gentle Reactor. Collecting together twenty-five years of remastered and more recent material, the album is powered by the sensual fission of harsh textures, metronomic beats and playful excess.
Label boss Elena Colombi initially received over eighty songs from Valev, two of which appeared on the compilations Il Monte Analogo (2021) and Il Lupo Della Steppa (2020) respectively. But it was clear that a full album dedicated to Violetov General needed to be in the works. The pair spent two years combing through recordings, selecting the tracks that would eventually form the double-sided LP. From the locked-groove beat of ‘Valahoveine’ to 'Poliani’s sizzling industrial refrain and the slap-bass finale of 'Black Cat', Gentle Reactor is a wild ride.
The record takes the darkwave genre on a cosmic journey across the realms of prog rock, noise, Eastern European folk-tinged melodies, ritualistic percussion and a patchwork of vocal breakdowns. Driven by an intuitive compositional process and slick production, the retrospective is a fascinating slice of experimental music history that's anything but backwards facing.
Rush Hour Store Record of the week W10:
Currently playing at the store: the dark and entrancing sounds of Bulgarian avant-garde darkwave underground dwellers Violetov General, who made a name for themselves performing on the Bulgarian, Berlin and Slovakian scenes and self-releasing a series of elusive cassette tapes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Led by the illustrious Emil Valev, theirs is a sound that is hard to pin down, employing elements of strobe-lit EBM, hypnotic cold- and darkwave, pulsating techno, gloomy ambient, ritualistic folk-not-folk, Coil-like experimentations and artsy musique concrète, all tied together in a uniquely imaginative way.
After initially receiving over eighty songs from Valev Osàre label boss Elena Colombi and Valev spent two years grazing through Violetov General’s archives, deciding on the eleven tracks that would make up the weird and wonderful ‘Gentle Reactor’. The results are absolutely stunning.
Starting off with the understated Belgian-inspired coldwave creeper ‘Vdahnovenie’ proceedings get hectic on the frantically percussive ‘Haotichen Izgrev’ before Valev’s reactor cools off again on the icey hypno-killer ‘Poliani’ and the menacing ‘Exhibition, Master, Mix’, but all tracks on this captivating compilation have one thing in common: they suck you in and won’t let you go until the party’s finally over - too soon. (RO)