Milinal | Honey Meridian

 Cat: AB027
 Time: December 09
 Media: Digital Download

 Info: Delicately complex electronics from Yakovlev 
Valentine, a Russian sailor whose compositions brim
with beautifully executed ideas. Honey Meridian asserts a sound that's all its own. Pop songs of sorts, glitching through obliterated guitar and vocals in an oddly haunting, romanticized manner. Artist site: Artwork: PDF Press Release: Download

01. Fluxes
02. Inside Sea Shells [MP3 Preview]
03. Dirketoki [MP3 Preview]
04. Drift
05. Bur In Sky Ya
06. Stereo Fall Of The Leaves
07. Brinta [MP3 Preview]
08. Swallows Fly Low [MP3 Preview]
09. Hurricane
10. Artificial & Yellow (featuring Natasha Burinskaya)
11. Honey Meridian
Milinal - Honey Meridian download download
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 Who are you?
 Valentin Yakovlev from St. Petersburg.

 Why do you write music?
 Maybe this that where I can feel the force. Where my 
 brain works most of all. I constantly think of music. Even
 when I am operating a specialised task in my work, it
 sometimes very much hinders my concentration. 

 How would you describe your music?
 Animated. Aimed for the images and actions.

 What does this album mean for you?
 I just tried to show some unknown place where you get
 drift in a seashell on honey waves. Over you flying 
 swallows and the fallen down leaves. Where currents 
 at once promptly pick up you, then slowly turn.

 Can you elaborate on some of your creative
 There is no never a purpose to create something
 defined. Sound behind a sound. sampling to re-
 sampling to re-re-sampling... The main thing that I should
 feel that I have reached in a track of certain peak of 
 activity. When you feel a shiver.

 What are your future plans?
 Now I wish to be realised in "rock"group. I am glad to
 work with people with which for us tastes are very
 similar and I like to feel freedom from other instruments.

REVIEWS | Honey Meridian

 Honey Meridian is the debut full length from Moscow musician Valentin Lakovley, under the project name Milinal. 
 This digital LP from Audiobulb records explores a number of aural landscapes, from dark haunted washes of 
 dissonant textural sounds to sonorous explosions of bright cheerful melodies. Lakovley drew on a broad 
 spectrum of sounds to create this album, including a number of instruments, voices and field recordings all 
 unified by melodic glitches, micro edited within an inch of their lives. The variety of source material adds to the 
 alchemical charm of Lakovleys composition, in which elements seem to continually transform themselves rather 
 than moving linearly through a sequence of movements. 

 Honey Meridian kicks off with a brief introduction that sounds like a prepared marimba played underwater, 
 transitioning elegantly into the four and a half minute masterpiece "Inside Sea Shells." This combo of understated
 crunchy electronics complimented by obliterated vocal samples is one of the most unique songs I've heard in 
 years, primarily owing to the processing of the vocals. While the deconstruction of the human voice into digital 
 abstraction is a common occurrence in the world of electronica, it is safe to say no one has ever done it quite like 
 this. There is something truly alien about the feeling these disjointed, pitch-shifted vocals inspire, some quality that 
 cannot be discussed without resorting to insufficient metaphors. On that note, this song is either a Martian lullaby
 carved on the inside of a melting glacier or a chorus of elf machines singing the national anthem of nowhere, but 
 either way it's bad ass.

 While "Inside Sea Shells" is probably the best individual song, the album is consistently amazing from start to finish
 From the delicate scraping strings of "Drift," to the pastoral IDM of "Brinta" to the lovely piano and tuneful whispers
 of "Artificial and Yellow," each track represents a distinct sonic environment worth a hundred revisits. On the 
 whole I prefer Honey Meridian's more melodic and structured moments to its ambient dronescapes, but the 
 overlapping waves of static laced samples on exploratory ventures such as "Stereo Fall of the Leaves" and 
 "Hurricane" are loads of fun as well. 

 This is such an impressive record that at times it is almost hard to believe it is a debut. Compositions this distinct 
 and mature usually come from multi album veterans, not 23 year old producers with one previous EP under their 
 belt! Cheers to Lakovley and the folks at Audiobulb for this great piece of music, I can't wait to hear what comes 

 St. Petersburg (Russia) based Valentin Yakovlev creates warm emotional electronica with triggered glitches and 
 tweaked out bleeps. And emotional electronica can not exist without emotion. With this in mind, this 23-year old 
 Russian sailor, releasing his debut full length under the moniker Milinal, enters the scene, drenching your neurons 
 in thick cerebral cocktail as prescribed by the IDM doctor. Haunting vocals ping-pong around the stereo field, 
 beneath the deconstructed guitars and soft synth pads. Micro programmed percussion pushes the rhythm 
 forward, while plucked guitar strings and processed sounds swirl around in a smoky whirlwind. Fans of that 
 Telefon Tel Aviv  sound, looking for another treat in this post-glitch-everything world, will be especially delighted. 
 Other quoted influences for this record include Tim Hecker and Radiohead. Be sure to also check out Yakovlev’s 
 first 6-track EP, Folgefonna released by Siberian Electronica  netlabel in 2009. This album deserves much more 
 attention, and it should be surely considered for everyone’s Best of 2010 lists!.

 Audiobulb continue to offer up interesting developments on the electronica scene with this unusual new long-
 player from Milinal. Honey Meridian asserts a sound that's all its own, slicing through filtered, ambient recordings
 drawn from instruments and environmental noises. 'Inside Sea Shells' offers a pop song of sorts, glitching 
 through obliterated vocals in an oddly haunting, romanticized way, but subsequent tracks take us towards a 
 more experimental set of sounds. The clicky guitar string dissections of 'Bur In Sky Ya' are as ear-ticklingly
 tuneful as they are elaborate and 'Stereo Fall Of The Leaves' is a wonderfully immersive soundscape in the 
 Tim Hecker mold, full of dense, foggy noise formations and pensive electroacoustic treatments. Recommended.

 When picturing Russian sailors one would perhaps conjure images of rather grizzled, weather-beaten fellows 
 whose souls have likely taken such a beating through years of hard toil and harsh environments that they could
 barely raise a smile, let alone create innovative music. And so enters Milinal (or Yakovlev Valentine to his 
 friends) to shatter this rather clichéd image. A twenty-three year old mariner, Valentine is releasing his debut 
 full length, Honey Meridian, through the always innovative electronic label Audiobulb, and it is safe to say that 
 it defies the warm and sweet connotations of its title to offer something dense, dark, and always interesting.

 Honey Meridian is an exploration in electronic music, combining and documenting many different approaches 
 and sounds, and, thankfully, the result is surprisingly coherent. While it is a stretch to say that Valentine is 
 creating something truly new, it would certainly be fair to suggest that very few artists are making music that 
 sounds like this. That is not to say that there aren't influences to be heard. Intentional or not, I can’t help but think 
 of Telefon Tel Aviv when listening to some of the beats and glitches, and the drones and squalls of static noise 
 could easily be the work Tim Hecker. But these are just elements of the music - the structure and approach is 
 all Milinal.

 One thing that can be taken from the aforementioned references is an indication of the differing styles at work. 
 Second track "Inside Seashells" is a gentle ambient number with warm manipulated vocals. This glitch-heavy 
 piece represents one of the album's 'poppiest' moments, a fact highlighted by "Dirketoki," which finds Milinal in 
 much darker territory. Leading with what appears to be a dusty guitar sample, the beats and electronic 
 crackles move with more purpose and vigour. Milinal has moved into IDM territory here, and although ambient 
 elements remain, it is a marked change in pace. After the abstract interlude of "Drift" comes the album's 
 highlight and a real indication of what this young artist is capable of. 

 "Bur in Sky Ya" is as intoxicating and dreamy a track as we're likely to find all year. What one assumes is 
 distorted guitar cries beautifully over sweet and calming electronic beeps. As the track switches direction, 
 gorgeous string-plucked melodies come to the fore; all the while otherworldly voices and drones play off in 
 the background. Things sadly fail to reach these heights again, and the second half of the record is dominated 
 by a far more abstract approach. Although more minimal, the closing tracks still offer some joyous melodic 
 moments and an increase in noisy, distorted drones. Milinal finds a knack for pitching these noisy moments at 
 some mystical cerebral frequency that seemingly resonates at the same pitch as the meditative part of my brain 
 -- always stimulating total submersion and relaxation.

 The overall impression left by Honey Meridian is one of depth and complexity. This is an example of densely 
 layered electroacoustic music: treated instrumentation layered over glitches and beeps, with drones, melodies,
 and even voices thrown in for good measure. It can be intoxicating and overwhelming, but this range of sound 
 ensures that the music consistently delivers something new. It is a case of the old adage that each listen 
 reveals another aspect not appreciated at first, be it a hidden melody or a buried sample. At times the more 
 sparse arrangements feel slightly disappointing when compared to the more focused efforts, but there is a 
 strong ambient atmosphere that runs through the record. One can only imagine that it is perhaps the travels of
 this Russian mariner that have inspired this otherworldly collection of songs.
 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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