MYSTERY SEA 40| Five
Elements Music| [VarunaGhat]
" My material is made of water recordings and elements interacting
It happened at different times and circumstances.
I truly hope that various energies of emotional moods, which were contained
in the water at those particular moments, are reflected in the sound.
And now they'll exist on a more delicate level, reviving each time in
the listener's consciousness.
As a result of mixing various sound combinations, I tried to achieve
something really strange, something that exists in parallel to the environment
that surrounds us.
I really hope this material will affect you."
Russian project Five
Elements Music is a shoot coming from exit in grey's rich compost
of sound experiments, and also Sergey's solo highly
organic vehicle... the name comes from a vedic concept of "Five
Elements" (ETHER, Air, Fire, Water, Earth) needed to have a global
approach of reality, one that goes beyond appearances, words and consciousness
for an enhanced experience of Life both on an emotional, physical &
spiritual level... ETHER is the central element of this bouquet, holding
all forms & colors, and the human body is the perceptual tool...
Five Elements Music paints a sound canvas, trying to
reach a sort of supra-awareness through the manipulation of chosen sensible
sonic fragments coming from some essential elemental sources...
On "VarunaGhat" we share a common mystery
with a pool of trembling water,
being both in a dormant state,
waiting to bloom while listening to its nocturnal flow...
an imperturbable stream
in phase with the world
we speak as a river,
our voices among stones, singing into the liquid
like a choral of fluctuating micro-energies...
In all those elements lies a detailed universe
Drink its traces, slip into its convolutions, sense its immanent drift
till your awakening...
01. untitled 1
02. untitled 2 > listen
03. untitled 3 >
VITAL WEEKLY 587|Frans
It's hard to imagine where Mystery
Sea finds them, but he does find them. Five Elements Music
hail from Russia and I haven't got the faintest idea about the who or
what. I do know about the why though: according to the vedic concept
there are five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth and releasing
on Mystery Sea is perhaps something that fits the schematics. The Sergey
bloke who is behind this release takes the name of the label as a starting
point for his three untitled pieces, as water seems to be recurring
element in his music. Highly processed at the start, but the cascading
waves become an apparent feature later on. The main features are there:
drone, deep rumbling drones of the subaquatic nature of the sea waves,
while slowly move forward and which bring structure to the music. There
is nothing we haven't heard before in the same field that we hear on
this release, but Five Elements Music do a pretty fine
job in creating underwater music, which is a bit on the dark ambient
side on one hand but never looses it's sense of experimentalism.
AQUARIUS new arrivals #276
Yet another installment in the Mystery Sea label's
ongoing series of "night-ocean drones", and none maybe more
appropriate then this disc from Russian drone outfit Five
Elements Music. Based on the Vedic concept of five elements
air, fire, water earth and of course ether. Yup. However, here we're
mostly concerned with water, as it seems that most, if not all the
sounds on VarunaGhat are sourced from recordings
It's hard to tell at first, as the sounds is just a whispered glimmer,
a shimmering high end glint way off in the distance, hovering like
fireflies over a vast expanse of hushed ambience, long drawn out barely
audible tones, ultra minimal but quite lovely. Eventually, the tones
grow louder and more pronounced, melodies surface, and the sound of
water solidifies, and suddenly the drones are drifting along side
a burbling stream, or the lapping of water on the shore of a lake,
slightly percussive, hissing and gently frothing, adding a whole other
layer of sound to the already carefully arranged soundscape. Each
track here follows a similar pattern, from barely there, to a tangible
exploration of some water based soundworld. The second track begins
with a microscopic rumble, but soon, we're wandering through a rain
forest, the sound of rustling branches, rain on leaves, streams and
gently running water, all suspended in a strange glacial swirl of
near static shimmer and soft blurred drones.
The final track is much more active, much more percussive, with the
sounds processed into almost rhythms, dark and ominous, eventually
building to what sounds like it could be the sound from some movie,
leaves crunching underfoot, rain falling, foot steps, leaves and branches
in the wind, all manner of water, splashing and dripping, again, all
wrapped within a haunting smear of muted harmonics and deep rumbling
Definitely one of the nicest in the series, and certainly the most
evocative, perfect late night drifting off music, the sound of rain
combined with deep dark shimmering drones, pretty impossible to resist.
Like all Mystery Sea releases, strictly LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each
disc numbered on the tray card, and gorgeously packaged with striking
full color artwork.
To the food industry, water is increasingly
turning into a lifestyle product. For Russian artist Sergey,
it is source of great purity which should be treated thoughtfully
and with respect. On “Nameless Droplet”, his recently
released and already all but sold-out Mystery Sea debut with his main
project Exit in Grey, the metaphors were still covered by dark clouds
and hidden in musical metaphors. The album represented a shoreless
sea slowly being sucked down a vast and increasingly vociferous vortex.
Under his “Five Elements Music” disguise,
however, the metaphors are facing themselves in a Kirlian mirror,
their souls exposed and their true nature revealed.
Samples of various water recordings, therefore, are at the heart of
“VarunaGhat”. For an artist who holds
the traditional drone ethos even higher in his solo work than in his
collaborative activities (which, on “Nameless Droplet”
allowed for diversifications such as sombre guitar figures), this
can hardly come as a surprise.
With its complexly vivid inner pulsation and a constant outward frequency,
after all, the sound of water is essentially a drone itself and compliments
the suspended harmonies of the genre perfectly. On the other hand,
Sergey is not content traveling to the same places others
have already visited. Just like Exit in Grey caused minor eruptions
by fluently shaping their intangible compositions into very concrete
textures, Five Elements Music finds a niche between
a traditional and a progressive use of its field recordings.
Rhythm especially plays a vital role in this concept. There is a very
simple logic behind this thought, as water in itself is silent and
only becomes audible through movement. Whether it is sparkles from
a fountain, rushes through a ravine, gallops like fugitive horses
or murmurs peacefully, Sergey concentrates on its
pulse as well as its irregular gravitational center. He doesn’t
need all too many exterior extrapolations to achieve this effect and
instead choses to leave most of the natural emissions intact. His
work lies rather in developing the samples through timbre and by allowing
different sources to overlap and form new patterns.
Simultaneously, he contrasts these waterscapes with the expansions
of his drones. The vast, twenty two minute long opening track takes
this to extremes, as a single recording is awarded emotions ranging
from aggression to tranquil zeal, while the sky is increasingly covered
by black cumuli and distant lightning flashes.
On the second untitled track, a sinus tone is softly stretched, forming
a tender, woolly surface. Here, the basic technique is most apparent,
as organic and surgically dissected material are brought together,
while immobile frequencies clash with the underlying stillness.
One has to see this as a decided step against the arbitrary use of
water in electronic music. Many recent releases have both shown the
great effect it can still have, as well as the danger of ending up
a cliche. On “VarunaGhat”, no drop of
water is carelessly spoiled. It relies on the beauty of its path through
nature, yet changes its course whenever this offers a chance for creating
new sensations. You need to listen closely to this album to actually
become aware of this seemingly insignificant but really quite important
shift. If you do, however, there are great rewards lurking underneath
WIRE #286 - Outer Limits|Jim
Five Elements Music is the
work of a Russian ambient technician who simply goes
by the name of Sergey, and who also shares time in
the equally obscure Exit In Grey project. Drawing from the Vedic definitions
of the basic elements - earth, air, water, fire and ether -
Five Elements Music seeks a holistic approach to sound in
which sympathetic vibrations can inspire transcendence. Perhaps in
deference to Mystery Sea's series of 'night-ocean drones' releases,
Sergey derived some of the sounds for VarunaGhat
on heavily processed recordings of water : gurgling water in vibrating
pools and distant oceanic swells feature throughout his longform compositions.
These are almost always a secondary texture to a dark tonal drift
which subverts any potential for New Age readings to this album.
installment #15 - December 07 | Alan Lockett
Which leads seamlessly to Five Elements
Music, whose name alludes to a vedic concept whereby a galvanic
fifth element (ether) is added to the standard four. The science of
five elements purports to offer a platform for nature and its organizing
principles to be understood, offering access to all levels of material
nature, and Five Elements Music presumes to embody
this somehow in an approach to sound, through the manipulating of
incarnations of such material elements. After which strained effort
to grasp the project’s opaque metaphysics, one might justly
ask "yes, but can you get horizontal to it?” It’s
Russian Sergey—the [S] half
of Exit in Grey’s (S) & [S], who have previous on Mystery
Sea—who’s behind all this, but he seems to find it inspirational,
so let’s cut him some slack. In a further conceptual slant,
he’s taken the label name as a springboard for the set, in effect
supplying theme music for “Night Ocean Drones” Productions.
Be warned, though, that a bathroom trip is advisable for the listener
prior to embarking on this voyage, as a pronounced aqueous quality
flows throughout VarunaGhat, varying from a trickle
to a cascade. Source sounds in the form of recordings of water come
into contact with interacting elements, with [S]
folding in various sound combinations to achieve a strange amalgam,
one foot in a surrounding environment that’s real and another
in an arcane parallel universe. On “Untitled 1” the waters
are heavily disguised by processing initially, but a ghostly rivulet
gradually reveals itself as a more present stream, becoming more audible
above its surrounding buzz and rumble. Two other pieces follow which
explore variations on the same, the waters leeched into by more viscous
whorls of post-industrial scum. Nothing in Five Elements Music
has not swept past before in the thirty-odd previous Mystery movements
of this strangely engulfing Sea, but VarunaGhat’s
blend of environmental ambient and field recordings proves to be a
worthy addition to an experimental tradition represented by a catalogue
that begins to look more distinguished with each passing year.
MACHINE | Roger Batty
: 4 stars out of 5
Though the projects name is Five
Elements Music, VarunaGhat
deep often dark and quite tense/active ambient expanses mainly focus
on one of the five elements : water. The 46 minute long release
is split into 3 untitled and aquatic based tracks.
The first track bobs slowly into view with its grey murky drones dwells
giving a feel akin to slowly coming round, finding yourself on the
floor of a vast underground cavern & you can hear in the distance
the sound of running/ pouring water. As the track progresses the running,
pouring and ultimate flooding water tones become more and more intense
as there mixed with the murky drone and creepy echoed pitches,
as if the subterranean cavern is filled up slowly, then over time
filling fast and faster. A really very effective track
that gives a great feeling of panic and tension building that
gets to almost fever pitch towards the end of the 23 minute track.
Next up track two which opens with a tolling and haunted type
tone & then the water tones enter, being a lot more active, moving
and dense than in the first track, rather taking centre stage over
the tolling pitch. They layer up rushing, pouring and submerging aquatic
tones in quite an intense and airless manner all to make a quite panicked
if still haunted piece of active deep ambience. Lastly track three
opens up with a deep bubbling drone/ aquatic tone giving the feeling
akin to what it might feel like to drown falling over and over down
and down in aquatic darkness. As the track develops a bobbing sonic
pulse raises sounding almost flute like and the sound of running/
pouring water returns. Giving the feeling like if you’ve found
an aired space underneath the water ala the abyss.
I’ve always been a sucker for wet, damp and subterranean sounds
and textures with-in ambience and VarunaGhat manages
to mix all of those textures to a highly haunting, effective and at
times panicked whole. Without doubt one of my favorite Mystery Sea
release thus far.