Sound Impression: Speck – Antiheart [Eilean Rec.]

Speck is Nikita Bondarev, a sound artist from southwestern Siberia. Antiheart is his fifth album but marks his first contribution to the Eilean Rec. project where its rustic pastoral electroacoustic ambient aesthetic finds the ideal home and is well matched to the enchanting covert art by photographer Sophie Fontaine which suggests something quite the opposite of forbidding and remote, but is saturated in muted spring colors and a warm aura of nostalgia.

The album contains four long form pieces ranging from ten to fourteen minutes each. These are not so much songs as reveries, poetic idylls spun from gossamer textural fabric, radiant swells of guitar, violin, and halcyon piano lines that twinkle like dappled sunlight shining through a canopy of leaves. Loneliness seems to be a theme of Bondarev’s work and there is certainly a sense of that sort of melancholia here, but overall the effect is tranquil and soothing, like being sung to sleep as the cares of the day dissolve into slumber. Very nicely done.

Antiheart was recorded mastered by the artist and is now available for pre-order on limited edition CD (130 copies) or digital download from Eilean Rec. Note: Also recommended is an album called Siberian Loner which Bondarev recorded under his own name for Klammklang and can be previewed and purchased here.