Last time we came across Russian pranksters Gultskra Artikler they were a duo comprising of Alexey Devyanin and Dmitry Garin, but since the release of the haunting 'Pofigistka' on the Lampse label in 2006, Garin has left the band leaving Devyanin to come up with the most definitive Gultskra Artikler statement to date; 'Kasha Iz Topora'.
The entire record, which plays continuously through its hour-long duration, is set to a fairytale written by a friend of Devayanin, detailing the adventures of a man with an axe that makes flying porridge (based on a traditional Russian tale) - quite some distance then from the Little Red Riding Hood then. The macabre elements of the disc's storyline provides ample source material for Devayanin to weave his processed darkness in and out of folk-tinged guitar parts, knee-trembling vocals and all manner of other obscure instrumentation.
'Kasha Iz Topora' is one of those records that truly sounds on its own in an overpopulated music scene, and while this is possibly due to the location of the recording (how many records can you honestly say you own from Russia?) it is more likely that Devyanin has developed his windswept sound stories over years of careful experimentation and fine-tuning.
Hailing from Novosibirsk in Siberia he has much to draw influence from in his new Moscow home; a place that can reach a startling -40 degrees Celsius in winter. Wrapping up warm and constructing choppy experimental music on an archaic personal computer was one of only very few ways of keeping his mind off the intense world outside, busying himself crafting his sound and taking in influence from such artists as Leafcutter John, Jackie O Motherfucker and Todd Dockstader.
It is clear on 'Kasha Iz Topora' that Devyanin has chiselled his craft to a fine point going far beyond so much else in contemporary electronic music - this is a new stage in the development of not only Gultskra Artikler but the ever-growing Miasmah label which seems to be broadening its horizons rapidly. If you give this album the time and let yourself fall into its cryptic story, you may find the strangest and most involving record you could hear this year