QUARZ: Five Years on Cold Asphalt CD Crónica
With a resume that includes ‘Port-Royal’ amongst its ranks, Alexandr Vatagin did set my expectations high before I even pressed play. Fair to say, this release did have a lot to live up to way before the first slices of audio hit my ears.
Clocking in at just over 34 minutes, ‘Five Years…’ is one long track with interventions throughout providing collaborations with other artists that surprisingly is cohesive from start to finish. Audio manipulations range from the organic to the electronic and provide a broader range of styles than is initially evident.
Overall, this album is a somewhat quiet affair. Scattered levels of ambient and space force you to play this with the volume ramped up in an attempt to make you appreciate the minute nuances that gel the release as one. It’s this bullishness however, that is ultimately the albums downfall.
What ‘…Cold Asphalt’ suffers from, are clear track markers to break up the tedium. I despise being told how to listen to release in its entirety, when you have to suffer periods of lifeless drivel just to appreciate the finer points of the work on offer. Depressingly, this album has more of the former than the latter.