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Posted on April 30th, 2015 (12:00 pm) by Aaron Tremper

With the success of 2014’s EP, Polygon Fane, Russian producer, Alexey Devyanin (a.k.a Stud, Gultskra Artikler, and Pixelord), solidified himself as a leading figure in Russia’s contemporary electronic music scene. On his latest LP, Places, Pixelord has gone international by crafting a compilation of soundtracks from “the electronic music capitals of Berlin and Chicago to Ottawa, Beijing, the Thai province of Phuket, and [Pixelord's own] Moscow."

Each track, according to an interview with Furler magazine, represents “the cities that left the strongest impressions on him; some even influencing [him] directly.” Despite such eclectic inspiration, Pixelord’s first full length release isn’t a scattered collection of each city’s electronic scene; rather, each track plays out as a portrait very much shaped from Devyanin’s inspirations in Aphex Twin. A frosty merge between chillout, breakbeat, and minimal house, Places sounds far removed from Devyanin’s comments in Vice Magazine stating that Pixelord was an alias focused “more [on] performing live, for DJing, for clubs and festivals.”

The single, “Berlin” (the city in which Devyanin fell asleep on a massage table only to find his wallet gone) opens the album with ambient wind gusts before diving into a mix of juxtaposing breakbeats and piano stabs. On “Ottawa,” Pixelord blends a sample of Destiny Child’s “Say My Name,” trap’s double-and-triple-time hi-hats, and glittering electric piano for an R&B infused lounge track. A flight across the Pacific brings the listener to the pulsing synthwash of “Phuket” and the ethereal “Beijing,” before trekking north through the deep house of Devyanin’s adopted hometown of “Moscow,” and the garage groove of his actual birthplace, “Novosib.” With “10:37” and “Home,” Pixelord retreats into the internal where a breakbeat collage of beeps, whoops, and synth pads marks a “new wave of warehouse, rave and techno sounds” inspired by Pixelord’s own admiration for internet culture.

Pixelord told Furler magazine that “the album was best suited for listening on trains.” After listening to the album in its entirety, his advice also describes the structure of the LP’s somewhat scattered direction. If the tracklist is the roadmap, Pixelord’s beats are the locomotive. After realizing that the only consistent thread running through the album is Pixelord’s breakbeat rhythms, the listener is free to ride through the passing scenes of exotic, electronic soundscapes found throughout the album.

Track List:

  1. Berlin
  2. Ottawa (feat. Dojo)
  3. Phuket
  4. Bodø
  5. Beijing
  6. Chicago
  7. Moscow
  8. Novosib
  9. 10:37
  10. Home
Pixelord - Places Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

63 / 100
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