Foresteppe’s ‘Odeyalo’ will be released via French label laaps on December 29. The titular word itself is Russian, and translates as ‘blanket’. Fittingly, the music is comprised of assorted sounds and deep tape-textures, with differing strands all converging to create one singular thread.
Foresteppe (the musical alias of Russian artist and history teacher Egor Klochikhin) experiments with tape cassettes, acoustic instruments, field recordings, and electronics. Specifically, Klochikhin has fallen in love with the textural honey of tape, where notes can fray, unspool, crimp, and drip from their parental machinery, offering a depth unique to its medium. Above all, Odeyalo’s blanket has been stitched together with impressive thoroughness and attention to detail.
As the sounds coalesce, they form an intricate sound collage, but, thanks to its playful nature, the music also manages to feel both liberated and loose. It’s hard to tell whether Klochikhin chose a completely improvised approach, because Odeyalo feels more like an interconnected series of individual patterns or shapes which, when brought together, make up the overall fabric of the record. What’s also impressive is his ability to produce a cohesive sound, even when tackling many differing strands, all of which have their own agenda and personality; they loop and occasionally tie together, too.
Odeyalo slips easily between its different segments, and instead of coming across as a rushed and hastily put-together covering with no rhyme or reason as to its appearance or tone, the music slinks effortlessly in its continual progress as the mix passes from one section to the other, keeping a level, consistent tone even as it subtly traverses from loop to loop. Odeyalo is perfectly constructed, its assembled sounds a form of musical engineering, and there aren’t any sharp edges to its quilt. It’s the kind of music one can snuggle up in.
‘It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins, but the main thing is that you can cover yourself with this blanket’.