Musician Egor Klochikhin grew up in Berdsky, Siberia. Under the alias of Foresteppe, his music takes root in and is evocative of the Russian landscape – surrounding itself especially in the Siberian forest-steppe. Using acoustic guitar, piano, metallophone, whistle, melodica, mandolin, percussion, and field recording (whew), his music loops in and out of a lo-fi world, warbling unevenly like the wrinkled skin of a well-worn VCR – but providing a washed-out and beautiful image – and somehow reverting as it loops. The ageing melody has trouble walking in 2018.
‘Maera’ is a Russian word for which the closest English translation loosely forms a tired mental state, sitting somewhere between boredom, routine, and procrastination. Returning loops are thoughts are echoes. Losing the groove with an involuntary twitch, the haunting melody skitters, fractures, and violently veers like vertigo, creating second-long jagged lines in an otherwise smooth and beautiful recording; a temporary dissonance, a crease in the caressed sheet, a migraine on a fine day, an erasure of landscape, attempting either to stitch up a brokenness, or, in some way, to evaluate or digest the change, not wanting to accept or adapt to that change, even when nothing can stop its relentless advance, but instead wanting to enfold itself in its current appearance, wanting to preserve, assimilate, and never let it go, burying itself in its present glory, and staying there forever.
Each track joins an image already in process and already filmed, like turning the TV on and hopping halfway into a series. This series is played in slow motion, with familiar faces and people becoming the actors, its scenes unedited. The track titles are short links to TV episodes from an unknown series, and the music flickers in and out of a personal station, receptive only to the artist and the listener. Despite the sudden dips and wobbles, Maera flows and flows, making it essential (and exhausted) ambient.