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Moscovite Dmitry Evgrafov follows his 2015 debut 'Collage' with Comprehension Of Light, also on FatCat's neoclassical offshoot 130701. Richter, Jóhannsson and O’Halloran fans rejoice! For his 1st vinyl LP release, Dmitry upscales from electronics to real strings, courtesy Iskra Quartet. Buddies Abul Mogard and Benoît Pioulard are also present. Often recalling avant-garde film soundtracks, the album follows a through-line of redemption with spectral qualities. Includes download.

Vinyl LP £16.25 LP1327

LP on 130701. Includes digital download card (inc. 2 dig-only tracks which don't appear on the vinyl).

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Comprehension Of Light by Dmitry Evgrafov
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9/10 Jamie 03 October 2017

Hey, friends and fellow fans of sad instrumental musics: it's time, once more, to be wowed; by modern-classical label and FatCat offshoot, 130701. Dmitry Evgrafov follows up his ‘Collage’ of recent times with this new, more expansive set of contemplations. If that last disc spake of Evgrafov’s preoccupation with sky-gazing, amongst the soil and moss of his local woodland this one radiates his love of light and all things thus infused for something altogether more thoughtfully wistful, yet far-reaching.

Comprehension Of Light opens with a hail of static and radio noise, dissonance rising and dissipating to reveal ‘A Gleam’: there’s a glimpse of angelic choristers singing their little hearts out, signals beamed in from some faraway, alien place, then… ‘Tamas’: as if someone pressed the ‘stop’ button on your tape player, and there’s a strange ambience underneath you couldn’t quite hear before… and there are eerie sounds, a ghostly rhythm with an orchestra under an ancient spell… an odd, staccato tapping sound. Spot the wooden block. A clarinet, then an oboe.. Now a distant flute joins in. It’s hella creepy.

‘Ungrounded’: an actual string quartet breaks through the horror-film’esque atmospherics. The sum total effect sits somewhere between a Max Richter telly / blockbuster-movie ‘score and Mica Levi’s ‘Under The Skin’ (a masterpiece of excruciating tension). I’ll confess, I wasn’t expecting anything quite so unsettling. Then Dmitry goes ‘Wandering’ … and the light beams back in. I can feel the gentle rays of October sunshine filter through the leaves and warm the back of my neck. And breathe.

Perhaps by way of a break (or an interlude between dramas), D.E. treats us to a tinkling of his ivories on ‘Rajas’: even this has a burst of melodrama about it, before settling on its pretty conclusion. The strings return to supply a Richter-meets-Ryuichi Sakamoto moment of gorgeous, heart-breaking melancholy, for ‘A Chance To Change’; before itself changing up into something remarkably… hopeful. It’s a segment so poignant, it feels like a good point to draw a line under this titanically ambitious yet often confounding record. I don’t have the energy to attempt any further decoding, frankly. Emotional. (This is probably a great record.)



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