We’ve taken another breather with our schedule as we had to hurry along and ship rather a lot of Sven Laux albums – thanks to all who supported his release!
We’re back now with something perfect for the spring/summer as we welcome Russian artist Valotihkuu with Fragile Melodies. This one’s full of warmth as bells, lap harp and guitar are resampled and treated with plenty of tape effects. This should appeal to those who follow Federico Durand, Darren Harper or Cass
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Valotihkuu is Denis Davydov who is from the industrial Russian city of Cherepovets, with previous releases appearing on Russian independent labels such as Ветер в Ивах and Unline. Denis has been active since 2010 and has amassed a discography which also includes several self-released projects available by his Bandcamp page.
We fell in love with 2017’s ‘Spring and All’ and urged Denis to produce something for Whitelabrecs; he kindly obliged by sending us ‘Fragile Melodies’.
Denis tends to start his recording process by searching for interesting or unusual sounds whether this be background noise or the sounds of outdoors. He then marries these with musical instrument, tape and digital sampler experiments with plenty of resampling and layering as part of the process influenced by dreams, the natural world, stargazing and childhood memories.
In Fragile Melodies, we’re pleased to present a record that could be described as both frail and serene, with Denis having spent a great deal of time editing previously recorded samples of musical instruments. These include bells, lap harp, music box and guitar and he strived to manipulate the sounds so that they could tell a story separately without adding new elements, harmonies and melodic lines. The sounds transform in a unique way, as a sort of scent which floats into the air before you and each time you try to capture this, it dissolves. During the period that this album was created, Denis would walk a lot, listening and thinking about the fragments of sound he had been concocting, trying to reflect on how these could be presented as a light but elusive set of textures. With each walk, he’d be aware of the intangible nature of his own childhood memories as they flickered into focus for a fleeting second. He decided to use Fragile Melodies as a means to transfer such delicacy through sounds, textures and melodies.
Written, produced and mastered by Denis Davydov
Photography by Denis Davydov
Artwork by Harry Towell