Country of Origin: Russia
Record Label: Sverchok Records
Year of Release: 2002
Tracklist: The Snow Of The Rails (4:51), The Face Of A City (5:58), 78 (6:49), Absolute Control (5:06), It Is Winter (3:57), Miss The Target (6:30), A Tree By The Wall (6:49), Tuner (3:10), Substance (4:24), Smoke (4:11)
Russian band Romislokus are back with their second album, Vinyl Spring Digital Autumn and they have followed up their debut Between Two Mirrors in a most impressive fashion. Once again they have managed to fuse the calculated cold atmosphere of electronic music with the warmth of string instruments, notably the cello and the violin. Once again the vocals are sung in Russian, but somehow the band manage to curb this problem and unlike with many 'foreign' bands, this does not serve to detract from the beauty of their music.
The difference between the styles of music Romislokus play is evident from the first two tracks. The Snow Of The Rails has a dark sinister electronic touch to it while The Face Of A City has a much more warmer, and commercial, feel to it with the introduction of airy keyboards as well as the now customary and expected string interludes. In fact it seems that the band have moved toward a more mainstream approach with this new album allowing themselves to become rather more accessible by broadening their fan base to those who could easily listen to other bands such as Hothouse Flowers.
However, even though there is more of a commercial feel to the band's music, they still manage to instill an aura of progressive rock such as on 78 which has some intriguing shifts in both time signature and overall style flitting between the acoustic strings to a harsh electronic sound. It Is Winter blends acoustic and commercial rock with progressive arrangements featuring tubular bells and strings which blend in magnificently with Yuri Smolnikov's husky vocals.
As mentioned time and time again the band feature a heavy does of electronic music which feature in a variety of ways. Absolute Control has the band adopting a heavy synthesised sound that also affects the overall sound of the guitars, Miss The Target has a cold atmospheric ambience almost Tangerine Dream-like in nature, as does Tuner.
The music by Romislokus seems to have been derived from a myriad of influences but one cannot deny that one of the major bands that does crop up every now and again would be Pink Floyd. Tracks such as A Tree By the Wall, feature that melancholic nature that evolves at a dramatically slow but effective pace. However, the one feature that this Russian band possesses that allow it to stand out when compared to many other similarly styled bands is the incorporation of the string instruments which create such as strong contrast to the various other electronic sounds, a feat that is accentuated on Substance
Admittedly, Romislokus are one of the brightest discoveries to have come my way in the last few years. Their music breathes fresh air into what at times has become a seemingly stagnant musical style. Though there are various references from classical bands, Romsilokus have adopted with great success their own individual style which deserves to be unleashed to the masses!
Conclusion: 8 out of 10.