Absent One “Places”: Viva Music Album Review

October 27, 2011 in Album Reviews

I brought myself to town late at night. I cadged a cigarette off a tramp and took a seat on the railings till all that noise and fuss at the station made me want to lurk somewhere in the dark. I was roaming a couple of hours before I managed to find a decent bar which offered booze I could afford to get up to the moment. Down in the cellar among fools and drunkards, trapped between stench of cheap liqueurs and acrid smoke I saw a nice chick who dragged me out in the streets. We hung out for a while and later on made out near a deserted car park on junk. We had a really good time. I lost her somewhere around downtown, crawling there, followed by a police car. Nothing can bring me down. I like this music. I call myself a City Hound. They call me Absent One.”

Tracklist: Splendour Station” * “Night and the City” * “Go Places” * “Hollywood” * “Car Park” * “Wonder Boy” * “Colors” * “Other Side” * “Downtown” * “Dark Corners” | Music by: Alexander Chromov and Nikita Brusov. Words by: Alexander Chromov. Recorded at Absent One studio Moscow in 2010-2011. Vocals by: Alexander Chromov. Sexy vocals by: Elena Fomenko. Arranged by: Nikita Brusov and Alexander Chromov. Mixed by: Nikita Busov. Mastered by: Pavel Zolin (Purple Fog Side).

About Absent One:

Famous Moscow-based, garage-synth duo Absent One came to be in 2009, when friends Nick and Alex decided to get their act together. Public performances, including one at the first Russian goth festival “Dark Entries” followed, as well as their debut “Blowback”. Favorably received by critics, the album uses a wide array of sounds, which are highlighted more prominently on their “Places” album, out with Ionium Records. With new backing vocals from Helen, the album gains in enthusiasm and charisma, and the experience they provide is not without a very personal touch, and twist.

Absent One – Places”: Viva Music Album Review:

Urban artifacts always carry on a decent amount of familiarity, even when they speak about the most squalid aspects of our city life. If this feeling of familiarity is retained in Absent One’s “Places”, it has nothing worrying or demoralizing about it; it’s sheer fun for the sake of fun, inspired by an urban surrounding and covering the blaring sounds of the city with new harmonies, and new unlimited scripts.

The sound that helps “Places” set forth is very well styled in “Splendor Station”; it exhales a self-awareness and self-certainty musically beneficial to the entire album. True about many if not all the tracks of the album, the music they propose more often than not trespasses the boundaries of the tracks and intertwines in a very persuasive way, as if they were drawing a city map with transfers, transits and exchanges. The tune carried on by “Splendor Station” becomes hypnotic once “Night and the City” steps in, with an idyllic synth and a garrulous, all-knowing anthem. The track lacks in nothing, it is perfect to be aired on radio, just right for a car drive, excellent for a club. And count in cascading enthusiasm, really sympathetic to the listener. If the album stopped right there, it would still be great! But there’s more in store, obviously, since the 10-track album is meant to get us club-hopping through a world we are only now discovering, but around which the band has a very clear notion on how to have fun around. The beat breaks through all barriers and restraints on “Go Places”, and from there the party goes on at full tilt with “Hollywood” and “Car Park”, with a rich urban imagery and accompanying emotions, plus the great vocal walkthrough provided by backing vocalist Elena. The loud, unfaltering rhythm of Absent One is one thing to admire, and their down-to-earth, but spiritual approach makes the suite of songs both easy to grasp and slippery. “Wonder Boy” is a smirking, masculine carefree synth ballad and its 1980’s undertones make a splendid addition to the good vibes it carries on. The uplifting experience of “Wonder Boy” remains, unadulterated, throughout the sinews of “Colors”, and adds to the effervescence of previous tracks once “Other Side” unleashes sonic demons of very precise and shrewd missions. Not fooling us one bit, but taking care of us like of a drinking buddy on a compassion-free night. It all happens “Downtown” in a tumult of sounds that is at the same time friendly and warm, showing us where it’s at; and it all happens in the motes of fleeting dust of “Dark Corners”, where you know that belonging is only a matter of perspective, and of personal becoming. “Places” is an effervescent, intelligent and captivating experience. Enjoy!

Absent One – Official website | on Facebook | on Bandcamp

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