Small Hours

by Kirill Mazhai

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about

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small hours (noun, plural) - the early ​hours of the ​morning, between twelve o'clock at ​night and the ​time when the ​sun ​rises.

«Small Hours» is a song by British singer-songwriter John Martyn from his album «One World» (1977)

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"More hypnotic and dreamlike sounds are provided by the second release on Shalash... Muffled field recordings filter through echoey ambient loops and reverb filled drones to render a liminal state with oneiric tenderness."

www.fluid-radio.co.uk/2016/03/shalash/

"Small Hours, the debut recording of Belarusian sound artist Kirill Mazhai, off the Russian tape label ШАΛАШ, finds within the recesses of its whispering, submerged loops a feeling like the expansive, but muted, intimacy of Andrew Chalk’s Goldfall and Time of Hayfield, though in terms of approach it is perhaps closer to more contemporary figures from the Japanese ambient scene like Celer and Ex Confusion. I hate to go overboard on emphasizing references here, but Mazhai has shared that he named the album for the John Martyn song; that’s important simply because it affirms that Small Hours is an ambient collection that has soul as few others do. These are the sounds of emptied parks and schoolyards just before the break of day, when the sky is not yet emptied of stars. Peer into the blurred-by-distance field recording of a busy corner that anchors “IV” or the warm, swirling textures of “VI” and it is clear that, in short, this is an incredibly assured and sensitive first release. Check out the tape here, and also, take a gander at the work of Ania Khazina, who designed the lovely album artwork."

foreignaccentspdx.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/new-album-review-kirill-mazhai-small-hours/

"Extremely calming ambient drone from Belorussian artist Kirill Mazhai, available on hand-dubbed cassettes and recycled reel-to-reel tapes. Very minimal and smooth and somehow avoids sounding cliché, could do very well on a label such as 12k or Room40. I look forward to seeing what directions Mazhai takes in the future."

yeezuswalkwithme.tumblr.com/post/141687828820/kirill-mazhai-small-hours-shalash%D1%88%D0%B0%CE%BB%D0%B0%D1%88

"Kirill Mazhai’s “Small Hours” is an affectionate form of experimentalism. Throughout the album a sense of longing dominates. Oddly endearing the pieces radiate with a sense of warmth. Such slow yet elegant pieces their sunniness is undeniable. At times the music appears to capture a perfect sort of introspective summer day. Nostalgia in tone their tender tones feel akin to a mixture of Gas’s “Pop”, early Boards of Canada drones, mixed with William Basinski’s insistence on analog equipment. Woven together they create a satisfying vast blanket of sound.

Soothing in nature is the ebb and flow of “I”. Evolution is gradual and deeply satisfying. On “II” Kirill Mazhai’s sound moves closer to the listener, as if the textures are being examined through a magnifying glass. Ever more intricate with each passing moment a sense of joy pervades the piece. Nearly crystalline is the expansive “III” which feels akin to a muffled nursery song performed by a ghostly orchestra, making it the highlight of the album. Quite detailed is the far-off approach of “IV” where Kirill Mazhai lets the song teem with life. “VI” is quite expressive as the layers sound interact ever so delicately. Like church bells played from far away “VIII” has a reverential spirit to it. Bringing things to a close is the Leyland Kirby inspired “IX”.

Absolutely lovely, Kirill Mazhai’s “Small Hours” lingers in the mind long after it is over like wonderful snippets of a near-forgotten dream."

www.beachsloth.com/kirill-mazhai-small-hours.html

"ebenefalls auch auf tapes erschienen und sehr schick aufgemacht ist "small hours" von kirill mazhai. der junge musiker stammt aus minsk und bietet kontemplative sounds an, die er unter römischen ziffern subsumiert. field recordings, wie durch milchglaswelten wahrnehmend, mit geringer gestikg großes auszudrücken, wird hier in meisterschaft verstanden. echos, rückkopplungen, alles mit bedacht ausgeführt und sich zu einer für immer bestehenden scheinwelt zusammenfügend. entrücktheit, die als neues ziel auserkoren wird. der titel des projekts wurde inspiriert vom gleichnamigen song john martyns."

dasklienicum.blogspot.ru/2016/03/neue-tone-1601-shalash-kirill-mazhai.html?fb_ref=Default

"Un flusso onirico sospeso in un fondale amniotico, un luogo in cui tutto giunge gentilmente attutito e distaccato. “Small hours”, debutto discografico di Kirill Mazhai pubblicato dall’etichetta russa ШАΛАШ, delinea un paesaggio emozionale in bilico tra la notte ed il giorno, tra il sonno e la veglia. Non si tratta però di un’ambience crepuscolare dai toni oscuri, al contrario a dominare è un bagliore crescente fino a divenire accecante.

Il suono procede secondo una struttura unitaria e a conferma della sua coesione, l’album è diviso in nove tracce identificate soltanto dal numero romano progressivo. I primi tre capitoli scorrono all’insegna di una risacca eterea fatta di luminosi loop con poche variabili, che trova significative eccezioni nei granulosi e ruvidi substrato che caratterizzano “IV” e “VIII” e negli innesti di frammenti riverberanti lungo l’essenziale trama di “V”. Il momento più evanescente lo si ritrova nelle calde modulazioni di “VI”, mentre al contrario la breve “VII” è il capitolo più narrativo. Tutto si chiude sulle screziature e le tinte più fosche del movimento “IX” che sembra condurci verso atmosfere in cui l’attività ha lentamente ripreso il suo corso concreto.

Coerente e cullante, questo esordio dell’artista bielorusso è certamente un’ottima premessa ad un percorso artistico interessante."

sowhatmusica.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/kirill-mazhai-small-hours/

"Ima nečeg arhaično-zavodljivog u ambijentalnim kontemplacijama Kirilla Mazhaia, Belorusa iz Minska. Kolekcija njegovih snimaka iz 2015. (januar - avgust) je ponudjena kroz opskurnu etiketu ШАΛАШ iz Novosibirske Oblasti, Rusija i iako info navodi kao inspiraciju pesmu Small Hours Johna Martyna sa albuma One World (1997), meni ovi beloruski rani sati evociraju sve ono najbolje sto hodočasnika ovakve muzike uzbudjuje ili smiruje tamo od Enoa & Frippa sve do Williama Basinskog.
To naglašavanje pesme Small Hours je kada razmislim poluglasno stanovište koje govori o namerama Kirillove zvučne prostornosti/ protočnosti. Način na koji je Martynova pesma snimljena nije bio uobičajen za to vreme. Phil Brown, čuveni inženjer zvuka koji u svom CV-iju ima klijente kao T.Rex, Cohen, Marley , Eno, The Associates, Talk Talk, Throwing Muses (da navedem najdraze.. ) je snimio Small Hours tako što je zvučnike postavio sa jedne, a mikrofone sa druge strane jezera, uhvatio je duh i habitus lokacije čak i preko gusaka I talasa, što je mnogima dodatno bilo zanimljivo i kao trivija. Inače, pesmu doživljavam kao prototip onoga što su kasnije (u)radili Talk Talk, čijim se zvukom upravo Brown pozabavio pri kraju njihove karijere. Ako nije bilo dovoljno trivija, Robert Smith (The Cure) je na tribjutu Johnu Martynu obradio upravo Small Hours.
Cela dodatna priča možebiti deluje kao off-topic koji je kao i u mnogo slučajeva prevladao, ali kada se čuje Mazhaiovo delo, ima smisla razmišljati o inicijacijama koje umetnici primaju i zatim razvijaju u sopstveni svet."

valtazarzauberquelle.blogspot.ru/2016/03/kirill-mazhai-small-hours-2016.html

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credits

released February 29, 2016

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January - August 2015

illustrations by Ania Khazina

"many thanks to Artem Makarskiy, Egor Klochikhin and my mom"

ᐃ # 2

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ШАΛАШ Berdsk, Russia

(2016 - 2016)

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