For my money there are a scant few bands, instrumental or otherwise, that continue to push the sonic envelope further with each subsequent release as effectively as the Russian space rock outfit Vespero. Now four albums into their career, their latest opus entitled Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier is a concept disc of sorts that finds the band keeping the crux of their sound and many of their key musical ingredients firmly intact, and yet at the same time, it also see's them continuing their relentless affinity for self discovery by carving out new paths in the search for those missing layers required to take them to the next level.
Visually, the so called standard edition of Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier is anything but, as it comes housed in a gorgeous cardboard folder /box that includes an underwater navigation map and features some absolutely exquisite artwork from Russian artist Zonder Zond. If you're so inclined, and that is if they have any left, make sure to check out the special limited edition, which is completely off the charts.
Containing six instrumental compositions and clocking in at around an hour, Vespero once again thrive on guiding the listener through yet another one of their multi- dimensional, kaleidoscope journey's through the cosmos, and also in this case the murky depths of uncharted oceans. Although comprised of six individual tracks, the music presented here is woven seamlessly together in the rich and dense warmth that can only be achieved through analog sources, not to mention it is also a welcome contrast from today's music culture, which still favors pushing individual 'tracks' as opposed to the complete album listening experience. The shimmering atmospherics, heaping amount of synth washes and innovative guitar textures and effects are on full display throughout, as they mesh perfectly with the ever shifting rhythms and complex percussive patterns. Their 70's inspired Krautrock approach is further complemented on a few tracks with the subtle addition of sax, flute and cello. When you put it all together it comes across as yet another masterpiece from these Russian pioneers.
What continues to set Vespero apart from many of their contemporaries operating in similar musical territory, is their continued desire to explore new sounds, without sacrificing any of the main ingredients (for lack of a better word) of their sound. With each new release comes the spontaneous and subconscious desire for growth and until they prove incapable of delivering on their promise, they will continue to offer us masterpieces like Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier.
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