Roricat – Uki Uki

I’m not hearing Russian music daily, but the artists that I’ve come across so far are usually to my liking. Not that I want to generalize Russian music, there is plenty of variety within their underground scene. Roricat, a new name for me, is certainly no conventional act. The two members Julica Rorica (voices and ‘magic’) and Eugene T (guitars and machine) weave minimal but lovely carpets of sound. “Uki Uki” gives me the impression of a winter album, which is enhanced through the white cover and photos of winter landscapes.
The music is at times a bit abstract, but never devoid of feeling. Soft floating guitar sounds, long drones, some bleeps, an occassional human voice, a few synth lines… Most of the slowly evolving instrumental songs are very dreamy. Especially the second one, ‘She dives with fireflies’, is very beautiful, it’s a ‘common underwater love story’. All songs are described on the digipack sleeve in a few words or sentences. Although the music seems to be rather serious, the song descriptions are playful.

There are a few songs that I like a bit less, like ‘Washu theme’, an experimental track with many bleeps reminding of computer games. This one drives me a bit crazy. But this is an exception, most songs convey a lot of spacious atmosphere, like ‘Perverted magic user’, which is also a bit psychedelic, through the organ-like sounds. The music is slightly melancholic, but never oppressing and with a lot of air. At times Roricat sounds estranging, but then again the soothing sounds and drones make you drift away.

The song ‘Ice-cold blood’ is quite melodic, driven by a slightly rocking distorted guitar. But ‘Luna’ slows the pace down again, taking you to a starry night. Taina is quite spacy, dedicated to ‘a great computer game – UFO by Microprose’. I must confess I never played it, though I used to be hooked on another game from the same makers: ‘Microprose Soccer’. But I am drifting away now, and the music is taking me to remote corners already. Like ‘Astral creeps Hunter (for Edward), a nice minimal composition with sparse low guitar sounds and some eerie electronic effects. Although it’s nearly summer I’m still captured by these icy Russians.

artist: Roricat
label: Horus CyclicDaemon
details: digipack cd, 14 tracks, first edition of 500 copies (HCD05)