Kotra with Radness Methods (PROSTIR +5), a typically uncompromising set of loud and near-brutal electronic stabs…inspired to some extent by techno and dance music, but the intention here is to create a form of transcendent art music, underpinned by philosophical ideas.
Kotra is Dmytro Fedorenko, a regular name in these pages who used to be based in the Ukraine but now operates in Berlin, and is the former owner of the fine Kvitnu label which offered a home to similar blasts of precise, death-dealing, hammer-blow techno music. Radness Methods hints at some form of grim self-determination with its track titles full of abstract ideas such as “virtue”, “consistency”, “consciousness”, and its relentless music which sets an unwavering and unblinking face against the cruel buffets of life. One often suspects that Dmytro Fedorenko would have made a good Spartan in the ancient world, but he goes further than that, and would probably wish to make Spartans out of all of us. To that end, he concentrates on extreme sounds and “provocative” performance, hoping to wreak a mental and physical change on his audience; for this particular release, he’s drawing equivalences between ritual drumming and meditation techniques that involve a rhythm, and likening both of these to a bout on the dance floor (probably taking place in a club 300 miles below the surface of the earth).
In his world view, this amounts to “an artistic method of extreme urban meditation”, leading him to speculate further and even more fancifully on matters of ecstatic trance and shamanic flights…a lot of these ideas are fairly well-established I think, and though I haven’t looked at it too closely it resembles the sort of aspirations about “altered states” we used to hear about from Coil and Psychic TV, the latter in particular often regarded as the precedent for Acid House, a very popular form of culture for those seeking ritual and ecstasy. I would add that, given the high volume, generally airless atmosphere and close-knit fabric of the extreme musical content of Radness, meditation is probably the last thing on anyone’s mind – at least to listeners who would prefer to turn to Eliane Radigue or Tibetan Red for their spiritual needs. Even so, a strong set of intense music…from 25th March 2022.