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Senmuth - Lotos Prityazhenya CD (album) cover



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Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Lotos Prityazhenya' - Senmuth (6/10)

A more melodic and composed album than most of the mellow, ethnically inspired albums that Russian one man project Senmuth has created, 'Lotos Prityazhenya' sees Valery Av taking his now very familiar staple style, and adding some symphonic undertones to give the album a slightly fresh sound. However, as it stands; this album suffers from a very weak sense of album flow, as well as the dry issues that have plagued the greater deal of releases from this composer.

While many of the albums by Senmuth are either focused around Middle-Eastern or Indian culture exclusively, 'Lotos Prityazhenya' brings several cultures together in a soothing melange of sounds, even bringing some European-leaning styles such as the medieval madrigal, and the cello (or at least, a synthesized computer variation) to the table, making for an album that while very distinctly a Senmuth venture, has a little more variety to it than one might be used to from this artist.

Some very mellow electronic tones give the album an almost 'fairy tale' vibe to it, but while some tracks (particularly the oriental-tinged 'Сновидение [Стремлений]') are very soothing and do their designated function as well as one could hope for, many of the songs lack a memorable aspect to them, making for a somewhat shallow listening experience. However, as with all Senmuth albums, Valery Av has miraculously managed to throw in quite a few subtle details into the mix, so that one would be hard-pressed to find all of them after a single listen.

'Lotos Prityazhenya' is a soothing, atmospheric, and at times even pastoral venture from Senmuth, but it rarely exceeds the limits of mere ambient music, making it a pleasant album, but nothing more.

Report this review (#373755)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I asked help to Google to understand the meaning of the track titles hoping that the translation is correct.

First of all "Lotos Prityazhenya" means "Lotus Attraction". The opener is " Introduction [to life]". Is one of the most melodic things ever made by Senmuth. The cello and cymbals arrangement is very nice and unusual for this artist. A very good track for less than three minutes of enjoyment.

"Nucleation [basis]" is a Senmuth's ambient track, but there's less Middle-East than usually, and the good acoustic guitar has a counterpart in the harp that adds a touch of celtic or medieval to the track. Very relaxing. It's like some light is come to wash out the normal darkness of Senmuth.

"Dreaming [quest]" starts with the same unusual instruments of the first track but with the addition of far eastern sounds. The first minute could be used as background in a Chinese restaurant, then it becomes a bit darker and it's like crossing the Himalaya up and down from China to India and back. A lovely track (I like Chinese restaurants).

"Purpose [again]" is the first track in the usual Senmuth's style even if a sort of brass sound gives the impression of an orchestral arrangement. It's not industrial metal and neither a folk-ancient-egyptian track. It's just on the dark side of Senmuth .

A keyboard and a guitar in Oldfield's style open "Aspiration [Ctrastey]". I think that Ctrastey" is a wrong transliteration of a Russian word which has the same root of Aspiration. This track lacks of melody as many of the Senmuth's tracks, but it's more evident in an album like this. Not a bad track anyway, specialli with the guitar in Mike Oldfield's style in the final.

"Feeling [Breathing]" opens with contrabass and celtic harp. I'm almost sure that they aren't real instrumnent but please let me write as if they were. This track has a feeling close to what I get from Tangerine Dream of the late Virgin period.

"Awakening [Bliss]" is back to the usual Senmuth, but on his ambient side.

"Blooming [Tree of Life]" is great. Until before the drums appear it's like listening to Phaedra. Then it returns into the Senmuth's realm but as on the second track, without the middle-eastern sounds. Very close to Tangerine Dream, anyway.

With "Finding [Hopes]" Senmuth is back to use some of the usual sounds. It's a good track but of the kind that's possible to find on dozens of his albums. Not a weak track itself but weaker in this album.

"Attraction [Parties]" is like the previous track a standard Senmuth's song. There are good guitar parts and the melodies when present are consistent enough, but the heavy percussions break the light of the previous track to restore the usual darkness.

"Dreaming [Seeker]" is opened by spacey sounds and percussions. The dreaming atmosphere that is evoked in the track's title is brought by square waves in Edgar Froese's style. It's effectively a follow-up to the previous "Dreaming", but unfortunately the sitar sends us back to the indo-ethnic ambience. I like this stuff, but on this album is a bit strident.

"Conclusion [cycle]" is progressive electronic. Another track that could stay on a TD album of the 80s, at least until the noisy guitar solo that's good but far from Edgar Froese's style. This album is not a masterpiece because it still lacks something, but I can say that's the best Senmuth's album that I have reviewed until now and I'm currently at 43.

Report this review (#439941)
Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This record is a diversified good average album by Senmuth that mixes several styles in a more or less progressive way in the end.

The album kicks off with some great new age melodies and some majestic cello sounds that slightly remind me of Apocalyptica without sounding like a copy of it but rather like a spectre of a possible experimentation that those Finnish experimental metal masterminds have never done in their career so far. The best example for this is the surprisingly strong and intense opener "The Entry (Into Life)" that may seem short but sounds already diversified, intense and convincing.

With the fourth track "The Destination (Of Dreams)", the album goes away from the spiritual, calm and inspiring new age and touches some more rhythm orientated music somewhere between industrial ambient music and atmospheric space sounds. Some hypnotizing piano melodies are added to the cello sounds and we also hear some great acoustic and electric guitar work by Senmuth who really seems to have improved his skills on this instrument over the years.

Towards the end of the record, Senmuth progressively delivers some more and mostly oriental folk sounds and ethno orientated ambient tracks that lead towards an amazing ending of the album with the gripping, entertaining and epic "The Dream (Of A Seeker)" and the more relaxing album closer "The End (Of A Cycle)".

While the mixture of these three styles is quite interesting, entertaining and resumes pretty much anything a fan likes about Senmuth, I feel that the transitions could have been worked out more precisely. The progression of the three genres doesn't always sound logic to me and the record feels a little bit torn apart and sometimes even pointless. I also feel that the music doesn't fit with the topic of the record. The first part makes me think of religious and mythological topics, the second part of the short reprise of a space odyssey and the last part seems to introduce an exotic oriental culture to the listener. This simply doesn't stick together. Senmuth could have elaborated each part a little bit more and better and might have created three excellent albums instead of one very good one.

Nevertheless, the music itself sounds really fresh and especially the new age parts in the beginning have a certain kind of magic and sound better to me than any new age approach Valery Av has tried out before while the space tracks can't mess with "Great Opposition Of Mars", "RXG-242-11" and "Oracle Octave" and while the folk tracks are not as gripping and convincing as on "Swadhisthana", "Ra Dhi" or even the last record "Weird". This means that there is one almost excellent on this record that would maybe even merit a ninety-five percent rating at least as well as two good but not great ones that I would maybe still honour with a good seventy-five to eighty percent rating as those parts are nothing new and groundbreaking but still very well executed. The final result is logically the average of the three parts. Once again, this album may be interesting as a diversified introduction to a new fan to the world of Senmuth but might not be a fan's favourite on the other side. I still happen to listen to this album over and over again instead of picking up three different releases that focus on each different part of this album and consider this album as a very good Senmuth release somewhere near the average rating I would give to the entire discography of this unique project.

Originally published on on September 25th of the year 2011.

Report this review (#808883)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2012 | Review Permalink

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