When I play this album through my speakers it's as if some furtive ecosystem of sounds are taking up residence in my house. Breathtaking music!
Favorite track: Long Dizzying Air Through A Balcony Door.
Subliminal moments, suspended fragments, caught between time zones.
Comprised from a selection of soundscapes created by Aleksandra Zakharenko throughout various stages of last year, 7/37/2.11 acts as an auditory journal chronicling the fluctuating states of vague ambiguity the artists faced during the unprecedented turmoil of 2020.
Perila casts her slow burn, drowsy magic on Vaagner’s A Sunken Mall sublabel, drawing on the ambiguous nuance of daily life for another diaristic entry to her quietly expanding, precious catalogue.
Continuing to occupy a personalised corner of the contemporary ambient sphere, somewhere between Félicia Atkinson and claire rousay’s liminal tone and Burial’s South London nightscapes; Perila transmutes fleeting feelings into a singular sort of ephemeral ambience richly textured with field recordings and laced with her signature spoken recitals (here edged from ASMR and into more audible room volume), slowly venting her thoughts. If you’ve had even half an ear on this realm over the past few years, we hardly need to describe it any further - but suffice it to say that this one is a deeply satisfying entry to the microcosm.
The album is a more serenely intimate experience then much of what we’ve heard from Perila before, relaying observations in low-lit settings that settle the listening space to her tenor. ‘Long Dizzying Air Through a Balcony Door’ lures in with long, healing, sferic pads, and ‘Amorphous Absorption’ feels to drop the temperature a few degrees, condensing into icier drips. The title and spare tone of ‘Haven’t Left Home 4 4 Days’ is uncannily on the mark - we know that feeling all too well - with a dream-pop tone recalling Teresa Winter at her quietest, with ‘Crash Sedative’ surgeon off any slumber feels with beautifully quizzical, whimsical flurry of keys, but the final send off leaves us in ‘1 Room’, with what sounds like a stray Theo Parrish chord sequence drifting in from the street, as the day blurs into the next.
Artworks inspired by lockdowns, social distancing and other consequences of the pandemic have been trickling out for the past year and a half. Despite the early zeitgeist jubilantly calling for collective experiences, each of them only further cemented the opposite - just how differenttly all of us were affected by the unfolding events. Some musicians shaped their music into shallow, one-way confessionals or sonified pep talks. Others, like Alexandra Zakhareno aka Perila, transformed their visceral experiences into spaces of coping and empathy.
The Russian-born, Berlin based musician's take on ambient has always been defined by a diaristic, borderless sense of intimacy and overwhelming emotion. Yet the six miniatures recorded and released gradually on Bandcamp during quarantine and now compiled on 7.37/2.11 manage to bridge us even deeper into her personal space. On the opening 'Long Dizzying Air Through A Balcony Door', a pillow of murmurs, shimmering snyth pads and glimpses of field recording shuffles around shadows, caressing and embracing Zakharenko's voice. "Spring air brings comforting nostalgia", she sighs, tired. The cut's undulating texture breathes in and out with her, creating a suggestive state of warmth and making us observers and participants in her daily routine.
Simultaneously, the sense of unease that emanates from this and all other tracks is inescapable, even as 'Amorphous Absorption' and 'Haven't Left Home 4 4 Days' enjoy moments of brightness in hissy patterns of tone, flickers of careless humming and comforting sounds akin to gently chiming steel pans. '" was driving a car", Zakharenko whispers through 'This Story Doesn't Make Sense' while pulsing beats and faint bleeps refract around the lines. "I wasn't driving really. It was just my dream", she replies to herself before falling into the feathery lull of a rustling piano ostinato on 'Crash Sedative'.
-Antonio Poscic, The Wire
The world of Aleksandra Zakharenko is built from pin drops, footsteps, the silence between breaths. Her songs require deep listening because anything less would disturb the subtle rhythms of her music.
On her latest release as perila, 7.37/2.11, the Russian-born, Berlin-based artist continues her diaristic approach to composition, capturing recordings made over the course of 2020. But while song titles like “Haven’t Left Home 4 4 Days” might suggest a kind of dire response to pandemic restrictions, her tones suggest a more introspective state. Dusted with a layer of tape hiss, 7.37/2.11 is a particularly cozy reflection of a lonely year. “Being intimate with yourself is the way to avoid becoming robotic in this crazy whirlwind society,” Zakharenko told Pitchfork earlier this year. The warm piano of “Crash Sedative” certainly suggests that time spent in isolation drew Zakharenko towards more acoustic elements.