Not Not Fun • 2022

New Age from St. Petersburg – now in its tenth year. Since his imaginary »Robinson Crusoe (Lost Soundtrack)« from 2012, Vladimir Karpov has injected new qualities into a genre that was once declared dead through labels like Singapore Sling Tapes, Constellation Tatsu, Illuminated Paths or Not Not Fun Records. Then as now, the producer and hermit deploys vintage analogue equipment under his alias X.Y.R. for sound genesis, first and foremost the Formanta Polivoks, but no more than a few pedals. Locked up in his small wooden hut on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, he creates romantic synth scenarios between old photographs, coffee-brown wooden panelling and Twin Peaks posters, which slowly and deliberately open up new territories – sometimes immersed in the stories of fantastic novels, sometimes on route to outer space or long-forgotten mythologies. For his tenth work, »Aquarealm«, X.Y.R. drew inspiration from old Soviet cartoons, nature documentaries and an aquarium in his flat. Like his compositions, he is also a reserved type, not very open to interviews but infatuated with vintage synthesizers much like a Danny Wolfers or Valerio Lombardozzi (aka Heinrich Dressel). And similarly talented in their handling. The fact that he doesn’t try out any new sound palettes, but instead buries himself deeper and deeper in his own style and savours every note, every loop, every pad constellation several times over, is a quality of his music that you have to be into. If this is the case, however, the seamlessly flowing productions of »Aquarealm« conjure up a trance-like escapism that allows the journey to other realms to succeed time and again.