Across countless cassettes, LPs, and one-off tracks, Russian synth voyager X.Y.R. (Vladimir Karpov) uses his tools to soundtrack stories of old-timey adventure, Precambrian explorations, and otherworldly odysseys. Regarding his selection of themes, he stated in a previous interview, “I’d be inclined to associate my works less with a time or place, and more with a mood or atmosphere.” On his latest, Aquarealm, Karpov explores the “the shimmering mysteries of underwater life.”
Prior to the album’s June release, you can dive into a preview of Aquarealm with “Coral Reef Exploration.” The track charts a familiar course of bubbly synth waves shimmering among electric waltz melodies. The warm analogue keyboard sounds X.Y.R. has perfected over the years fit perfectly with the album’s nautical theme. Within a few seconds of hearing these tunes, you are transported into an old diving suit, ready to trudge through the ocean floor.
As with all his other releases, Aquarealm is best when taken in front to back, where you can immerse yourself in Karpov’s carefully constructed sonic zones. Until June 3, though, when Not Not Fun will release the sea green tape, you can get a taste of the experience with “Coral Reef Exploration” below.
Main image courtesy of Andra Ljos