Quartz – Five Years On Cold Asphalt


CD – Crónica
His debut album on Crónica Electronica, a Portuguese label well known to the lovers of the experimental scene, Five Years On Cold Asphalt is the beginning of the solo career of Alexandr Vatagin, aka Quarz, already famous for his collaborations with Valeot and Liska Records, and for his commitment to the Tupolev ensemble and Port Royal. The Viennese artist realizes refined scans, blending field recordings and drones, electronics and electroacoustics, microtones and pulsing audio emergencies, creating passages that are always mellow and mysterious, involving and animated by passion. Vatagin’s mixes seem to combine many different stylistic approaches: as a result, he makes possible a coexistence between free improvisation and abstract jazz influences, the digital contributions of Alexandre Schubert and Nicolas Bernier, Martin Siewert, Stefan Nemeth and David Schweighart’s guitar, synth and samples and Bernhard Breuer’s drums. We are presented with a very personal cosmogony, filled with textures that are full of life and supported by a complex musical plot. As if by magic, passages with no apparent shape gradually find their own way. The record leaves a strong impression on the listener for a number of reasons, including the sensitivity and the linear progression of the harmonic characters and the alternation and mutual transformation of opposing elements. Due to this meeting, something coherent and complete comes to life, underpinned by the creation of elegant, reactive and changeable synthonies.