Ivan Zoloto is a Karelian musician and sound artist based in Barcelona. He has announced the release of a new album called Pleasure Prison which is out via School of the Arts. According to the press release, Just like Zoloto’s previous release, “Ghosting” on the Russian CANT label, “Pleasure Prison” is deeply immersed in psychogeography: before relocating to Spain just before the pandemic the artist has been constantly on the move. The new long-play has been composed and recorded in Russia and China but finalized in Barcelona. It’s important to note that there are no field recordings, but some of the compositions have been recorded live and later reassembled in the studio.

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The title track is a 35-minute-long composition for laptop, live electronics, and an improvising violinist. It was recorded with Russian-Finnish multi-instrumentalist Sasha Kretova in Petergof, with Zoloto performing in his favorite mode: as a dub engineer, with a laptop, a mixing desk, and some Soviet and handmade effects. It fuses his two main passions together: the raw and improvised side of drone music (think Vibracathedral Orchestra) and heavily processed electronics moving at a glacial pace with distant bass explosions.

Tracks “Problem no. 1” and “The Door Is Open” document Zoloto exploring another side of his heritage: here he’s playing jouhikko, a Karelian-Finnish bowed lyre, in a very aggressive and rude manner. He then treats it via half-broken tape recorders, conjuring some funeral noise-folk dirges.

The “Voice Message”/”Elevator Scene” suite starts off with LSS (also known as L.I.E.S.-affiliated artist 51717) whispering “pleasure prison” in a Facebook voice message and follows that with almost-techno-sounding hi-hats, ice-cold chords, and crude electronic loops performed live in Shanghai through assorted guitar amps. The result has been described by one listener as “Tim Hecker meets Hijokaidan”.