Many Astrowind’s tracks are themed in outer space and its secrets – musical attempts to grasp the unknown.
ASTROWIND offers a spiral of accumulated experience of what has been seen, heard, dreamt and read, the desire to get away beyond the horizon of consciousness and sub-consciousness through musical experience.
The album is dedicated to the cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov - the first man in outer space and a person who has always appealed to the author. Such tracks as The Case with Colonel Aleksey Leonov, Lost and Found on The Moon, Mute Pilots and Aleksey Leonov See Dreams are also inspired by the movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact (a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey) which tells the story of an American-Russian space crew flying to the Jupiter System on a ship named after Aleksey Leonov. The author hopes that Aleksey Leonov will hear this record. This tracks greet him.
The album’s title track, Wind on the Plain, has been named after Debussy’s Le Vent de la plaine. This is a tribute to the composer who has been an inspiration for ASTROWIND for a long time.
The album was recorded in collaboration with Mahi Bukimi. Kriipis Tulo is grateful to Mahi Bukimi for his contribution in the recording of this album.
The album provides a fusion of nostalgic echoes of Soviet news broadcasts, an echo of old radio sets and the cinematic patina of artwork by censored Soviet filmmakers. These are islands of memory, the past overcoming the future.
Against The Odds / Chris Antonoff
Kriipis Tulo is a prominent sound designer whose long been regarded as one of the key figures of the Latvian electronic music scene. In his latest release he made heavy use of vintage synthesizers for a truly dark, eerie and cold feeling. Listening to Fresh Wind In The Valley Of Dreams will set one's mind to wander in various directions only to find melancholy and desperation waiting at the end. You can really feel the beauty and the coldness of the digital in Tulo's music which offers an intricate and spectacular transition into a whole another dimension of existence. His music creates beautiful, harsh and desolate soundscapes in which your imagination to roam. If our everyday life becomes a pattern of zeros and ones Kriipis Tulo's music may very well be the soundtrack if it enriched by the machines' cold embrace. With its complexity and unorthodox approach Tulo's album is sure to find its way to many new followers in the realm of experimental music.
A Closer Listen / Jeremy Bye
Space has long been a source of fascination and inspiration for electronic musicians; clips from NASA recordings have been used to give an extra depth to ambient works pretty much since the genre began. Kriipis Tulo, the Latvian musician who records as Astrowind, is no different. Fresh Wind In The Valley Of Dreams is inspired by – and dedicated to – cosmonaut Aleksey Leonov, the first man to walk in space and, later, the commander of the Russian half of the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975 which saw the United States and the Soviet Union work together in space for the first time.
As might be expected, clips of Leonov’s space flights make their way into Tulo’s work but they just about avoid cliché and remain unobtrusive. It is perhaps that first space-walk that informs this album more, with a real sense of weightlessness in many of the tracks; with little in way of percussion or bass, the synths and organs here sound as if they are floating without anything to anchor them to the earth. It certainly makes for an atmospheric ambient album, and there’s enough detail, outside of the radio clips, to hold the interest. Alternatively, aside from the slightly clunky transitions between tracks it’s possible to let the album play in the background and imagine drifting weightless in space oneself.
If there’s one failing of Fresh Wind In The Valley Of Dreams, it’s that Tulo favours atmosphere over anything distinctive or memorable in his arrangements. The downside of the consistency across the album is that it lacks a little character and it’s really only the piano on the penultimate track “Nocturne for Different Moons” that adds something new to the mix. As it stands, though, Astrowind has made a thoughtful album to soundtrack our dreams, as we gaze to the skies and wonder.
Migrate Music News / Jordan C. Small
Kriipis’ tracks are so far out there that I believe that he has come in contact with aliens through his voyage through space and sound. He presents his artwork in a way that allows the listener to feel as though they are sitting next to him in the cockpit of a rocketship, and the only thing there is to hear is the deafening sound of the rocket fuel buring behind them; that sound is exactly what Kriipis is attempting to portray to the listener. Although the rhythm is subtle, it is still possible to sense Kriipis’ portrayal of time. Kriipis’ art can only be described as profound, but only so if you, reader, close your eyes and imagine a vast void of outer space in front of you. This is a very well put together album.
We at Migrate only have mad props to give. Myself, being very interested in the vast reaches of space as well, am very intrigued by Kriipis Tulo’s exploration into deep space. Lastly, I must say that this album would be a perfect addition to any astrological collection of bits and bobs, but also just any old record collection. So, reader, I suggest you buy this album, get your telescope out on the front lawn, and listen to this record while gazing at the stars; you might hear more than you bargained for.