Olekksii is the stage name of the electronic musician Alexey Krolevets from Kiev, Ukraine. His electronica travels in the rivers of classical music.
His debut work "Iris" EP is soon to be released on Fluttery Records. The label founder Taner Torun says "We receive a lot of music submissions from all over the world. We try to listen them all. When we were listening to Olekksii, we felt like he must be a part of our family."
Olekksii's music combines electronic music with classical music elements. He says "My way is to connect both too worlds of music fans: conservative classic music lovers and liberate generation of electronic supporters". When you listen to his music, piano melodies comes together with lush strings and powerful tubes mixed along with electronic beats and basses. These compositions rise the atmosphere of harmony and beauty.
He says he is very impressed by the saying of Autechre: "It's all like looking at gene cycles, who inherits what. You've got your X and your Y, and you mix them."
Recent debut “Iris” EP made by Olekksii is a pill which helps you to struggle with such a modern world feelings like lonelines, sorrow, inconstancy. If you impressed by works of Olafur Arnalds, Max Richter, Kettel, Ochre, Jon Hopkins or Nils Frahm you definitely need to give “Iris” EP a try.
In Your Speakers
Classical and electronic music become one with the work of up and coming new artist Olekksii. Olekksii, also known as Alexey Krolevets, is a one man producer from Kiev, Ukraine who hopes to combine two very different musical cultures into one harmonious genre.
It wasn't a difficult decision for Fluttery Records, a label that bills itself as a place for creative music and artistic independence, to sign Olekksii. Fluttery Records claimed once they heard Olekksii's music they had to add him to their family.
From signing with Fluttery Records came Olekksii's debut work titled Iris. The EP consists of eight tracks which elegantly combine classical song structure with a modern electronic pulse. Each song resonates the subtle beauty of soft piano keys with sharp beats, creating a more aggressive yet just as lovely representation of classical music.
Iris was released on Friday and is available on Olekksii's Bandcamp. Whether you like classical music, electronic music, or ideally, both, Olekksii is worth checking out.
Echos and Dust
My sum total of foreknowledge about this release is it "combines electronic music with classical elements…" And that's good. Sometimes it’s nice to go in cold to a release.
A few years ago there was an Israeli downbeat/chill series called "Life Is..." and this EP by Olekksii immediately took me to the same place, haunting piano melodies, a spacious mix, distant, forlorn emotive states and almost a sense of regret. This is a 'walking home in light rain while dusk turns to night and you examine your life' kind of release.
Overall this is a sparse, clinical record - in a good way. The melodies, harmonies, effects and even the percussion all seem to stay arm's length from you - a forced perspective from which you view the whole. Sometimes the tracks are a little brief, perhaps more vignettes than tracks - but again, it’s an EP.
There are some lovely keyboard sounds on this, with just the right amount of 'glitch' to remind you that it’s not straight classical (if you ignore the obviously NOT classical song structure). Having said that it does need more 'cello. Especially the final track 'Semitone Waltz' - the equal best track for me. I would have loved more 'cello to mimic the sub-bass towards the end of the track - But maybe that's a result of the clinical mix.
I would be very interested in hearing a full album from this person/group/whatever - with the extra time it could provide the basis for some great development in the tracks and overall theme. I like not knowing where it’s from, what the meaning is or why it exists – all too often I find myself falling down an internet tab explosion as I research an act… My ignorance in this instance helped the music evolve on its own.
So - this is a melodic, emotive and yet sparse and cold release. I like the juxtaposition of these conflicting states and think it's done well overall. If you like smooth beats on a Sunday, melancholy on a Tuesday or just something a little different then give this a spin – there are enough layers here to keep you entertained, and it’s definitely not ‘cocktail beats’. Also - excellent cover.
Olekksii’s ‘Iris’ is dark. Much like the album’s namesake it manages to be dark while trying to let in so much light. Aspects of this album appear to be almost contradictory. On one side there are the very many classical influences. These are merged with the electronic aspects. Placed together, the uneven beats alongside the electronic it manages to become something akin to Planet Mu on a particularly loopy day. What’s strange is how Iris manages to be completely outside the realm of trends. ‘Iris’ operates in an area that’s oddly been neglected, of digital paying homage to classical and vice versa. How this has managed to be so neglected is quite surprising as it used to be a relatively common occurrence.
Disembodied voices try to make their way through the piano and beats on ‘Eternal Glory’. The sound is rather sweeping. Adding the voices gives the song a heightened sense of humanity. For the title track ‘Iris’ things manage to be rather understated. Piano on here is particularly effective. Strangely the harsh, somewhat noisy electronic pieces merge perfectly well with the more dramatic classical effects. On ‘Light Sorrow’ the beats manage to get unusually hard-hitting (for them). Here the beats try to overwhelm the basic melody yet fail. ‘Semitone Waltz’ ends it rather quietly.
Conflict is a huge part of the album’s appeal. At all moments the beats are trying to take center stage. This tension drives a lot of ‘Iris’ and helps to keep it thoroughly engrossing.
Utter the words ‘classical music’ to your average British citizen and they will possibly associate the art form with an image of upper class folk sitting in grand concert halls quaffing expensive wine, the received pronunciation of Radio 3 broadcasters overheard briefly whilst skipping through FM waves and the worrying thought of tip toeing through an intellectual minefield of composers, periods and instruments. To many, ‘getting into’ classical music must all seem like a great deal of effort. But with the continuing success of ‘modern-classical’ artists such as Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and Max Richter, comes a more widely available sound and a less uptight aesthetic coupled with a scene that can be accessed by clicking buttons rather than dressing up to go out. Here we have classical music for people in jeans and t-shirts.
Judging from the music on his debut EP, Iris, Ukrainian born Olekksii appears to fit into this niche seamlessly. Taking a pinch of art-music electronic experimentalism and filtering it through beat programming techniques forged in the evolution of dance music and sequencing technology, Iris manages to sound notably modern whilst managing to retain the traditionally important melodic and instrumental sensibilities of pre-1900’s classical music. Like a great deal of ‘post-internet’ music being made today, Olekksii’s work is akin to a patchwork quilt sewn together from influences chronologically and geographically alien to one another.
Many of the tracks here seem to express a considerable amount of sorrow through tentative minor piano progressions, yet despite the brooding nature of tracks such asSemitone Waltzand Eternal Glory, warm strings and well poised clicks and whirrs give the pieces confusingly uplifting undertones. If you’re already acquainted with the work of Ólafur Arnalds, you’ll instantly recognise the style. However, it would appear that instead of allowing his art to be a mere replication of his Icelandic contemporary, Olekksii places greater emphasis on his programmed beats, subtle use of digital effects and some considerably less attenuated synth work.
Cinematic and delicate, the track, Light Sorrow centers itself at first around a delicate piano flutter before being slowly drowned in dissonant synthesized string drones. The mood turns sour and the whole track is set on edge. But as the music reaches a point where it feels as though there is no light left to be found, a skittering yet cumbersome beat fades into view as if signaling the end of a tunnel, prompting the melodies to become brighter and converting malign goosebumps into shivers of exaltation. It’s this way that Olekksii conducts emotions through the different layers in his music that makes it such a pleasure to listen to. As if each piece is a new scene in a play, unfurling some revelation in the plot that allows a new mood seep into the air, it’s constantly engaging.
In places, Iris does seem to struggle a little production-wise. The electronic elements, particularly the rhythms, don’t quite sound as clean and full as they could be. Yet in the wider context of the EP, I can’t help but feel that this problem is only stressed by the fact that the overall compositions are made to such a high standard. A single blemish on an otherwise perfect face is always more noticeable than one that sits alongside a multitude of other flaws.
When I first stumbled across Olekksii on the Fluttery Records website, I thought the name sounded familiar. Indeed, this is the last name of a Ukrainian artist known as Endless Melancholy, only his last name is spelled with a single 'k'.
The artist Olekksii is Alexey Krolevets. Like Endless Melancholy, he is from Kiev, Ukraine. Olekksii specializes in electronica, but his music can appeal to fans more diverse than the typical electronic music lover. His new full-length album, "Iris" is an abbreviated eight-track album rich in classic electronic beats, smooth, atmospheric reverb, and piano.
This music is multi-layered. While ambiance plays a crucial role in developing the dreary aspects of these tunes, it is sole focal point. Olekksii builds upon that template with recognizable electronic beats, which provide tempo and depth the music. Another key element of the mix is the piano. Simple, catchy piano melodies play a thoughtful juxtaposition with the electronic beats, while various string arrangements cast rays of beauty into the mix.
"Iris" would be a strong modern classical performance without the electronics. With those beats mixed in, it reflects on some latter film pieces. These arrangements of multiple cellos and violins instead call to mind true classical music. These arrangements are deep enough to sound cutting-edge and modern, but paced more like contemporary.
The length of tracks does often matter to me. As I said in yesterday's post about Funeral for a Friend's new disc, short tracks can lead to less variety in musical sound. This is not the case with "Iris." Though the average track length is nearly identical to the new FFAF album, the music is strikingly diverse. This perhaps owes to the absence of vocals and the insistence of contemporary musicians need to create music devoid of catchy hooks or other sounds of repetitive nature. Indeed, these eight tracks seem to stretch much further.
This album is still short and I do feel that Olekksii would have been served well by including just one or two additional songs, but this is but a minor complaint.
Fluttery records claims that this music is for people impressed with works by Olafur Arnalds, Max Richter, and several other lesser-known artists. Having read this bio before I listened to a single note of the music, they had me at Olafur Arnalds. Olekksii is indeed similar to Arnalds, and believe me that is a major plus.
I fully recommend purchasing "Iris". This is a fantastic listen and an inexpensive download. Check out the full stream, courtesy of the Olekksii bandcamp page below. Thanks for listening and enjoy!
Olekksii is a one-man electronic creation by Ukrainian Alexey Krolevets, who has released this debut eight track album called Iris.
The music is instrumental, ambient, with soft electronic beats.Alexey Krolevets is a classical trained musician, and was quoted as saying, ‘My way is to connect both two worlds of music fans,’ appealing to classical, and electronic music fans alike.
With the beginning track of Eternal Glory you have the energy of youth and optimism, which you would hope, would last to eternality, and then the last moment in Exhale, and the transitional period of the ultimate end in Light Sorrow, it does have shades and shapes of a person’s journey through life.
To lift things up you have Molekula’s Dance, and Em Majesty that are the shortest pieces of music on the album.
Iris sharing its name with the album is rather a tense instrumental having a strong piano riff, and a grinding sound that makes you think of an eye scanning the environment.
Last But One gives you the sense of being fired up to the stars, with bubbly synthesizer sounds dispersing across the spectrum of sound.
Throughout the tunes on this album you can hear this is a first effort by Olekksii, and as you listen their seems to be a brake pedal being pushed-down. The finale track is a mixture of classical piano notes, the crackle of the jazz bass being played, and modern electronic blips, scratches, and solid drums in Semitone Waltz, sums up this conclusion.
We are sure and expect further music from Olekksii (aka Alexey Krolevets,) and being that his music is instrumental, it wouldn’t be unusual not to hear it on a film soundtrack, and furthermore to this point it would be interesting how the audio and visual concepts of his music would marry-up
Something much more consistent can be found in this album Eternal Glory from the Ukranian artist Olekksii. It’s a thoughtful blend of classical and electronic sounds worthy of Jon Hopkins and the ilk, with lovely strings and pianos joined by soft beats that create beautiful, film soundtrack-worthy pieces. It’s great music to chill out to, with a coherent flow to the whole album.
If I had a criticism, though, it’s that the songs build up so nicely it’s a shame they all seem to be so short, with none stretching much beyond four minutes. Listening to the album I find myself wishing that Olekksii could aim for track lengths of around ten minutes, as he’d surely come up with some absolute belters.
Taking the album together as a single piece of music, however, it is thoughtful, gentle and soothing; and as background music for a journey, a quiet gathering or to set a nice, relaxing atmosphere, it’s ideal. It’s probably the one I’d return to most often out of all those I’ve reviewed in this post.
Intermittent radio communications at the threshold of audibility add stochastic grit to the plaintive melodic contours of Olekksii’s piano lines; chilly pads and grumbling basses envelop them in regret. This music speaks alienation and solitude, with its single acoustic voice picking a tentative path through fields of technological automation. Iris owes a creative debt to ambient music, but most of the tunes have a strong rhythmic skeleton, and although there is a strong element of dysphoria in its atmospheres, the sense of forward motion is somehow optimistic, or comforting at least; it’s a very relaxing listen, sad, but calm. On a tune like ‘Light Sorrow’, where the beat comes in so hard amidst the faded washes of the harmony that it jars initially, by the time it’s run for a couple of bars it is wholly absorbed by the affective landscape of the piece; on tunes with less aggressive percussion, the effect is even more pronounced. Time is passing, the music seems to say, and there is something to regret in that, but there is also something to value in the regret. This is a very well made EP with a very coherent emotional vision.