Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
Krusciovke Starship’s self-titled album is melancholy, delicately glowing and touched with lost voices from a vanished era that echo out into the emptiness of space. There’s a painful feeling that permeates the music that is leavened by moments of hope and the light of distantly twinkling stars.
The way in which Krusciovke Starship combines swirling airy sounds with glittering high synths, deep bass pulses and drums that shape and guide the music creates an atmosphere that evokes space and a sense of drifting and loss. There’s something desolate in it that I find touching.
The melodies on the album often combine painful feelings with a sense of hope. They’re fragile and drifting but there are also clouds of climbing synth that come in to provide a little lift and a feeling of tremulous dreaming. I find that they contribute to the overall emotional quality of the album.
I find Krusciovke Starship’s use of vocal samples quite effective. The distant Russian voices have a distinctly over the top Soviet quality to them. The triumphalist feeling they were mean to exude is made broken and sad by the way they are muffled and enfolded in the emotive music. I find them rather poignant and forlorn in this context and I think they fit the mood of the music well.
My Favourite Tracks Analyzed
“1989” comes to life with delicate glockenspiel playing shimmering notes and an echoing Russian vocal sample with a classic feeling. Open, round, metallic synth carries a gently swirling musical pattern with moments of minor key melancholy that I find touching.
Bright chimes shine along with a bass pulse and throbbing drums that add shape to the track while the roaming melody is backed by warmer synth chords. The elevated, flickering notes glow above the minor key melancholy of melody as sparkling synth rises above it.
Flowing, ethereally drifting synth sparkles float through space as a soft static crackle moves in the distance to open “Undreamed.” A light, airy, drifting synth carries a gentle, even fragile melody that keeps flowing in waves through the openness of the sonic space around it.
The lead melody is tremulous and caressing over the distant static crackle. I am drawn to the cosmic, delicate feeling of the chiming synth as it glimmers. The track fades out with aching fragility into the silence of space.
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A floating Russian vocal sample moves along with a flow of soft synth and shimmering chimes to bring “I See No God Up Here” into being. Arpeggios leap out in glittering, delicate lines through the track.
A series of richly rising synth chords embraces the ears behind the arcing arpeggios. I am enamoured of the uplifting feeling of the melodic line over the pulsating drums. Xylophone notes that glimmer and dance gently as the arpeggios are full of light and ease as they glide along warmly.
“Soviet Bogatyr” kicks off with bouncing arpeggios that wriggle rapidly through the track. Another Russian vocal sample comes in over the rapidly oscillating, glowing synths in the background. A reverberating pulsation of drums moves in to add form to the music.
The quick, computerized pattern of notes is now joined by a cascading, sliding line of synth snakes into the track.There’s an interlocking, sinuous quality to this track that I find quite pleasing. The technological sounding lead synth climbs in a distorted line as the drums become mere regular and throb into the track to shape it under the twisting line of elevated synth.
Nasal, computerized, oscillating synth creates angular, insectile patterns as “Socialist Robocracy” begins. A bouncing line of full synth supports the more technological sounding elements and the drums throb under the shifting, writhing sonic pattern. I enjoy this track’s sensation of nervousness. There is a strong impression of all things robotic as a shivering, arpeggiating pattern of notes moves over the steady drums and bass pattern that oscillates below it.
Higher, brighter sounds and a vocal sample drift out as the bass line is full of active energy. Quick robotic sounds continue to move under the minor key melodic line carried on a keyboard. All the musical elements are well supported by the drums and the continually repeating synth pattern that now fades out.
“Moonbase Katyusha” begins as an 8-bit arpeggio flows and oscillates rapidly with a spacious feeling as a steady bass pulse shapes the music and the drums throb below. A fuller-sounding, warmer arpeggio spins out above the solid drums. A cosmic flow of sound climbs above the drums and spinning arpeggios, majestic as it rises, full of hope and dreaming feelings. The drums slide and pulse with ease as light glows from every part of the track.
I am drawn into the wistful sensations of this track as the arpeggios keep swirling and the drums add direction while breaths of reverent synth shimmer through the music. The arpeggios keep moving in rippling patterns through the track. A nasal sounding synth carries bursts of medium low notes, adding one more element to the track as the other elements al flow and mingle.
“1992” starts off with the sound of a Geiger counter and lost, distorted piano. I am touched by the way this track feels simultaneously ominous and pained. Wandering notes flow out into open space as a tinkling synth carries the melancholy melodic line. The melodic pattern grows more complex as it evolves. This track exudes a feeling of something painful and diminished as it comes to an end.
Krusciovke Starship create a touching, melancholy and atmospheric form of synth music that is shot through with tiny sparkles of hope and full of an undercurrent of loss. I am drawn into their musical world when I listen to this album.