For someone who’s only been putting out records since 2008, Mikhaylo Vityuk has an astonishingly broad range of releases to his name. The Ukrainian artist from the northern city of Konotop, named Vakula, has built a reputation like few others in the region.
He’s unloosed 12” singles, EPs, albums and compilations through respected underground imprints Firecracker, Archipel and Uzuri — bold, experimental house, techno and electronic tracks more concerned with artistic expression than being the latest club fodder. This is his fourth album in an idiosyncratic catalog, landing on the increasingly essential Dutch Dekmantel label, and follows Dedicated to Jim Morrison, for his own Leleka stable, a tribute to The Doors singer and self-styled mystic.
As you might expect, Cyclicality Between Procyon and Gomeisa is experimental too (especially with a title like that). Borne out of improvisation sessions, as its moniker suggests, in places it’s composed of lots of little loops that interlace and fold into each other, while in others his musicianship and command of more dancefloor friendly forms come to the fore.
The first half is mostly ambient. The title cut is reminiscent of Global Communication or Reload, a cosmic head-trip of gently undulating tones and melodies that hints at a love of early ’90s Artificial Intelligence releases. "Acteon" is a Balearic piece, a little like Tangerine Dream’s "Love on a Real Train," while "Flying Over the Sirius" and "Dim White Dwarf" are self-indulgent exercises that aren’t especially enjoyable. That’s the danger when you allow your improv tendencies to run free, we suppose. "Double Star System," with its gorgeous guitar twangs, subtle bass and synth oscillations is beautiful, though.
It’s in its second half that the album really hits its stride. "Deep Motivation" heads to the very farthest reaches of dub techno, "8600 km Radius" has a funked up electronic bassline, 4/4 beat and subtle touches of jazz piano, cosmic riffs twinkling in the backdrop, "Intergalactic Funk" is a live band disco cut that does just what you’d hope it would, "Gomeisa Blues" is more like psychedelic folk artist John Martyn on an Echoplex mission, and "Tommasi Planet" is sublime. Most of Cyclicality Between Procyon and Gomeisa is unquestionably great, and the kind of music you can return to again and again. If you’re happy to skip a few tracks, there’s gold to be found in these hills.
Cyclicality Between Procyon and Gomeisa is scheduled for release on July 4. Pre-order from the Dekmantel store and check out snippets below.
01. Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa
03. Flying Over The Sirius
04. Dim White Dwarf
05. Takahashi E-180
06. Double Star System
07. Overcoming Distance
08. Deep Motivation
09. 8600 km Radius
10. Intergalactic Funk
11. Gomeisa Blues
12. Tommasi Planet
13. 11.41 Light Years
14. Sensei Revelation