Stuzha – “Butugichag” Album Review (dark ambient/drone)

a3771848124_16To the vast plains and subterranean depths of Sibera we travel for a dark ambient adventure of cinematic and enigmatic depth.  Butugichag is the latest release by Stuzha from our new friends at Ksenza Records in Russia.

Butugichag is available on both CD (through the label site) and digital (through Bandcamp) and contains 4 tracks ranging between from 8:55 and 11:39 in length.  

Authentic Siberian field recordings remaining constant throughout the album are mixed with very deep, layered drones and slow-moving ambient planes.  The sounds of footsteps in the snow, the opening and closing of a door and striking of small metal objects provide for the listener a real cinematic yet somewhat domestic effect.  It’s the equivalent to viewing a local film and one without words.  We don’t know where the person is or where they might be going.  We merely know they are actively and mysteriously moving about.  

We envision a solitary person wandering across vast snowy pastures, even working around their immediate home, wandering…perhaps contemplating.  In any case, the listener is really put near the center in their vantage point as though they are a ghost in the scene.  Furthermore, the ambient/drone backdrops are done tastefully so the immediate scenes are allowed to breathe on their own and not be engulfed entirely in atmosphere.  

Russia has been exporting some fantastic dark ambient and drone material in recent times.  And this is no exception.  Not much is really known about this particular project-Stuzha.  But being that is the case, this allows us once again to focus exclusively on the content of the recording without much context.  Often that is the most effective way to listen to this kind of work.  Highly recommended for fans of the cinematic dark ambient style.

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