Russian painter of sonic canvas, Andrey Vasilyev, based in Moscow, who is known under the moniker Fellirium, is not an unknown name among the ambient netlabels community. Releasing his music since 2007, Fellirium’s discography features over 25 album and EP titles, mostly available via Russian netlabel Liminal Records. Since December 22nd, 2015 we can celebrate together with Andrey his debut “Mermaids” on physical format published by highly applauded ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ label (from Yaroslavl, Russia). This passionate and caring label is known for their stunningly gorgeous hand-crafted artful packagings (CDr and cassette limited editions). Fellirium’s “Mermaids” CDr is no exception, 4-panel packaging is covered by fabric with hand-painted cover with additional promo card and little insert with hand-made mermaid scales and hand-written poetry in Russian by Valeria Kosternaya, I believe she is acting as Aloe, and together withTim Six, the driving force behind ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ, she is responsible for all the visual magic showcased by this label. An immediate visual bliss is guaranteed, a true piece of art!!! Holding in my hands such beauty always reminds me the reasons why I have never ventured into the digital worlds. And by the way, at the same day as “Mermaids” CDr were released another two titles, Spiraľ Vremeni & Ugasanie “In The Aftersounds Of Echo” CDr (officially presented in Russian as Спираль Времени & Угасание “В Отзвуках Эха”) and Furthers “Pineal Dreamer” CDr, all three presented as “Winter Solstice Batch” wrapped in sackcloth with additional inserts. The whole batch is highly recommended indeed!!! Back to “Mermaids”, for additional inside artwork is credited also Andrey Vasilyev.
I dive deeply into a jaw-dropping subterranean domain, where I face “Ghost In The Water”. This longest, 10-minute composition reveals with contemplatively rattling shells and mildly tinkling nuances. Breathy calls permeate through utterly tranquil poignancy coalesced with sweeping quietudes of rainsticks and remote enigmatic groans glance above along with profoundly evocative stringed vistas. My ears are endlessly bathed in an epitome of atmospheric elixir, bravo, Andrey!!! The next piece, “Slow Currents”, exhibits mysterious drone reverberations, introspective electric guitar and persistent, slenderly biotic-charged clickety-clacks. Strangely ambiguous soundscape, well-done!!! “Beneath The Surface” gracefully glides through magnificently sculpted underwater sceneries, where immense sea expanses are exquisitely commingled with oracularly gurgling fragments and solitary wheezes. Ethereal choir-like drones effortlessly float and undulate with awe-inspiring grace, while weeping dissonant traceries rise, meander, ebb and counterpoint with impalpably gossamer strings. Awesomely intricate, yet strikingly beautiful composition!!! “Dreaming Fish” unfolds with the glimpse of poetic strings, but soon expansively invading washes steal the show along with fruitful palette of shells, bells and rainsticks. Perplexing breaths, whispers and cries are surreptitiously hanging above and whining strings emanate from brumous horizons. Towards the end the circle completes with ephemerally resurrecting poetic images. Masterfully submerging!!! On “Hidden Pond” distant drone sinuousness harmoniously amalgamates with cavernously enrapturing array of organic rumbles and trimmings, while tranquilly moving semi-acoustic strings sneak in along with soothingly ascending lonely e-bow evocations. A gracefully introspective opus!!! “Silent Cry”, with 6:24 the shortest track on “Mermaids”, closes this delightful voyage with abundant, yet delicate display of translucently tinkling and rattling primordial artifacts bridged with serenely sailing and fluttering drones, surrounded by nostalgic hissy blankets. A very suitable ending!!!
“Mermaids” album clocks only over 46 and a half minutes, I could easily imagine few more tracks, however, Andrey Vasilyev divulges on this masterpiece all his soundsculpting talent, potential and sensitivity. Every detail is precisely shaped and polished. Once again, bravo, Andrey, bravo, Fellirium!!! This physical edition is well-deserved and you can be really proud of it, hats off to you for “Mermaids”!!! On my side, I am a really gratified owner of this little gem of art!!! And of course huge kudos go also to Tim & Aloe of ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ for their splendidly inspiring visual artistry, you guys are doing a truly amazing job!!! Большое спасибо!!! According to the label’s info, only last few copies of “Mermaids” are left, so it is for the complete “Winter Solstice Batch”, so you should act rather quickly before these beauties are gone. Trust me, “Mermaids” album is an essential must-have!!!
Richard Gürtler (Mar 28, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)