The basis of Sergey Suokas' (known simply as Suokas) new album, The New Cycle, was to make an electronic album without using electronics. Like a carpenter trying to put a nail in the wall without a hammer, or a bartender making a Vodka Red Bull without the Grey Goose, it seems like a fundamental flaw, but the Russian producer makes it work.
The New Cycle, out today on London's Prah Recordings, is an exercise in creativity and transformation, utilizing a blend of field recordings and live arrangements of piano, percussion, violin, cello, flute, saxophone, and traditional Karelian instruments. As Suokas told the Calvert Journal, "The listener used to techno is going to hear techno in this album, but in a new way."
One of its tracks, "True Source," is a sprawling, nearly six-minute application of this "new way," taking its time to warm up from a low groan into a mild pattering of percussion and curlicues of violin. At full burn, it's square, swelling techno made through an orchestral lens that could still blend in seamlessly into a DJ set.
Suokas tells THUMP, "'True Source' is a hint of the prime cause of using things. It's actual this time. People go back to get the reason. We are trying to find roots of our creativity. It always happens in times of crisis. We don't know where to go, so we look back to find out where we came from. People listen to old-school music to get an inspiration in melancholy, musicians deconstruct their synthesizers to modulars or record sounds in the outside world to avoid sampling. Creators exceed other creators wanting to grow up. This is a search of full authorship and control. Maybe this is the only way to create something new."
Listen to "True Source" below.