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Orphica CD (2007)

Artist: Mikhail

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Review: Orphica by Mikhail

on 4/3/2007

After releasing his music alongside sound artist Scanner and pop experimentalist Björk, this is Mikhail's debut solo album. Orphica takes the listener on a thrilling sonic adventure. Twelve songs map a journey through epic encounters, intimate confessions and emotional confrontations in an exuberant melding of pop, electronica, Greek folk and avant-garde music. Drawing inspiration from the mythical singer Orpheus whose music had miraculous powers, Orphica's sonic universe is high-tech and baroque, raw and delicate at once. Its combinations of sounds are unique. Beats made from thrashing knives, smashing plates and electronics slice through the sounds of harps and harpsichords, while choirs chant alongside distorted static, and sequenced recordings of creaking insects and flying bats. In the midst of this, Mikhail's voice reaches out for its limits with the determination of a futurist. Orphica presents the results of a musical experiment by an artist whose vision attempts to channel the raw energy and lyricism of folk song while pursuing musical innovation. (This text is from: www.mikhailmusic.com/orphica/about.html)

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Mikhail's debut Orphica

by first posted by pmmasterson on audivesity.com on 5/7/2007

I'm not well versed in Grieg or Webern, but I can hear elements of the modern, the romantic and the classical all over Mikhail Karikis' solo debut. While Karikis throws in moments I know I've heard before from Tchaikovsky ("Untitled in CoF Minor") or even some generic piece from Copland ("Dance"), his background as a kid in Thessaoloniki, Greece means he's likely thinking more of the Balkan folk songs that dotted his youth. Indeed, some of the recordings here ("Asteris," "Archon" and "Incubus") take field recordings from Mount Olympus and the Ionian and twist them into beats Matmos would be proud of. The natural melodies of these songs over said beats have survived the centuries and Karikis shows why all over this album. It is beautiful and fascinating and I completely understand why Björk wanted him to remix "Army of Me" now: They're a perfect fit. In that sense then, I suppose now is a good time to bring up that Mikhail has just as much in common with The One AM Radio as Handel or Liszt. Arguably the biggest selling point of this album is that he has remixed "Army of Me" and, with Volta right around the corner, Brussels-based Quartermass might have the perfect way in to really sell this one to kids who otherwise wouldn't have a clue about Mikhail. Frankly, I'd use any excuse I could to get this album out to the people; for me, that means a lowly college radio show and this mighty blog. There is just so much here to love, from the found sounds of scissors interspliced with harpsichords or tympani to Karikis doing that very Björkian vocal trick of almost sneering into the mic as a Wagnerian chorus backs him up on "Argonautica." And as a brief aside, "Argonautica." Pretty f***ing cool if you ask anyone who hasn't played with Legos in the past decade. Argonauts? Anyone? No? Okay. Though the inspiration for the soul of this music is the great Orpheus, Mikhail has managed to blend hundreds of years of music from all over Europe with the sounds of modern electronic and the avant-garde to create a fascinating LP that comes highly recommended. I'm not banking on Volta being a disappointment, but early indications are that it is significantly different from Vespertine or Medulla. If you still pine for the more cerebral elements of the Icelandic songstress or are looking for something more interesting from the "world" section of your local record store than yet another Putumayo compilation, pick up Mikhail's Orphica. I could put this in more elaborate terms, but that would be muddying the point: You'll be glad you did. posted by pmmasterson on audiversity.com

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Product Overview

Specifications

Label Forced Exposure
SKU 204214191
UPC 411867171720
UPC 14 05411867171720
Format CD
Release Date 4/3/2007
Links
Author Mikhail
Product Attributes
Artist Mikhail
Music Format Compact Disc
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Recent Product Reviews


Mikhail's debut Orphica by first posted by pmmasterson on audivesity.com on May 07, 2007


Review: Orphica by Mikhail on Apr 03, 2007

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