The deep house focussed Kindisch label starts off 2018 with a terrific nine-track album from the Art of Life duo.
Art of Life is the pairing of Oleg Makovskiy and Paul Twins, a pair based in Odessa and Cheboksary. This is their first significant project and, given that little else is known about them, it does all their talking for them. Across the nine tracks, they explore tender and emotive house music for the late-night hours, suggesting they are sensitive, thoughtful souls with a knack for delicate grooves.
The title track kicks things off in moody fashion, with spacious drums slowly churning beneath heavy, sombre chords. It’s an immediately alluring opener, while ‘Deception of Devil’ keeps up the rather eerie vibes with organic percussion and long drones, distant horn calls and an unsettling atmosphere.
The gorgeous ‘Lift Up Your Eyes’ is less dark, with optimistic chords and slowly tumbling drums overlaid with a spoken word snippet that is exotic and mysterious. It’s an ambient track with only the most subtle sense of propulsion, as is ‘He Is Behind Your Eyes.’ Synths are allowed to ring out into the night as weighty drums rotate below
and plucked strings hang in the air.
The second half of this excellent album stays resolutely sparse, but ‘Disagreement’ gets more upbeat thanks to the kicks below and wonky, whirring synths up top. Carrying on in an impossibly deep vein, ‘Dream Together’ is perfectly horizontal and plaintive, ‘A Lone Flower’ has a sense of menace and unease in the dark vocal
whispers and brooding bass and ‘Our Life Is A Spark’ and ‘Girl in Black’ close things out with more dubby drums, loose clicks and unhurried house grooves.
This is a brilliantly coherent album made for close listening, but it will also offer more intimate dance floors plenty of goodness.