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Runtime: 49'47''

«When it was born in the mind of italian musician Guglielmo Cherchi, 'Peaceful Atom' was intended to be a concept work about the Chernobyl disaster, and as a result of this some tracks are ideally connected to that topic: the title track (referring to the name of the first RBMK - Reactor Bolshoy Moshchnosty Kanalny - reactor), SCRAM (the emergency shutdown of a nuclear reactor), Lava Flow (the melted material erupted from the reactor after the explosion), Leaving Pripyat (the evacuation of the nearest city to the powerplant), Worm Wood Forest (the dead trees killed by the radiations) and Ignalina's Sunset (Ignalina was the last nuclear powerplant to use a RBMK reactor, the same model involved in the Chernobyl disaster, which was only shut down in 2009).
The other songs don't belong to this concept but are related to the environment pollution problem in Russia: Oka and Yenisei are the two most polluted rivers in the planet; Pylons refers to the Shukhov towers (featured on the cover artwork), which were electricity pylons on the banks of the Oka river. The remaining track, Radiologos, is a stand-alone song, but features an original jingle aired in Soviet Russia's radio stations.

'Peaceful Atom' was entirely built from scratch using laptop-based synthesizers and electric guitar, with the exception of a few samples. On 'Worm Wood Forest': Arboretum Bad Grund by Inchadney at The Free Sound Project, on 'Radiologos': Soviet jingle and radio recordings taken with an old military tubes HF radio and on 'Leaving Pripyat': electrostatic hiss taken from an old Kenwood amplifier dating from the eighties at high volume.

Enjoy this release.»
- test tube (based on Guglielmo's description)

Downloads:

01 Peaceful Atom
  [6'27'' • 15,0Mb • 320Kbps]
02 Pylons
  [5'49'' • 13,5Mb • 320Kbps]
03 SCRAM
  [0'49'' • 2,08Mb • 320Kbps]
04 Lava Flow
[1'33'' • 3,77Mb • 320Kbps]
05 Oka
  [4'23'' • 10,2Mb • 320Kbps]
06 Yenisei
  [6'04'' • 14,1Mb • 320Kbps]
07 Leaving Pripyat
  [9'48'' • 22,6Mb • 320Kbps]
08 Work Wood Forest
  [6'43'' • 15,6Mb • 320Kbps]
09 Radiologos
  [4'20'' • 10,1Mb • 320Kbps]
10 Ignalina's Sunset
  [3'51'' • 9,04Mb • 320Kbps]
  artwork
  [PDF-Zip • 2,79Mb]
  all tracks + artwork
  [Zip • 95,0Mb]

Reviews:

«Peaceful Atom is an astonishing work by an Italian musician and laptop composer named Guglielmo Cherchi, but there’s nothing Italian-sounding or feeling about this recording. As the label page says, “Peaceful Atom was intended to be a concept work about the Chernobyl disaster, and as a result of this some tracks are ideally connected to that topic.” Your humble writer here has a minor obsession with the mysteries of Russia and the calculated insanity of the Soviet regime, and I have to say this release frighteningly captures in sound the very bizarre industrial and spiritual soul of the U.S.S.R. The mood is encapsulated in the excellent choice of cover art (weird space-age electricity pylons) and the music accentuates it.

Essentially, the music on Peaceful Atom is a juxtaposition of an ever-present underlying series of clicks, pops and scraping sounds, which could easily (and was probably intended to) represent the background radiation of a poisoned landscape, with really eerie, spectral, keyboard- and guitar-generated soundscapes. Apparently this recording was “built from scratch using laptop-based synthesizers and electric guitar, with the exception of a few samples,” which is really, really impressive. In particular, the ethereal melodic sounds on “Pylons,” “Yenisei,” “Leaving Pripyat,” “Ignalina’s Sunset” and “Worm Wood Forest” leave a quite unsettling impression on the listener — you’re not sure whether to find it all very beautiful or very disturbing.

A couple more notes from the site on samples: “On ‘Worm Wood Forest’: Arboretum Bad Grund by Inchadney at The Free Sound Project, on ‘Radiologos’: Soviet jingle and radio recordings taken with an old military tubes HF radio and on ‘Leaving Pripyat’: electrostatic hiss taken from an old Kenwood amplifier dating from the eighties at high volume.”

What sets this album apart is its sense of purpose and its unity. The album may be a lost art in the age of digital EPs and singles, but this is an entire listening experience that takes you into another world, part beautiful Caucasus landscape/Soviet future dreamworld and part netherworld of sickness and radiation. The effect is quite stunning.

What Cherchi has achieved here is an expression of the appeal of desolation — it’s the same thing that makes people want to visit the ruined towns around Chernobyl, or the decrepit houses of Detroit, or the nasty polluted waterfront of their hometown. There’s a beauty in entropy, in watching human dreams crumbling as time or disaster reclaim them for the Earth. You either get it or you don’t.»
- Make Your Own Taste / November 23, 2012

«Another beautiful release by the dear netlabel Test Tube. As I hear the static and hissing waves of Peaceful Atom, my eyes involuntarily close. Perhaps as way of paying respect to the Chernobyl victims and all the areas affected by nuclear “accidents” and “non-accidents” around the planet (exempli gratia). In my visualizations, the residual radiation hazard is omnipresent and I cannot escape reflecting about hot particles, radioactive contamination, and the different forms of pollution in our brains. Of course, the eerie part is that the padded chords infused in most of these pieces make this experience ambiguously delightful. Thank you Guglielmo Cherchi.»
- Sebastian Alvarez [Wanderlust] / February 19, 2011

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Copyleft:

cover:
©1988 Igor Kazus
©2011 aeriola::behaviour
music:
©2010 Guglielmo Cherchi
©2011 test tube


This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.

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