A little over a week prior to the release of Mythographer, the Holy Roar Records prented release from St Petersburg, Russia based experimental electronic / post rock band ANTETHIC, we sat down with the band to get you some details behind this intriguing project, their recently unveiled, mesmerizing single “I Glow”, their thoughts on the Coronavirus impact on artists and their local music scene in Saint Petersburg.
For fans of: Shlohmo, Tycho, 65 Days of Static and Mogwai.
There are many hyperbolic adjectives that can be applied to Russian trio ANTETHIC, but in the process of trying to pin down and define their hybrid of electronic experimentalism the more intriguing their sound becomes.
On their latest and third album Mythographer – their first to be released internationally – the band reach new heights of mysticism and wonderment. The band’s previous post-rock leanings aren’t entirely disregarded, as their penchant for earth-moving crescendos remain pivotal to their musical charm. In fact, their latest sonic evolution expands upon this template with wild eyed exploration and dizzying results.
ANTETHIC’s previous post-rock leanings aren’t entirely disregarded, with song structures that still lean into earth moving crescendos. The key difference lies in Mythographer’s highlights, which take their previous formula and morph it into glitched out effects and (dare we say) danceability – look no further than ‘Absurd Hero’’s quasi drum-n-bass passages, the rumbling ‘Frontier’ and closer ‘The Unturnable’, or the Shlohmo-evoking liquid melodicism of ‘Tyro’. It’s clear Antethic have honed in on – and blossomed into – a newfound identity that is entirely theirs.
ANTETHIC was formed in 2012 in Saint Petersburg, Russia initially as a studio project trio. The band recalls:
In 2014 as a four-piece we put out our first longplay, ‘Origin’. Music from this period is eclectic and experimental combining rock instrumentation with electronic sounds, multilayered guitar parts and droning soundscapes. ‘Ghost Shirt Society’ was released in 2017 as a trio and became a landmark for our band. We think of it as an original work with a very recognizable sound. This is a solid and thoughtful album in our opinion, reflecting both the history of the band and the background of each musician.
Staying true to our experimental roots, for the new album ‘Mythographer’ and for the new sound we switched to a completely electronic setup left only with synths, sequencers, and drum loops. However, the main characteristics of ANTETHIC music are still there:
O𝑟𝑖𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑟𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑠, 𝑎 𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑠.
Each band member is involved in other music projects. Alexander Lyvov is a drummer for both indie/progressive band KIROV and a studio doomgaze/folk project GENA. Yuri Efremov plays guitars for KIROV and Konstantin Borisov is a bass player in post-metal band WOWOD.
‘I Glow’ was a turning point for the album making, we quickly understood it had to be the first song, and everything else just followed it. With its long and spacious intro we wanted to set a certain mood for the whole album. Then this piercing lead sound was created, heavily processed with delay – this instantly defined how synths should be sounding on the record. Bright melodies, haunting sounds, and dancing rhythms, ‘I Glow’ represents our upcoming album ‘Mythographer’ on many levels.
Plans for the future vs Covid-19 pandemic:
It is still hard right now to make certain plans for this year due to high levels of unpredictability. Almost each project that we planned for this spring and summer is either postponed or canceled. For the moment we don’t have any determined live dates. It is not even clear yet if borders will be open for bands to tour this year. Overall, in the current situation we don’t think this is a great idea to organize public gigs right now.
It is like a tradition for us to put out EPs from time to time with remixes and unreleased material. We did three of these before containing remixes for songs from ‘Origin’ and ‘Ghost Shirt Society’ as well as some B-sides. While working on the new album we composed about 20 songs and only 7 landed on ‘Mythographer’. So we are pretty sure that after the album release we will put out a little something with remixes and bonus stuff.
Hard times right now with all the venues closed for gigs and some of them won’t be able to open after the fall of quarantine. But there are enough places which organise streaming concerts right now. Some live venues already switched to this new media but of course it is nothing like before for them in terms of income from a gig. Streaming seems like a good option right now, allowing you to stay close to your audience and provide both content and a gig-like experience to them. But the truth is that the live music industry was completely not ready for such a radical change, and it is now operating in a survival mode. After everything stabilizes we’re sure all of us will appreciate the possibility to go to our local venue to see a band of fellows that we love, much more.
Saint Petersburg alt music scene:
In Saint Petersburg we have a very diverse music scene thanks to the traditions of the Leningrad Rock Club opened in 1981 and before it too many underground acts existed contrary to Soviet regime. We consider ourselves to be part of a more modern generation which is mostly raised in the internet era with unlimited access to any music genre and tradition. We would say that the scene closest to us for the moment consists mostly of bands playing different variations of post, blackened, and gazed rock and metal. Tons of reverb and fuzz-heavy guitars is still a zeitgeist. However, we think that ANTETHIC always made something different from others, opening new grounds and exploring other styles in an unconventional way. We were never really a part of a certain scene though we were influenced by other our local bands and influencing them vice-versa.
Other bands and artists worth your time:
Oval – Scis (latest work from German glitch-meister)
Gloe – Dead Wait (very pushy post-hardcore/math from USA)
Secrets of the third planet – Only love will save (our Moscow shoegaze friends)
Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans (Kieran still successfully exploiting house sounds)
Blanck Mass – Calm With Horses (original score for a new UK drama film)
Squarepusher – Lamental EP (surprisingly better than his LP earlier this year)