Circa 2010, Russia’s Tenzor was researching various sonic possibilities inherent in rare analog synthesizers. Some of those experimental recordings were gathered under the title “Mozaika/Mosaic” and published by Moscow’s Glagol Records in October, 2017 (glagolrecords.com
). “Kaleidoscop” (Los Angeles, FFM) is a continuation of that recording––it forms a complimentary worldview, according to the artist. Quite exactly what the differences––or similarities––might be between them, he would rather not say.
This same inclination towards reticence or understatement is audible in the nine instrumentals of “Kaleidoscop.” Much as the titular metaphor implies, they are the movable, minor parts of an absent whole.
With a little more confidence (and less recourse to metaphor), we can state that Tenzor’s real name is Gennady Pleshkov. A resident of Saint Petersburg, he came to electronic music after six years of classical education at the piano. Looking back, he now tags those earliest electronic endeavors as classic house or techno, “given the popularity of those styles at the time.” Gradually, however, the relative intricacy of idm, glitch, and ambient sounds would manifest themselves, while his dance-floor recordings tended more towards abstract hip-hop. Difficulty replaced simplicity, parallel to any minimalist propensities.
Tenzor’s connections to Saint Petersburg are especially audible in the title track, which is both rhythmically and melodically suggestive of local lo-fi outfit EU (“Elochnye Igrushki”)––with whom he has collaborated in years gone by. Since his earliest experimentation with plugs, wires, and switches, Gennady Pleshkov has enjoyed multiple invitations to clubs and festivals around Russia. Not to mention his equally far-flung stylistic detours, for example with the psychedelic jazz ensemble Zelany Rashoho.
No matter its preference for smallness and self-deprecation, this very northern style has been heard far and wide. As it should be.