Won James Won
Prozrachnik


3.7
great

Review

by Tristan Jones EMERITUS
February 19th, 2017 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In the belly of AM.

Typically, albums conveying paranoia do so one-dimensionally; we’ll get a lingering eeriness, some unsettling sounds, and maybe some introspection, but most of it tends to be one-note. Experimental Russian collective Won James Won have a more colourful take on paranoia than most. On Prozrachnik, we definitely get pervasive anxiety, but there’s also laughter, reminiscing, and wallowing, all bound by a unique brand of storytelling. Often, the encroaching sense of discomfort changes route, refusing to grow acclimatized to its own devices. We get horror movie audio samples, pessimistic news reports, static, synths, contorted tape music, chaotic art rock, and a number of effects nearly impossible to describe. “Every Spring She Floats Up” has the feeling of strained optimism: a ritual carried out for the sake of ritual, with ever-reducing expectations, and bastardized traditions. “Nuclear Civil War!” starts with a humorous argument juxtaposed with a black metal backdrop, soon calmed with a sobering newscast, and what could be a billion lives flashing before two billion eyes. Opener “Escape From a Nutsy Dust Camp” begins similarly to poking your head up through a manhole in a dystopian metropolis; you’re thrust into a flurry of lasers, menacing robotics, muffled cries of terror, and what you suspect is a one-sided battle between man and machine.

That said, there doesn’t seem to be a discernible storyline throughout Prozrachnik - at least, not within reach. It could be seven short stories, all bound by a shared illness. The bandcamp page mentions a Cold-War era haunting presence, so maybe comparisons could be drawn to Harlan Ellison’s classic horror periodical I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, in that it could represent what might have happened had the Cold War escalated into worldwide devastation at the hands of computers. That’s probably the most coherent explanation possible, as most of Prozrachnik is fucking all over the place, as expected with a Won James Won creation. That’s not to say the far-flung compositions don’t segue together sensibly, and perhaps their most impressive feat is in doing so. Their early-industrial sensibilities are likely to inspire comparisons to the music of Cabaret Voltaire and such (including the roots of dadaism, but minus the conversion to dance music). Possibly the most poignant aspect of the album - and maybe accidentally so - is the perseverance of creativity and, daresay, comedy when any tangible trace of humanity seems to be hanging by a thread. If humour and creativity are distinctly human qualities, then there’s something profound in how Won James Won weave their tapestry.




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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 19th 2017


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

https://babavanga.bandcamp.com/album/won-james-won-prozrachnik

was torn between doing a concise 2-para review, or going for double the length. decided to keep it short. there's plenty more that could be said, but most of it would just be variations of what i've already typed tbh. hopefully some of you enjoy

ShitsofRain
February 19th 2017


8098 Comments


bandcamponthespot

Atari
Staff Reviewer
February 19th 2017


23942 Comments


Damn sounds interesting to say the very least. Really cool album art too

kascetcadettt
February 19th 2017


1602 Comments


these guys are russian btw

kascetcadettt
February 19th 2017


1602 Comments


just sayin

kascetcadettt
February 19th 2017


1602 Comments


russians rule

Sinternet
February 19th 2017


17901 Comments


nah fam

Digging: SMiLE.dk - Smile

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 19th 2017


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

"bandcamponthespot"

i wouldnt call these dudes bandcampcore, fwiw. they're pretty well-recognized in their niche

TheBarber
February 19th 2017


3753 Comments


Great review (the tight and concise style fits you well), paranoid psychosis with a dark sense of humour ala I Have No Mouth sounds awesome enough to me (especially when I recall the old school videogame). Will check this and probs the collective if they have some more cool recs

Digging: Mamaleek - Out of Time

Winesburgohio
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2017


2400 Comments


review is apt as hell

Digging: ITEM - Sad Light

EliteTaste
February 21st 2017


1067 Comments


review is 3 lines too long tbh

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 21st 2017


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

; /





Havey
February 21st 2017


10244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

heyy

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
February 21st 2017


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

h-heyy

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2017


14091 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is some intriguing stuff

Digging: Wipers - Over the Edge

hal1ax
March 3rd 2017


12105 Comments


this is titee

hal1ax
March 3rd 2017


12105 Comments


as is the review

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 28th 2018


14091 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

shame the best thing about this was the cover art for me

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
March 28th 2018


6676 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

thx for poppin in



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