Viktor Timofeev, a NYC resident who in fact hails from Latvia, is probably better known as a visual artist, having made a bit of a name for himself in the art world over the last few years. (See painting above right from a recent show in Cologne.) But he also counts himself a member of electro synth-wave downer pop combo Nihiti and painted the very distinctive cover of the first Nihiti album. Give Health999, his first solo record, is something else entirely, totally removed from Nihiti. On his own, he instead traffics in expanses of layered drones, and looped riffage, of atmospheres and ambience, but active ambience, with sounds blurred and tangled, rhythmic without actual rhythms. The label drops names like Stars Of The Lid, SUNNO))) and Godspeed, and we do definitely hear elements of all of those. It's droney and dirgey and haunting and almost classical sounding in places, but the tracks are super varied, while retaining an oblique cohesiveness.
The opener is all dirgey blackened atmospherics, reminding us a little of one man guitarscaper Blackwolfgoat, looped and layered riffage, lurching and stuttering but super hypnotic, ultra lo-fi, muddy and murky, but the sort of thing we would have been into seeing fill up both sides of the record. The second track is totally different, instead it's lush and shimmery, a dreamlike dronescape laced with streaks of feedback and a haunting distorted melody that runs throughout. The final track on the A side begins with field recordings, birds and running water, all beneath a series of warped and woozy tape experiments, lush chordal swells, repetitive and mantra-like, finally transforming into an almost orchestral looped industrial outro.
The flipside is separated into three tracks, but they seem to be woven into one sidelong epic, a cinematic symphonic landscape of drone and melody that almost sounds like a black metal Arvo Part, droney and dirgery and dramatic, sinister and ominous, the vibe menacing and super intense, the sort of track that broods malevolently, but is totally hypnotic and mesmerizing, the whole side is like a sonic black hole, the listener immersed in the dense deep blackness, until the last few minutes, where the track finishes off with a strange bloopy almost new wavey sounding outro.
Definitely recommended for fans of dark drones and droney darkness, and for sure has us wanting to hear more sounds, AND see more art from Timofeev.