Although the HCD label is not prone to throwing out a new release every other month, you can certainly be sure that when they eventually do it will involve something truly awe-inspiring for the listener.

Formerly producing music under the guise of Tigress Lily, the Russian duo now behind Roricat comprises of Julica Rorica (Vocals and magic) and Eugene T (guitar and machines) which leaves no surprise to the imagination as to where this bands title derived from…

So, on removing the disk from the jiffy bag the first thing to catch my attention was naturally the front cover, it’s nothing much to write home about, boring I suppose would be right, but on opening out this limited edition (of 500) digipack you are greeted by some tasty snaps of cold wintry scenes (Barren trees, snow covered rail lines and frosted plantation) it kind of sets an impression of the albums theme… so on that note, I was pretty much expecting to hear a relative degree of cold and bland atmospherical compositions… Fortunately I encountered so much more…

So, with my headphones on, feet up on the couch, and eyes shut, my mind just began drifting away to the slow rhythmic harmony I was now experiencing with the opener Blue 6 which though slightly minimal in instrumental content, it’s impossible to resist those gentle floating synthetics and calming guitar melody… The tranquil surroundings carry on through to the following piece She Dives With Fireflies amid an abundance of blips and beeps, and this becomes a relevant feature pretty much throughout the whole album.

Elsewhere, Luna takes the form of a xylophone ditty, jollied along with some clinky clanky metallic beats, and though vocals are very much a rarity on the album, we actually catch a few spoken samples on Hive one of the particularly obscurer pieces present. Perverted Magic User is another track which stands out to me purely for the strong bass lines which drive it along in parallel to a mystical 70’s influenced organ melody (the return of psychedelia) and those ever present flickering scratchy sounds.

To highlight how important the guitar has been to Roricat‚s music, I must mention their flexibility for change, whether it’s taking on a lead role with a host of heavier guitar effects such as on the splendid Ice Cold Blood which again marvelously works in to compliment the prominent bass lines, or how on Mutio the piercing drone of a single struck string is just weaved between the slow beat, clattering cymbal and spangly atmospheres.

Since working with Hard Wired, I have never until now had the chance to sample any Russian acts, so as the alternative scene there is something new to me I can’t really compare Roricat against any other fellow acts from their country. On the other hand Roricat certainly appear to be on a steady form with their plesant and relaxing style of ambient music, and I especially like how they have blended the guitar parts in with the synths and atmospherics, shall I say in a vaguely similar vein to the German act User’s Atmosphere. Though I find one or two of the tracks to be a little hit and miss in places, I genuinely believe it’s a promising and worthwhile release and I don’t imagine there would be many ambient fans out there too disappointed after purchasing a copy.

For me, it was an interesting experience and I would like to see which direction they decide to take their sound on future releases.

Rich Hobbs