Beginning with the aptly titled and rather epic musical journey that is Adventure To Go, Olexandr Ignatov’s album Forgotten Reality presents audiences with an exciting trip through colourful, emotional, classically inspired, multi-layered audio ambiance. This opening track begins with a few simple riffs, a central melody that repeats throughout and gradually builds up its support system with increasing intensity and weight. By the final quarter, the experience has been the sort that reminds you of the final scene in some unmissable, historic story or film.
The project’s title track sees the familiar set-up re-emerge. Ignatov’s compositions drive with an impressive variety of instruments, forming a huge orchestral sound before you, though admittedly there’s an interesting smoothness to the sound – placing it a little closer to the ambient, electronic albums of artists with a similar desire to fully engage their audience or allow them to escape their own reality for a while. This is a powerful effect, essentially bridging the gap between classical and electronic music fans – the organic and electronic worlds seem more than capable of walking side by side. The word escapism is perfect here. This title track pours through with a sense of urgency that sweeps you away on its energetic yet thoughtful, partly calm – with the distant, smoother strings – aura. The resulting effect is up to the listener – your mood and setting will dictate whether the music energizes you or sends you into a deep thought frenzy. In either case, it’s worth a look.
Elsewhere on the project, Land Of The Lost offers darkness and optimism intertwined, a heavy piece of music with a superb drop and contrast between delicacy and manic vibrancy. I was reminded of Clint Mansell’s Lux Aeterna. It’s impossible not to give the piece your full attention as it fills the room around you.
Immortal is another that showcases the quick succession of a leading string part – the descending and subsequent ascending of a few select notes, the high energy on top of calmer, more blended distant strings and sounds. The drum part here and the horn section stand tall for their contrasting depth alongside of the lighter driving melody.
Blue Ice is a stand out piece from this collection, one that drives with a solo piano part and a wash of reverb, soaking you in quiet expression and emotion that reaches for your heart strings. It feels thoughtful, slightly subdued but optimistic for the most part. The space and the delicacy of the piece work beautifully at this point. Ignatov underlines a varied, perhaps limitless and creative side to his work more and more so as this album progresses.
Shock Therapy follows Blue Ice and ignites a dark, industrial fire that feels rightfully electronic – charged and at war with its surroundings – a totally unexpected piece and a huge moment that demands attention as it evolves. A Bomb Will Go Off comes afterwards and offers a prolonged sense of anticipation – the prior track and this new title leave you waiting for that intensity, that bomb, and when it comes; it’s another intense drop, but far from what you might expect. Ignatov keeps his audience on their toes throughout.
Rising From The Ashes during the latter half is another piece that utilises contrast beautifully – gentle keys surround and support the weight and chaos in a captivating way. And at the final hurdle, Battle is Over brilliantly concludes what has been a truly unique musical journey throughout this Forgotten Reality. The space, the softness, the quiet – all of this washes over you like a wave of warmth and relief and possibility. A gorgeous way to finish and a final encouraging reminder to revisit the whole journey, to witness these complex, detailed story-lines once again – appearing step by step, presenting the ultimate, musically immaculate offering of escapism.