Viktor Timofeev returns to Lo Bit Landscapes with “Palace of Peace and Reconciliation”, a set of odes to digital alienation. The suite of tracks form a meditative soundtrack to an ancient eon and a crumbling artifact of the electronic era where laments unto the bitrate gods bend and swirl over estranged networks, fusing forms that feel both mystical and computer-rendered at the same time.
Conceived, recorded, and pressed to a unique vinyl/CD gatefold format in 2016 as the follow-up to his debut GIVE_HEALTH999, this release was delayed due to the unceremonious and unexpected shutdown of 79 Lorimer, the Brooklyn home of the Lo Bit Landscapes label (you can read more about the situation at Vice here). Finally seeing the light of day in 2021, the record actually follows Timofeev’s more recent set of recordings collected on “Exocursion”, released on Futura Resistenza earlier in 2021. The fact that the audio contained herein has been dug out of the wreckage and resurrected feels supremely poignant, given the way this music will make you feel.
The album’s searing guitars are at times reminiscent of his critically acclaimed (Resident Advisor, Aquarius Record of the Week) work on NIHITI's sonic World War II epic “for ostland”, but here the structures are looser, the forms more misshapen, and the fidelity more abstract – more in line with the digital stutters of Timofeev's work with Wire cover stars Quantum Natives as Zolitude or NYC outsider house champion Bryce Hackford (DFA).
Listening to “Palace of Peace and Reconciliation” is like flowing through the mind of a supercomputer at the moment of sentience, experiencing the imagination of a new self-awareness in all its sharded, dreamlike aspects. Moods arise from the confusion, melting seamlessly from the blissful black metal melodies of ‘Portal of Zin I’ to the Eno-like movements of ‘Memoriatrium’ and the frantic, Ligeti-esque discomfiture of ‘Tevek Fritoiov’. Colin Marston’s (Krallice, Dysrhythmia) ominous and shattered long form remix of ‘Portal of Zin I’ rounds out the set with a truly dystopian twist. Six live tracks form the third side of the album, offering a radically different, improvised and unhinged underside.
It’s a soundworld that also reflects the producer’s notable career working in visual arts, where his lauded work has landed him exhibitions at institutions such as Bozar in Brussels, Museum Sztuki in Lodz and the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga. ‘Portal of Zin I’ is also accompanied by a music video produced by Simon Kounovsky, an artist highly acclaimed for his CGI work and someone Timofeev has previously exhibited with. The video is a psychedelic journey through an abstracted digital landscape that eschews anything recognizable. The video takes the form of an uninterrupted vertical scroll, calling to mind both contemporary interfaces and legacy platform games