- With every album, Vakula gets further away from being a deep house artist. There was plenty of musicality in early tracks for Quintessentials, Uzuri and Firecracker, but those sample-based tracks were mostly for the club. Since 2015, with full-lengths like A Voyage To Arcturus and Dedicated To Jim Morrison, the Ukrainian producer has developed a progressive, multi-instrumental sound that owes much to kosmische and classical minimalism. He's not turned his back on dance music, as shown on last year's Techno Game album and the dub techno 12-inches on Bandura. But most of his recent full-lengths have shown his increasing skill as a composer, arranger and player.
Where 2016's Cyclicality Between Procyon And Gomeisa on Dekmantel was a sprawl of styles, veering from atonal noise to plush jazz-funk, the focus on Metaphors is much sharper, and better for it. "Proem" is the LP's most striking track. It channels the twee fantasies of prog rock in its warbling lead solos while an arpeggiated thrum rumbles underneath. It would be easy to overdo such elements, but Vakula shows a light touch throughout. The album's cyclical motions elsewhere are even more subtle. The title track pivots around another motorik bassline as a vessel for filter-sweeping drones and light-footed vibraphones. It's a masterful exercise in repetition, all the more impressive because it remains fresh and engaging despite being 18 minutes long.
"Tale Of The Eternal Thought"'s two versions start from the same place and with similar ingredients, yet they end up being independent pieces. The atmospheric, trancey pulse of the first plots a long, winding path for pealing synths, tumbling congas and vibraphone melody. The "Different Version" uses the same refrain as a basis for an ambient piece punctuated by swirls of white noise and delay-soaked notes. If the LP bears traces of electronic music pioneers like Klaus Schulze and Manuel Göttsching, the tracks inhabit a fantasy land of Vakula's own design. From the opening strains of "Smooth Movement," it's clear he intends to take you somewhere far away. You'll feel wonder and optimism for the journey ahead.
01. Smooth Movement
04. Tale Of The Eternal Thought
05. Tale Of The Eternal Thought (Different Version)