Part II Part I

All field recordings (beetles, wind, water, metal, stones and birds) were made in summer 2003. All music created by (S) & [S] in February 2006. 

format: CDR

label: MYSTERY SEA 34

exit in grey is an enigmatic duo composed of Sergey & Stas, or rather [S] & (S) their preferred signatures, originating from the Moscow region, and almost the same area as fellow Chistov Dmitry (HUM)...
Functioning since a while already as a complete autonomous entity, they have released a solid bunch of works as ltd cd-rs on their own imprint STILL SLEEP...
Mixing mainly emotional guitar drone ambient with field recordings, or sounds emanating from analog devices, they nurture an undeniable fascination for elemental phenomena, body and nature languages...
Their personal path seem to lead them more and more towards abstract & concrete aural territories, such as in the solo venture of [S], FIVE ELEMENTS MUSIC where processed field recordings have become pivotal... (a future MS work is besides upcoming !)...

Capturing atmospheres from some specific on site peregrinations, "nameless droplet" is their debut on an outside label, and hopefully the start of some new itinerary, as well as an opportunity of arousing more well-deserved interest...

Along an obscure stream as only guide,
we glide in a sensory drift
amplifying the world...
A copper light makes water breathe
and even in a
nameless droplet
all memories are trapped...
all words are sealed...
On the verge of silence,
things rustle and buzz
in a constant underlying murmur...
And in the last scent of rain,
all the nascent puddles
are just mirrors
in which we dissolve,
disappearing in acute communion...
Lost in the wind tales,
we move like ripples on the liquid surface
drinking from this Fountain of Life...




VITAL WEEKLY 555|Frans De Waard
By now the Mystery Sea label has a status of a well-known CDR label and they get demo's from around the globe - or so we must assume. Sergey and Stas are Exit In Grey and they hail from Moscow region, where they produce their music and run the Still Sleep label. Their music is a combination of 'guitar drone ambient' with the usual field recordings and sounds from analogue devices. On 'Nameless Droplet' (their first release on a label other than their own) they have two tracks, the longer part one and the much shorter part two. I must say that things start out pretty well in part one, very intense with a careful, but great built up. But somewhere along the lines of this piece they loose me, and I don't recover. It is as if they want to shift through all the various textures possible, which could have been perhaps great separate pieces by themselves, rather than part of a longer composition. Perhaps that would have been a better idea, as the idea of the total gets a bit lost here.
It's music that fits the Mystery Sea catalogue very well, but perhaps a bit too well : music made to fit the label, rather than music for the sake of music itself. Although it's a well performed release, there is a bit too much of the same going on. For die-hard fans of the genre, I guess.

vital weekly

AQUARIUS new arrivals #256
The Mystery Sea label specializes in "Night-Ocean Drones" which as you can imagine definitely appealed to the AQ sensibility. And their series of ultra limited, gorgeously hand assembled, elaborate cd-r's has included releases from Aidan Baker, Ultrasound, Moljebka Pvlse, Troum, mnortham, Paul Bradley, Coelacanth and others, you can understand why we're just as excited to check out Mystery Sea releases by bands we've never heard before. This is only the second Mystery Sea release we've been able to get enough of to review and list (the first being the amazing Emerge cd-r) and it's absolutely fantastic.
Two lengthy epics from this Russian duo, each a massive slow motion trawl through some dark and dimly lit undersea world. Drifting and floating, huge swaths of low end resonate and reverberate... It's the sound of glaciers drifting across black seas, old abandoned ships forever floating on huge slow shifting swells, a musical bathysphere drifting along the ocean floor, this IS night-ocean music. Dreamy and shimmery, dark and dense, mysterious and haunting, but the music of Exit In Grey is not simple, not just one dimensional drone, these tracks are thick and layered, deep and rich, with all manner of overtones getting all tangled up, strange sonic subtleties, various shades of sound, slowly changing hue, twisting and distorting to form other shapes. Nameless Droplet most definitely benefits from deep listening, although like most drone records, it's perfectly okay to just float on the surface, but dive deep and there are wonders to behold.
STRICTLY LIMITED TO 100 COPIES! We got 30. Once they are gone, they are gone FOREVER! Gorgeously packaged with full color artwork, each copy numbered. So nice!


Exit in Grey are a mysterious duo from near Moscow, who meld together droning layers of guitar sound, field recordings and sound emanating from analog devices. Nameless droplet seems to paint a world where natural has taken control, a place between realities. Like slipping into the zone world of Andrei Tarkovsky' Stalker or walking in the silence of a long dead city, trees towering above buildings.
To really enjoy this you have to let your self truly go for it’s near on an hour's running time, as noise and drone craft slowly unreel, thats sometimes harmonic other times not, but it's always with an air of distant mystery. Like seeing an object just out of sight, trying to strain to see what it is, but never quite getting the right focus. It’s split into two tracks, Part one the longest at just over thirty minutes and Part two just over ten minutes. Part One is built around slowly unfolding audio scenes, that start shallow, then slowly build up depth and clarity before fading or drift into the next. All culminating in a sinister and buzzing fertile atmosphere, that feels like you’ve finally come across a place of living things. A strange distorted forest, were flies and avian life are bent and meld into the twist and turns of vegetation and tree growth. The vegetation seems to be trying to suck you in, to make you become one with it too, as the track exits your limbs become one with the creaking and sighing of forest's trees.Track two finds us in a weather locked cave staring out onto a grey autumnal field, the landscape bubbling and bending like hot tar. You feel like you need to sit as your legs give way and the slow droning pulse seems to become deeper and somehow nearer. As other groaning and bowing sounds emanate and form, you can now feel sodden moss beneath you hands. your eyes still trying to focus and concentrate on the field's bending shape, but your vision just seems to twist and spin. In the end you shut your eyes just letting the throbbing drone show it’s melancholy beauty and harmonic underbelly. A very puzzling and strange trip into a state between ambience and delicate melancholy sound painting.

musique machine 

Moscow-based Sergey and Stas are the motors after Exit In Grey, whose sound is established over guitar drones, field recordings and not better defined "analog devices". Their CD presents more than a few characteristics that I liked, despite being part of a genre which rarely makes my pulse race for the emotion. First of all, these boys are good at choosing the quality of the low frequencies they use, which is not a given in this area: every throb, growl or thrum possesses its own particular light, and only those who are gifted with good measures of "inner ear" when working in creative sound manipulation (believe me, not too many) are able to avoid useless jumbles and indecent emotional sterilizations. Luckily,Exit In Grey seem to be competent enough, in that their music vibrates from the underground rather than annoying with promises of fake heavens. The environmental sources - always discernible in the mix - and the sensible flanging treatment utilized in certain segments do the rest (with special mention for the splendid second movement), putting these gentlemen amidst the names to keep an eye on when looking for drone music with a modicum of significance. Sometimes transcendence is better achieved by maintaining at least one foot on the ground: "Nameless droplet" fully demonstrates this theory.

touching extremes

TOKAFI |Tobias Fischer
If a label by the name of “Mystery Sea” (which already implies a certain sense of secrecy) calls one of the projects on its roster “enigmatic”, there must be something going on here. Consisting of two Russian audio sailors hailing from the Moscow delta, exit in grey are even less than a blank sheet of paper – in terms of the internet, they don’t exist at all. Nor does their untraceable “Still Sleep” imprint, on which they released their previous CD-Rs. If all of this helps putting the focus on the music, though, then that is just fine – for “Nameless Droplet” is one of the most unique offerings from the Drone sector in a long time.
You’ll need some time to find that out, though. For the first couple of minutes are still firmly rooted in the usual opaque reverberations and frequential phasings that mark most compositions from the sector. One for one, the different tracks are introduced, starting with a deep, static analog tone and then adding higher notes, already undulating in the filter modulation. At first overlapping harmonically and still clearly separated, the elements fall into an effervescent waterfall in which the themes are centrifuged and spin-dried, spitting them out into a soft creeping murmur. Eight minutes have passed and by this time you expect the music to follow the regular path of most genre releases and take you through various comparable transformations, but instead,
Sergey and Stas (last names willingly omitted by the artists) take their ship into hauntingly emotional waters. A sighing voice emerges from the void, loosely caressed guitar strings drip from the cavernous ceiling of the darkish-blue sky like the title-bearing droplet and metallic noises pound and roar premonitiously, but muffled as if secured by a layer of felt. A luminescent intersection leads into a cloud of tucked-away semblances, which in turn is split in two by a piercing beam of radiant light in the form of a sequence of aggressive bass pads. Hyperventilating itself towards a climax, the piece then falls into a short leap of silence, before sleepwalking across the finish line with an eleven minute long scene of disembodied, but tender harmonies and ominous buzzings inside a desolate swamp This effectively closes the colossal first part of the work, which comes to an uneasy end in the ensuing finale, a noticeably shorter collage of scraping noises, dense drone layers and threatening rhythmic pulses.
It is a decidedly personal vision
exit in grey display and one which has the potential to grow into something even bigger and bordering other genres – including Dark Ambient, of course, but potentially also Post Rock with a depressed edge. After having listened to this, I am both glad that Sergey and Stas decided to do away with the usual self-presentation -.and yet more than eager to find out more about them and their earlier work.


CHAIN D.L.K.|Eugenio Maggi
We owe kudos to Mystery Sea's Daniel Crokaert (as well as to Stefan Knappe/Drone) for exposing to a wider public a series of remarkable Russian projects which would have remained less known otherwise; after Hum, comes this duo calledExit in Grey, and just recently MS has also released a cdr by Five Elements Music, a solo project of EiG's Sergey. "Nameless Droplet" is a 48'32" album divided into two lengthy parts, showing a similar structure/modus operandi. Not unlike other MS artists like Troum or Moljebka Pvlse, EiG's main characteristic is the use of melancholic (guitar-generated?) drones, blent with environmental recordings. Yes, as simple as that, and something which a million other projects do. So why checking this out? Well, EiG show a great taste precisely for the melodic parts, which is not that common after all. They hit the right sound, know how long it can last before getting boring, and also know how to patch a fragment with the next one without making it sound like a bad cut & paste - not an easy task, mind it. So the two parts are not only good in terms of the choice of sounds, but also for their compositive grace. My only quibble is the final mix, which is a bit muffled, too saturated in the low ends and a bit poor in the high frequencies - a clearer mix would have done wonders to the final result, which is remarkable anyway. Definitely a project to look out for.  


En matière de dark/drone ambient, Exit In Grey font figure de petits génies du paysage musical russe. Un duo de passionnés, ayant lancé leur(s) label(s) Daphnia Records et Still*Sleep, et ayant à ce jour composé presque une dizaine de disques, tous malheureusement uniquement édités en CD-r, comme cet album chez Mystery Sea, limité à 100 exemplaires. Mais n'allez pas croire que la qualité n'est pas au rendez-vous, bien au contraire.
Première caractéristique pour ces jeunes artistes, une utilisation judicieuse des field recordings (insectes, eau, vent, percussions etc...), démontrant leur attachement à la nature, mais avec une vision très sombre, plus proche d'un Oöphoi que d'un Alio Die.Exit In Grey utilise aussi pas mal les drones, et la première chose à faire pour profiter pleinement de cet album est de ne pas trop pousser les basses, tant le background regorge de sonorités délicates et de mélodies camouflées, qui font toute la saveur de "Nameless Droplet".
Ainsi, le premier morceau débute sur une dynamique très lente, au rythme d'une fumée volatile, s'appuyant sur une mélodie guidant et hypnotisant l'auditeur, comme un compagnon de voyage désincarné. Les bruitages sont très réussis, créant une atmosphère à la fois sombre, touchante et fascinante, mais jamais inquiétante. Scindé en trois mouvements, le second aborde un aspect plus pessimiste et plus synthétique, se rapprochant cette fois de Troum via ce mélange drone/mélodies plus étrange et plus dense, dissimulant plus profondément les bruitages naturels, et faisant grimper la tension petit à petit. Une tension alors relâchée brutalement, laissant place au silence, puis à un final fabuleux et délicat, laissant la part belle à des sonorités purement atmosphériques, lavées de tout drone. Tout simplement magnifique.
La "Part II" fait alors figure de conclusion après 37 minutes pareilles. Progressif et d'un seul tenant, porté par deux notes répétées sans cesse, c'est un morceau qui ne cesse de s'enrichir durant 12 minutes, se rapprochant à nouveau d'un Troum, et même d'un Tribes Of Neurot pour les bruitages et grincements inquiétants, sur une ambiance de paysages désolés, décharnés et vides de toute vie, un condensé du talent que peuvent produire ces artistes russes. Inutile de préciser que nous sommes donc en face d'un véritable chef-d'oeuvre, qui je l'espère sera un jour réédité en CD, tant ces misérables 100 exemplaires ne rendent pas justice au travail admirable de deux compositeurs touchés par la grâce. L'un des grands disques de la dark ambient d'Europe de l'Est.