Viktor Timofeev’s personal journey into the outer reaches of sonic experimentation has been a unique and intensely personal one, complimentary to but distinct from his increasingly successful career as a visual artist of extraordinary talents. Hailing from Latvia originally, coming up in New York City, and for the last several years residing in Berlin, the stamp of “Eastern” modal melodies can be found all over the vast soundscapes GIVE HEALTH999 offers, though these modes have been so fractured and distorted that the exact reasons for that impression can be hard to pin down.
Working primarily with simple recording technologies and using guitar/bass/analog effects as the primary audio source, tracks like Eden_Olymp|a (thematically based on the edenic resort from J.G. Ballard’s “Super Cannes”) begin with a jarring cacophony of broken delay pedals before emerging into searing sonic fires reminiscent of nothing so much as a meteorite burning up on re-entry to the atmosphere of some distant moon. Flying Zonogons, the album’s centerpiece, languorously builds a layered wall of dread over its fifteen minute length; were it to have been a Brian Eno recording, it would surely be the darkest one in his catalog.
At it’s most abstractly beautiful, GIVE HEALTH999 brings to mind the more “out” work of Stars of the Lid or even Godspeed! You Black Emperor, although considerably darker and more experimentally diffuse than either. The dark edges hint at the influence of atmospheric black metal bands like Burzum or the out and out noise/heaviness abstractions of Sunn O))) or NON, though the melodic sensibility gives the music a dramatically epic flair very rarely seen in such intentionally “out” music.
2012 will see more solo releases from Timofeev, including the surfacing of (slightly) more conventional (though no less dark) music in the form of contributions to New York City’s nihiti (whose debut LP’s cover features Timofeev’s “Red/Black: The Cyclical Nature of the Practice of Architecture”, and of which Timofeev is a contributing member) and collaborations with NYC’s Bryce Hackford (of Behavior).