Even though I know who and what is involved into the first official album of the project KanFeel, I would not dare say that I've ever heard something similar to it. And if KanFeel's music sounds again in any cafe, from the playlist on the radio or as a ring tone of a stranger's cell phone, I will able to tell that for sure. And I have never been mistaken.Top
This album was being written for 15 years. Now there is something to mention – something I know too well. It comes from the year 2001. Remember the twin towers falling in New York, fear and despair covering all the continents? The atmosphere was unquiet in every single place where people watched TV and had access to the Internet, and in some tiny corner of the world, in the deafening uncomfortable silence of the Ural Mountains, new music was born. It seems like I'm still standing in that long dark hallway, near the entrance to the first KanFeel's studio, and keep listening to “what will happen next”. All the dance music of Andrey Kostarev, the author of the project KanFeel, is intended for stage dances. It is his peculiar feature that he may be not yet aware of. Despite the fact that his drumline is permanently smooth and clear, the rhythmic figure is complex and sometimes illogical, and the bass appears to be part of the rhytm section rather than a separate instrument. It can be viewed as an advantage of having no academical music education. It is much easier to break the rules if a person has never studied them, so he is open for something completely new. That's why harmony can be a little unexpected, but in this case it is pleasant for the ears as the melody flows. It sounds somewhat like Balligomingo, which is worth listening for its riffs. A lot of Enigma sounds in this album. Not of the band itself, more of a music style that creates the right mood for something romantic, or, to say more exactly, for good sex. There is everything: the vocalist's languid whisper, double meaning lyrics, clear rhytms with synthetic elements, harmonic building blocks, gloomy esthetics, sets of disco instruments, borrowed from Sandra's albums. There is also something of Depeche Mode and Haerts. And a few more musicians, unknown to me, whose influence I can feel but can't express. Andrey has published ten of his best tracks, which are ready for staging the most incredible dances on the professional stage, under the shower and in the warm summer rain, on private scaffolds and on sunny California beaches. Choose whatever is the best for you.
It definitely feels like a dance in the dark – on a pole or just on an empty stage, in smoke and haze of an already closed nightclub. I am passing by long display cases, which demonstrate all the available spirits from the wine list. I must get to the farthest room where I have an appointment, but I will linger here, beside the bar counter, where a young woman dressed in my favorite red color is showing me her strange dance. Maybe I will even repeat a couple movements – who knows, I might need them in the future. But nobody will see me even if they turn back. It is one of the most beautiful dances included into this album. Despite the sharp pieces of the rhytmic figure, a soft velvet vocal line makes a contrast with it. There's nothing extra, nothing too fussy or wiredrawn. Everything a listener needs to do is to feel the magic trick with all their body, the trick that makes them dance involuntarily. And it isn't only about rhythm. By the way, there is some conditional association with Danny Howells' early longplays, especially when it comes to experimenting with the rhythmic figure. As for anything else, it sounds like classic KanFeel.
I sit down on the driver's seat and exactly know the route – it's all the same every single day. A house, several trees, a bridge, a big unlucky crossroad where accidents always happen, too much street advertising, an overgrown park, which looks gloomy in any time of the year... But something unusual happened today, and I turned to another direction. It feels a little weird and maybe even frightening, but I'm already speeding in the countryside and leave a snow-dust storm behind me. And it is the best thing that's happened to me lately. I must not dance behind the steering wheel. I must not dance behind the steering wheel! I must not make a car dance. Everything else is allowed. There is anything you can expect from a song with such a title, aside from this mood that almost makes you rise to the deep sky above your head, where the vocalist's voice and all the instrumental parts are heading. And I flew away. Hot beaches of clear oceans, the blinding sun, freedom and carelessness. It sounds like early Madonna or Sandra, or even Samantha Fox. Even though I feel that the singer is definitely a brunette – all I hear is the dominant (I mean the way of performing rather than the key).
Go outside with your music player. You can go jogging or simply take a walk. Don't you notice that the music you are listening to has control over your speed, changes your mood and partly influences your plans? It is augmented reality created by the music, and the picture in front of you – strangers passing by, houses with Christmas ornaments, cars speeding somewhere – is just a set of decorations for the music video. Has this ever happened to you? And one more question: are you a producer or just a spectator? I can see a bunch of street dancers in front of my eyes. On Monday morning they seem to be just a random decoration, but they exactly fit the tempo and rhythm of the song I'm currently listening to. It is astonishing – in a moment everything around me starts dancing to “Everytime”. The third question: have you ever heard something about synchronization? All in all, it is a light song of a good quality, suitable for a party, for dancing around the fire in a big company of friends or just for waking up and dancing in the shower. Its style can be characterized as pure disco, taking its origin from the 1970s – careless, clear and really catchy.
To tell the truth, I cannot describe my associations to this track. I understand what is is about, but everyone else will have their own understanding. And I can certainly see a couple dancing here. First they play funny games with each other, then they appear on the ring, dressed in armor, one of them is a winner, one loses, then the referee announces an error, a situation comedy begins, and when they both get bored, they just learn to dance. He leads, she follows. It's a very harmonious, tender song almost in an orchestral and choral arrangement. The melodics and the vocal line have something similar to Paul McCartney's lyrical ballads, a light cosmic breath of Vangelis is also present. A soft and unobtrusive rhythmic figure that keeps the whole piece smoothly moving will slightly turn you on.
I'm on the best dance floor that I've ever seen in my life. The building of the night club is like an amphitheater with an open dome, through which the night sky and the shattered stars fall upon the dancers' shoulders. I don't know how many people around me are vibing to the music, united by the same rhythm: we all are one single crazy creation, leaded by the DJ who smiles at us from the central upper box. A good deep sound is one of the most important things for club music. Oustanding sound quality is inherent in all the tracks of the author KanFeel, but in this case I especially want to highlight it. Rough rhythmic phrases are replaced by air corridors, which get filled with bright colors and a sense of motion afterwards. And I love this particular mix of the rhythm's brutal rigidity, trance melodics and ethereal female vocals. In my humble opinion, there's no better combination for dance music.
Even if you are not fond of musicals and have never aimed to get to Broadway scaffolds, you have to do it at least once. Tragic love stories that are turned into farce, the most insidious crimes, caroled by dancing “monsters”, incredible adventures and mystical shapeshifting. Crazy decorations that combine street art with stiff classics, a never-ending carnival, interrupted for a moment just in order to part with one of the characters. Everybody is singing and dancing. Even if they are perishing. Everything has artistic merit. This is one of those two songs which are written in Russian, Andrey's native language. If Andrey ever has the intention to write a musical, it will begin with such an anthem of all the American immigrants and will surely be dedicated to this city and his love to it. It is actually hard to overestimate New York's meaning to the world's music and artistic culture. Although sometimes you simply feel it's your true place on the Earth.
You are in the puppet theatre. There are not so many spectators in the parterre, the art of playing with puppets isn't clear to everyone, but perhaps it is the best form of theater that can explain EVERYTHING. The playbill says that during the performance you will be allowed to try yourself as a puppeteer for a short time. Do you really want to know how it happens to you? Where are those invisible threads (or maybe strings) that make you get up from your bed every morning and hurry to do important things (important to you or anyone else)? The curtain opens. A dance is certainly about to begin. The puppets' faces are still “dead”, but the heart is already beating. Beating to the music that only started palying. This track sounds slightly anxious despite external ethereality inherent in all KanFeel's music. The reason might be its floating bass line, highlighted by the keyboard beats, or maybe it is all about the vocalist's sharp minor. In any case, the sound and the general tone of the composition justify its title.
She has done it. He told her: “Don't try to hold me if you want me to stay”, and she let him go. She just obeyed him and did exactly what he asked her to. Without any contemplations and pointless rhetorical questions sent to space. After that she felt her unspoken love tearing the guts out of her, but she couldn't speak of it anymore. And he couldn't hear her although he asked her for that every day. She went downstairs to the dancing studio and turned these words into a dance, understanding that it was the best thing that could ever happen between them. It is one of the tracks written in Russian. The melodics is considerably influenced by the Russian pop culture in its best way. But maybe the Russian language lyrics have this particular influence on the listener. This composition is good for an emotional stage dance that could be the main action of a music video.
You must have certainly heard about this school. Different things are told: some people say they've had their best ever dancing experience here. Somebody whispers that these dances are dirty, bestial, primitive and make no sense at all. The teachers of this school, too much exalted by their students, promise you that they will teach you everything in one day and after that you will be simply unable to stop. Enchanted by these contradictory rumors, I entered a big bright room and just watched it from an outside viewpoint. At first people danced on their own, then they started dancing in couples and men led their obedient partners, following their instincts. And after a short period of learning they started mixing with each other. It was kizomba - one of the most passionate dances that pretty much reminded me common human relationships. Despite its typical “european” sound, the rhythm of this composition obviously originates from Latin America. It appears to be most suitable for dancing tarraxinha, when the partners make almost no moves, but emotional exchange is very strong. Every movement matters colossally. This track will definitely be useful at private parties where all people know each other well and can dance kizomba. Or are eager to learn to do it right now.
You cannot exist without each other. Try to understand that otherwise there would be an androgynous human, absolutely happy in his unity. And he would be unaware of his own happiness. And this way... he consciously got involved into these games as if it was funny to seperate his body into two parts and make them dance. And he keeps on dancing with his right hand in his left one, his left hand in his right one, hugs his own body tightly and sometimes steps on his own toes so awkwardly. Sometimes he straightens his arms in fear, moves back and shouts out accusations, which are addressed to himself, and later at night sends himself text messages: “I can't live without you, I can't live without you”. And when he gets bored next to himself, he turns the music louder and throws himself onto the floor. Having defeated himself, he puts his foot on his chest. And if this game goes too far, he coughs up blood though the yellow pages of Shakespeare's tragedies. You don't imagine how much time you have to make up such a story. To my mind, it's one of the best tracks in this album. It inspires us to do something more than simply dance. It's a concept, which gives a new beginning to one of those strange stories that repeat over the centuries.
This album has been partly included into my playlist from the very beginning of its creation. And I have several especially favored songs, the names of which I will not disclose to the listener because you have to listen to every single one of them. Or even dance through them. If you can feel ;)
Writer, composer, journalist.
Kanfeel (stylized as KanFeel) is an indie pop band from Moscow, Russia, formed in 2001. The band consists of Andrew Kostarev (composer, arranger, keyboards), and K Vox (vocals).
KanFeel playing in the Styles of House, Trance, Synth-Pop, New Age and Breaks. New album "I Can Feel" was released June 8, 2016.