Soundtrack for a Game of Chess

by Karpov not Kasparov

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Kaissa 03:36
Elisabeta 07:20
Bad Bishop 04:03


Valeriu Borcos and Eduard Gabia are
Karpov not Kasparov, a musical game of
chess between synthesizers and drums.
Beginning in Bucharest in 2009, the duo
soon incorporated an analogue visual
artist and contemporary dancers into their
live performances, resulting in a theatrical
show and a kind of real-time soundtrack to
the action around them. The duo’s unique
dynamic creates a psychedelic synth-driven
sound, combining oriental melodies
with the drive of a full live drum kit.
“Soundtrack for a game of Chess” is their
debut LP, comprising a selection of the
best tracks from their previous two EPs,
which never appeared on vinyl.
“Mechanical Turk”, named after a faux
chess-playing machine constructed in the
late 18th century, displays the darker side
to the band’s undulating sound, as the
vintage synth creates a spacey Eastern
overlay to the driving bass and drums.
There are moments of downbeat jazz-infused
introspection, such as the track
“Kaissa”, named after the goddess of
chess, as well as the ever-onward kraut
drums of “Choose you colour gipsy dark”
overlaid with the rise and fall of a pulsating
synth. Yet the record is not simply a dark
synth composition, at times K not K sway
towards a more playful, experimental pop
sound reminiscent of early electronic
pioneers such as Harmonia or Vangelis,
while still managing to retain a modern,
otherworldly feel.
Having garnered great acclaim within their
native Romania, their debut EPs also
received high praise internationally from
sources such as WFMU. While last year,
Mehmet Aslan’s re-work of “Mechanical
Turk” released on Huntleys + Palmers
made waves across the dance floors of
the world.

artwork by Axel Brechensbauer
layout by Paramon
mastering Marten Rux, Alin Zabrauteanu
synths Valeriu Borcos
drums Eduard Gabia
all tracks by Valeriu Borcos


released August 14, 2015


all rights reserved



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