The tenth official full-length by St. Petersburg synth savant Vladimir Karpov aka X.Y.R. is a liquid suite of surreal tranquility, divined and designed to soundtrack the shimmering mysteries of underwater life: Aquarealm. Inspired by vintage Soviet cartoons, nature documentaries, and his own colorful aquarium fish, the album’s seven songs share a mood of contemplative depths and dizzying beauty, adrift in deepwater currents and bioluminescent tides. Hazy tones swell and swirl while crystalline keys, loops, and echoes swim in the periphery, rising like bubbles to the surface.
Karpov describes these compositions as flights of fantasy, born of an oceanic muse as idyllic as it is infinite. It’s music simultaneously serene and cinematic, conjuring blue horizons of kelp forests swaying above rainbow reefs, casting shadowplay on sandy floors. A realm both real and imagined, submerged but transcendent, rippling from the mind’s eye to the great beyond.