London Docks – Tangaroa

London Docks is the alias Nikita Sorokin uses for his solo work.
He’s not from London, but from Los Angeles.
Also a member of Insects vs. Robots – but don’t let that count as an introduction, because the music he presents as London Docks is quite different from that of this particular “psychotropicturesque quasi-nomadic music tribe”.

Tangaróa is a collection of tracks merging Nikita Sorokin‘s solo violin improvisations with “fields recordings and electronica into sonic dreamscapes that are inspired as much by science fiction and mythology as they are by musical ideas”.

As his sources of inspiration Sorokin mentions “Steve Reich, Indian Carnatic violin music” as well as “the electronic experimentalism of Amon Tobin and Flying Lotus”. But dropping names always has the risk of fixing expectations.
Nikita Sorokin clearly found his own musical place, at the intersection of different styles – thus creating his own instead of just simply doing what others also do.

There are three short tracks that are possibly somewhat more ‘conventional’ (and lighter) in nature, but for the largest part of Tangaróa, Sorokin lets the tracks take their time to find their course.
The long tracks are introspective masterpieces varying from around 10 minutes to 18 or even 24. They are the true heart of this album, and written to let your mind drift off guided by Tangaróathe Mãori god of the sea.

The longest of tracks is called “Smoke Raga” – a raga for violin solo improvisation, accompanied by the sound of a guitar, a campfire, night creatures and a continuous drone. It’s one of those tracks that I can keep playing on continuous repeat!
Closest to this raga form is “Violin Improvisation – La Lluvia” – which also has a relatively sparse instrumentation to maximum effect.

“400 Clouds Pt.1” and “Submarine Canyon” have a more ‘electronic’ background, with the violin parts somewhat less prominent. The latter, the closing track of the album, has an interesting twist when the track suddenly changes into a fully electronic ambient track (around 10 minutes, with still 8 minutes to go) – as if the submarine suddenly dives deeper and deeper into the darkness of the ocean.
Which is the place where you suddenly find yourself on your own again…

“Stay up late. Listen to these instrumentals on big fat headphones. Think of shapeshifting clouds, electric ghosts that roam the foggy streets, smoke spirits singing in the forest by the cover of night.”

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