A colourful world of marimbas, chimes and synths from an inventive Russian artist.
Shilonosova clearly enjoys the freedom to wander across genres. Her band Glintshake has made rock and post-punk; in Moscow Scratch Orchestra she helped reinterpret the music of the avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew. She produced 2016's Binasu LP under her best-known alias, Kate NV, whose sugary synth pop and childlike vocals sounded more like a Japanese City Pop band than a solo artist from Russia.
Her second album, however, is the product of Shilonosova's hometown. It was partly inspired by sounds she heard in her flat and around Moscow, but evokes a bright cartoon world of her own design. Binasu's song structures have been prised apart and reassembled into new forms. Choruses have been completely binned. What few vocals remain are sung in Russian, on "вас YOU," or chopped into bits ("раз ONE").
The surreal world of для FOR has been captured in an accompanying film by Sasha Kulak, but even without visuals these tracks bustle with so much life, and so many details, that they seem like animated vignettes. You can picture the clarinet sound running through "раз ONE" as Lewis Carroll's White Rabbit riding the Moscow Metro. The frog-like noises in "пес DOG"'s are genuinely funny.
As free-associative as для FOR seems, it's also tightly structured. Each track has a three-letter title in both Russian and English. The LP's first half was recorded in spring, the second in autumn. That symmetry is especially apparent on "yxo EAR" and "зря SEE." The synth squelches on these tracks are mirror images—water sounds bubble up in the former and fall like rain against a window in the latter. It's possibly the same window Shilonosova seems to stare through on "кто WHO." Synthetic birdsong, rustling keys and a contemplative melody suggest someone pondering the world outside. The album, in turn, offers a glimpse into Kate NV's rich imagination.