The Moscow experimental artist's first album is fuelled by playful curiosity.
1905 arrives on the Parisian label Antinote, an outlet that specialises in releasing music from arty experimentalists. It is a short record, just 28 minutes, and it's similar in both its brevity and wistfulness to Comme Ça, the 2015 Domenique Dumont LP that remains a high point in the Antinote catalogue. The album's mood is sweet but never sickly, mostly because the majority of tracks are anchored in simple but effective club rhythms. "1905," "Ready When You Are" and "Mojno" are underpinned with crisp breakbeats, while the four-on-the-floor "Vmeste" skips along at a brisk 132 BPM. I'd bet all four tracks would get dancers going if Maximova was to perform them live.
The lyrics on 1905 have a poetic simplicity. Phrases like "noble heartbreaker," "everything is great" and "keep the promise" are intoned softly and looped across the album. On "La Qi," the words "I am feeling the emptiness" are repeated and then distorted before eventually disappearing. On the title track, Maximova says, in Russian, "We can feed the ducks and buy some milk and you will tell me what's allowed and what isn't."
This childlike sensibility gets to the heart of Maximova's approach. In a 2017 interview she spoke about a children's workshop hosted by Playtronica called Fruits Jam, in which "pineapples are your kick/snare/hi-hat, melons are the bass and cucumbers are the melody." Just reading that, you can picture the kids' smiling faces as they mess about with the fruit. It's the same simple joy in musical experimentation that's at the heart of 1905.