Minsk-based mastermind Ars Nikonov is already known for the synthwave-laden Fury Weekend and the much heavier industrial/metal sounds of Notroverts. His latest project, Kodeseven is a neon-soaked industrial bass project in a similar vein as Pertubator, MOЯIS BLAK, or Carpenter Brut, carrying a heavy cinematic quality evocative of much of the more recent gritty science fiction media.
Things kick off with Kodeseven showing off its ability to generate some solid grooves and that cinematic sound in “Bastion” with it feeling like a soundtrack to a cyberpunk sizzle reel. “Instinct” and “Drop” also show off some interesting work with vocal samples as both tracks tweak and repeat just a few words into an almost hip-hop-like scratch-fest laid upon the grim bass-soaked canvas. There is an attempt to keep things fresh and play with different sounds, such as “Player One” bringing in a heavily processed riff on top of some drum & bass, but the overall stretch of the album between “Drop” and “Odeon” does bleed together a bit and there are some occasional dated sound effects that seem pulled from a turn-of-the-century video game. Thankfully with “Odean,” the vocal sampling returns with it and “Asylum” both offering two more highlights to close out the album.
Kodeseven undoubtedly makes for a tremendous soundscape for the dark technological underbelly of the future. The album is at its best when it takes advantage of vocal samples to otherwise break up the unrelenting throbbing bass onslaught and give some tracks some much-needed unique flavor, but even in the purely instrumental segments, there’s some great grinding bass to get lost in. With Kodeseven, Fury Weekend, and Notroverts, Ars Nikonov undoubtedly has his creative focus heavily split among these projects – Kodeseven demonstrates a lot of promise, so let’s hope this work isn’t a one-off in Nikonov’s expanding musical portfolio.