Doroga is a project of the two Finns Pentti Dassum (known from Umpio, Deep Turtle, Cosmo Jones Beat Machine, Les Manures, Buddha Mind Big Bang, and many others) and Janne Martinkauppi (from Hinageshi Bondage, Hetero Skeleton, Mohel, and Killer McHann). This is the duo's second release, and the first one I've personally come to hear.
"Structure in the Sky" fascinates me. It opens with an electronic loop that creates a mystical eastern atmosphere, and this loop comes backed with short and controlled bursts of scrap metal noise. The song progresses and morphs with no haste, letting the metal scrap sounds vary from noisy outbursts to single beats, screeches and scratches. The noise-side is kept under control, but it still has enough room to live and grow. The atmospheric ambience is created by minimalistic synth-layers, occasional organic beats, hisses, and bits and pieces of programmed sounds and samples that make the song a lot more unique, deep and appealing, and something wholly different than just mere noise. It moves and breathes, staying interesting through its 22-minute length. The song tones down a bit too much near it's end, but otherwise it gives little reason to complain.
The latter 22-minuter "The Stairs..." opens up in a more minimalistic fashion. It's driven by a slow and watery looped beat with a lot of delay, and behind it the song slowly builds up from dry and echoing ambience. Sole wooden beats, echoing hiss, kong-hits and the like create a ritualistic atmosphere that almost secretly makes you just sit down and focus on what you're hearing. Whereas the looped "beat" remains the same, everything behind it slowly grows. The harsh, echoing and more or less ritualistic ambience gains mass, detail and volume, and this steady growth is what makes the song so interesting; it grows so slowly and naturally that it's hard to notice what has changed and when, but it's still clear that something's at large. The song's basic structure stays the same, but its steady and amorphous nature and capable execution keep it interesting for quite a few listens.
The album's visual side is simple; a single picture of a highly detailed structure takes up the pages, and has the release's basic infos written around it. The j-card is one-sided, doesn't hold a lot of information and could be of stronger paper, but because of the cover image being so stylish and fitting to the music, I'll retain from complaining.
The tape didn't blow my mind, but the musicians' level of talent and vision, along with the songs' originality and atmosphere, make my criticism futile. The songs wouldn't have hurted from some stronger contrasts and even bolder and prominent sound choices, as those things might've given the songs the final hook they'd need to permanently win over their listener. On the other hand, a more subtle and (in some sense) passive approach might make the tape last longer in active listening. Go figure. Depending on your personal preferences in this matter, you might want to add or substract a point from the album's grade.