Perila, the moniker of Berlin-based electronic musician Aleksandra Zakharenko, announces her debut album, How Much Time it is Between You and Me?, out June 25th on Smalltown Supersound, and today presents its lead single, “Fallin Into Space,” a track full of levitating synth and pulses of organic noise. With a soundworld so specific and transportive, Zakharenko’s ambient music is filled with detail and movement akin to hauntological musique concrète touched by song.
Raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Zakharenko moved to Berlin six years ago, finding her place almost immediately at Berlin Community Radio. Regular work with expressionistic field recordings and electronic sound research eventually led Zakharenko to develop her own podcast series, WET (“Weird Erotic Tension”), combining her evocative, atmospheric music with erotic spoken word poetry. After a handful of early cassette releases as Perila — a project name originally used for her BCR show — Zakharenko has arrived at Smalltown Supersound for her debut full-length, a self-described “immersive experience into self” viewed through a “silence prism” where everyday sounds usually ignored felt amplified.
“‘Fallin Into Space’ is a track about grounding yourself in new places, accepting the surroundings, and opening up to what comes,” explains Zakharenko. “It’s about slowing down and being conscious about what and how your body is in that space. Many new things come to attention when you slow down and observe.”
Involved in music since her childhood, Zakharenko has spent time as both a drummer and singer in local Russian bands. She also co-founded radio.syg.ma – one of the first online stations in Russia focusing on experimental sounds. Having studied English literature at university, Zakharenko’s fascination with voice and language only grew, and remains evident in her work as Perila.
For How Much Time it is Between You and Me?, Zakharenko took inspiration from the concept of time, which she felt keenly during the pandemic. Recording primarily during September 2020 in a rural village in France, Zakharenko was surrounded by mountains, alone with no internet. Her perception of time there differed immensely.
Zakharenko aims to explore how we feel music and emotion in the body and how sound can help release it. How does the sound enter a body and travel through it? Where does movement start? How do you reach and unblock emotional clusters with the help of sound?
While her music has always dealt in honesty and intimacy – be it the private thrills of WET or the audible closeness of our surroundings – the organic response and consistent feedback she gets for Perila made Zakharenko recognize a longing for it in today’s world.
Perila – How Much Time it is Between You and Me?
Release Date:25 June 2021
1. Air Like Velvet
2. Time Date
3. You Disappear You Find Yourself Again
6. Memories of Grass
8. Backyard Echo
11. Fallin Into Space