Who is Misha Panfilov? The prolific Estonian multi-instrumentalist has shot onto the scene over the last few years, recording and releasing a grip of gritty groove-laden titles under his own name and with outfits such as Penza Penza, Centre El Muusa, and more, mostly via Detroit’s Funk Night Records. Panfilov pulls from a vast pool of influences, from Italian library music to Zamrock to Kosmische Musik, while creating an urgent—sometimes nearly unhinged—sound that is entirely his own.
Perhaps Panfilov’s most fully formed release is his latest full-length, Days of Echoes. It’s a collection of atmospheric compositions somewhat rooted in the library sounds that have also been recently mined by fellow maestro, Sven Wunder. (That’s not to say either is stepping on the other’s toes.) In Panfilov’s case, his interlocking organ and drums have a subtle way of drawing the listener into a swirling, hallucinogenic thrall. The aural experience is something like a double dose, and “Together” is the high-water mark. Flute, trumpet, tenor sax and synth weave together atop a foaming groove. Eventually Sasha Petrov’s tenor sax ascends, and slowly unwinds alongside our collective consciousness. We’ve probably listened to this LP as much as any other this year. Give it a spin and you’ll see why. | j steele