'Transplant Rejection’ is the second in a trilogy of cassette albums released via Muscut in the latter half of 2022. The work of Estonian artist and IDA Radio co-founder Robert Nikolajev, this collection of seven ‘almost’ dark ambient tracks embody the melancholy of autumn whilst hinting at the forthcoming eternal winter. A man with many hats, Nikolajev operates on the fringes of the leftfield house underground for labels such as Incienso, Collect-Call and Sad Fun as well as being one half of the sporadic DIMA DISK act with Ragnar Rahouja. Eschewing the more rhythmic side of his productions for this Muscut tape, Nikolajev taps into the fictional soundtrack atmospheres the label is known for and brings his own brand of wistful, introspective world-building by way of machine harmony to the now Tallinn based imprint.
There’s a lo-fi, grainy quality running throughout the collection, a kind of sepia-toned nostalgia that envelops the listener and disorientates any perception of time or place. Buried vocal fragments sit in the mix on ‘Stifled’ alongside decaying synthesiser drones whilst ‘DDM’ channels an edgy post-rock dirge with its use of sagged bass guitar. Overall, an inspired look into the more ‘at home’ side of this increasingly prolific Estonian artist.