Kan Wakan’s Dizzy Classical Minimalism; Phantasmagoria Pt. 1

Kan Wakan’s Dizzy Classical Minimalism; Phantasmagoria Pt. 1

Kan Wakan’s Dizzy Classical Minimalism; Phantasmagoria Pt. 1


“Phantasmagoria Pt. 1”, is the first title track of a three part LP by Los Angeles based producer Gueorgui Linev.  

Under the moniker Kan Wakan, the Bulgarian born musician has been releasing his sophomore album track by track for almost a year now. It’s been fantastic, emotive, and yet pensive, demure in its exquisiteness.

I’ve been dealing with a sort of insomnia for the last couple of years.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve slept through the night. I usually wake up at least once or twice- the line that separates the darkness of sleep and my waking life isn’t always so sharp. A good amount of the “sleep” I get actually occupies that gray area in between consciousness and dreaming. Sometimes, the lens through which I view the world takes on a strange yet familiar tint. I gaze off into space or have difficulty engaging in a conversation with someone. I have to ask them to repeat themselves a few times. I can’t pay attention to what’s right in front of me. I get startled by something that isn’t there. I try to pinch or slap myself out of it. This doesn’t work. I’ve never had a word for this feeling. It comes and goes.

“Phantasmagoria” sounds like a made up word- I had to google it to make sure. My favorite dictionary definition:


1. a shifting series of phantasms, illusions, or deceptive appearances, 

as in a dream or as created by the imagination”

I first heard “Phantasmagoria Pt. 1,” yesterday morning, watching a thick mist creep up the shoreline of Lake Superior as seagulls flew in dizzying circles above my head, too close for comfort. I’m in my tiny hometown for one foggy summer, the culmination of a, gag-, series of unfortunate events. A phantasmagoria, if you will.

I can’t complain- the place is beautiful, kind of shockingly and starkly so, depending on the weather. Dramatic, jagged cliffs accentuate the soft “mountains” of pine that cradle the curvature of Superior. Somehow 20 degrees colder than anything even an hours drive away, even when the sun is out. It’s the kind of place I imagine Elle Olsun, protagonist/vocalist of this track in.

photo by Travis Novitsky

In Linevs’ words, “Phantasmagoria Pt. One ,” is a haunted story of an empath, taking place in a dream-state – tall and obtuse, a movement through rooms, where walls are windows and doors swing enter/exit on whim-ful moments, making sense as its path unfurls yet perplexing to explain upon reflection.”

Olsun sounds like an off kilter Madeleine Peyroux, artfully tight-roping across a manic, elaborate soundscape provided by the Bulgarian Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom Linev has collaborated for part of the upcoming album. Dizzying thoughts of self-doubt and disbelief are framed by sparingly neat percussion from Son Lux. The five minute song wraps up with an absolutely intoxicating horn solo. It takes up so much space. I’ve listened to this song dozens of times, and I still don’t feel like I’ve heard “Phantasmagoria Pt. 1” in it’s entirety.

If Part 1 and its accompanying released singles from this LP are any indicator, Phantasmagoria will be one of the best albums of the year. Gueorgui Linev is creating a distinct and singular sound, melting the boundaries between classical and contemporary.

Phantasmagoria is set to be released sometime later on in 2017. You can preorder the album and support the artist here.


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