venerdì 28 marzo 2014

KOMMUNIZM - "KHRONIKA PIKIRUYUSHCHEGO BOMBARDIROVSHCHIKA" (1990)

Original title: Хроника пикирующего бомбардировщика
Band: Коммунизм

Kommunizm is one of the many projects led by the genius of Yegor Letov. It is considered his most authentic output, because of its intimate nature. In fact, Kommunizm never performed live, and this brought Letov and his friends to let out their obsessions and ambitions like never before. 
A great part of Kommunizm's work consists in sound manipulations and collages, often surpassing the song-form which made the fortune of a band such as Grazhdanskaya Oborona.

Anyway, this album is pretty approachable. It is the last released under this name, and it collects sessions from a three-year span. Here you can find avantgarde performances ("Povest' o nastoyashchem cheloveke", in which Letov showed once again his love for Sergei Prokofiev), acoustic lullabies ("Nyurkina pesnya", sung by Anna Volkova and Yanka Dyagileva; the American traditional "The Birds of Paradise", sung by Dmitri Selivanov), noise-rock assaults ("Malen'kiy prints vozvrashchalsya domoy", "Ivanovo detstvo"), and spoken word pieces.
Some of these tracks were later re-recorded by another of Letov's projects, Yegor i Opizdenevshie.


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sabato 22 marzo 2014

DK - "LIRIKA" (1982-83)

Original band name: ДК
Original album title: Лирика

DK is the name of a strange, unique project, led by Muscovite drummer and producer Sergey Zhakirov from 1980 to 1990. 
Zhakirov was an extremely prolific artist, recording and self-releasing through illegal magnetic tapes around 40 albums in his ten years of activity. 
His music was so extreme and his lyrics so uncompromising that the authorities forbade DK to play live. For this reason, most of his albums were sold in very small amounts of copies, and today they are considered lost.

Zhakirov is still detaining the original tapes and in the Nineties he reissued them on CD, even if rarely with their original tracklists. He preferred instead to create anthologies with tracks from a pair of magnetic tapes each time.
Reissued in 1995, "Lirika" contains seventeen compositions originally released on "Uvezu tebya ya v tundru" and "Ikh navry", both recorded around 1982-83, depending on sources.

This is some of the most sharp, controversial and exciting rock music you will ever hear. Helped by singer Evgeny Morozov and by the exceptional guitar player Dmitry Yanshin, Zhakirov fronts a lot of music styles, distorcing them through his low fidelity, sick approach. The general mood kinda reminds me of the Residents, but I prefer DK because their music is more rhythmic and catchy.
From the post-punk and polka mix of "Vot tak vota" to the devastated version of "La cucaracha" that is "Agdam", from the endless guitar solo of "Blednaya lyubov'" to the lo-fi pop anthem "Odekolon", this anthology will take your breath away.

P.S. If you're a fan of Vincent Price, you surely will appreciate his laugh at the beginning of "Prorekha sheyk"

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domenica 16 marzo 2014

NAUTILUS POMPILIUS - "RAZLUKA" (1986)

Original album title: Разлука

"Razluka" is a landmark in the career of Nautilus Pompilius. It was their first album with lyrics by poet Ilya Kormiltsev, the first with Aleksey Mogilevsky's characteristic saxophone solos, and the first with a decent sound quality. 
It was recorded with the help of sound engineer Andrey Makarov, in the basement of the Architectural Institute of Yekaterinburg, where the band members were studying at the time. 

Almost every song here is a classic of Butusov's songbook and the range of styles is wider than ever, including post-punk marches ("Skovannye odnoi tsep'yu"), mutant blues ("Prazdnik obschej bedy"), robotic songs full of synthesized sounds ("Vsego lish' byt'"), and funny impressions of ballroom dance music ("Nasha sem'ya"). If you want to hear something really different, this is your album.


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martedì 11 marzo 2014

NAUTILUS POMPILIUS - "NEVIDIMKA" (1985)

Formed in 1982 and led by singer Vyacheslav Butusov and bassist Dmitry Umetsky, Nautilus Pompilius was the prominent rock band from the Ural region, and one of the most important Russian bands of the Eighties. In terms of popularity they were second only to Kino.

Their debut album, "Pereezd" (1983), is a collection of poorly recorded, but extremely aggressive punk-folk songs. It is not a bad, but at the same time it doesn't represent the band at all. I think this second studio effort is the right place to start from.
Here Butusov adopts the new romantic aesthetics that would have made him famous a couple of years later, while his compositions ranges from tango to boogie, from post-punk to torch songs. The arrangements incorporate a set of electric guitars with rudimental effects, some keyboards and a basic drum machine. Sound engineer Leonid Porohnya also did a great job, considering the poor equipment he could count on.

At the end of the tracklist you can find two of the band's classics, "Knyaz' tishiny" and "Poslednee pis'mo" (they became popular in 1988, when they were re-recorded to be included on "Knyaz' tishiny", the band's first legal album, which you will eventually find on Soviet Sam).

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