lunedì 30 giugno 2014

AUKTYON - "PTIZA" (1993)

Original band name: АукцЫон
Original album title: Птица

Distributed in less than 4.000 copies at the time, today "Ptiza" is probably the definitive cult classic of Russian indie music, and its fame seems to grow year after year.

With "Ptiza" the band completed its transition from post-punk to alternative rock, with jazz fusion and Slavic folk music dominating all around. The production is excellent and every track mixes adventurous tunes and skillful improvisations.

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mercoledì 25 giugno 2014

YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIE - "PRYG-SKOK" (1990)

Original title: Прыг-скок
Band: Егор и Опизденевшие

Yegor i Opizdenevshie (Yegor and the Fuckups) is the last project created by Yegor Letov under the Soviet regime. In fact, the line-up is similar to his other bands of the time, with friends such as Konstantin Ryabinov and Igor Zhevtun, both on guitar, bass, and other instruments. 

If you have ever listened to Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Kommunizm, or Tsyganyata i Ya s Ilyicha, then you know what happens here: psychedelic tunes, folk, noise rock, and a raucous lo-fi production. 


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lunedì 23 giugno 2014

AUKTYON - "BODUN" (1991)

Original band name: АукцЫон
Original album title: Бодун

Auktyon is known for having had two phases. A first one in which they played post-punk songs, marked by a striking theatrical approach, and a second one closer to the alternative rock universe, with strong influences from folk and jazz music. 

This album can be considered a bridge between these two faces of the band, containing elements of both. The arrangements are overwhelming: sung and spoken vocals, funky basslines, atmospheric keyboard layers, catchy piano patterns, saxophone assaults, and eleborate guitar parts influenced by Slavic popular tradition.
By looking into their multifaceted structures, you will realize that these songs have a strong pop feeling and some great melodies. If I have to choose, my favourites would be "Fa fa fa" and "Warum?".


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martedì 17 giugno 2014

AUKTYON - "KAK YA STAL PREDATELEM" (1989)

Original band name: АукцЫон
Original album title: Как я стал предателем

Auktyon is an open music project from Saint Petersburg, led by singer and guitar player Leonid Fedorov. Despite never reaching the mainstream audience, they are probably the most celebrated band ever among Russian alternative music listeners and their gigs are still regarded as important events today.

The line-up has changed many times over the years, but there are some stable members who in fact form the creative core of Auktyon, along with Fedorov: saxophonist Nikolay Rubanov, keyboard player Dmitry Ozersky, and singer Oleg Garkusha. The latter is also known for miming and dancing while the band is on stage.

"Kak ya stal predatelem" is their second album, but the first recorded in a professional studio and the first to be officially distributed. It is considered one of the most important Russian rock albums of the Eighties and it contains a collection of experimental pop songs with new wave sounds, nervous funk guitars, melodic saxophone solos, and oblique moments dominated by a hysterical camp vein. 

Finding a Western counterpart to this music can be a challenge even to the most expert listener. Perhaps Talking Heads and the early works of Ambitious Lovers have some points in common, but the truth is that Auktyon are on a league of their own.

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