Thursday, January 7, 2016

Стук Бамбука в XI Часов - "Легкое дело холод" [1991]

Artist: Стук Бамбука в XI Часов
Title: Легкое дело холод
Genre: Ambient, Trip-Hop
Country: USSR
Release date: 1991

Track List:
  1. Хрупко двух
  2. La cheval de ma vie
  3. Слабый тигр
  4. Снег мёд
  5. Белый чёрт ландыш
  6. Лоскуток
  7. Береговая осень
  8. Какавелла
  9. Стены и туман
  10. Тяга
This band is mentioned in DMT's Industrial Culture FAQ as the first trip-hop act in the USSR (and probably one of the first trip-hop bands in the world). They were formed as a trio in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, in late 1980s, around the same time the Bristol trip-hop scene started to develop. They've mentioned Brian Ino and Throbbing Gristle as their main sources of inspiration, and it's quite possible that they came to trip-hop independently from Portishead, Massive Attack and other British trip-top bands of that era. Initially, no one of them could play any instruments, and they had to use rather primitive equipment (acoustic and electric guitars, one Polyvox synthesizer, some makeshift percussion and 3 tape recorders used instead of a sampler), but it didn't prevent them from recording one of the most interesting albums of their time.

Not much is known about them, except for the names of the band members, and one or two photos, but their first and only album is still highly valued. It's mostly depressive ambient/trip-hop with occasional female vocals (not much) and surrealistic lyrics inspired by Julio Cortazar, Franz Kafka and Kobo Abe. The album was recorded at home of one of the band's members during 1991, and released on tape in November of the same year. By that time, the band already split up.

As a bottom note, Izhevsk was renowned for its independent electronic scene in the early 90s, according to the same FAQ. Sadly I'm not very familiar with that scene (except for this band), but I've met Azat Sadykov (the veteran of Izhevsk demoscene who was quite knowledgeable about industrial and other underground electronic music of the 90s, R.I.P. 2014) at the DiHalt festival several years ago, and he confirmed that his native city was producing probably the most interesting underground electronic music in 90s' Russia. If I find something from that scene which is comparable to this album, I'll surely post it.

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