Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Сергей Курёхин - "Опера богатых" [1992]

Artist: Сергей Курёхин
Title: Опера богатых
Genre: Avant-Garde, Free Jazz, Minimal Electronic
Country: Russia
Release date: 1992

Track List:
  1. Донна Анна (pt. 1)
  2. Аль-Кадбар Буги
  3. Невеста Крумхорна
  4. Трагедия В Стиле Минимализм
  5. Харе Кришна, Донна Анна! (pt. 2)
  6. Синагога-буги
  7. Связанные Одной Пиццей
"The Rich's Opera" is a compilation of Sergey Kuryokhin's minimalistic works recorded during 1987-91 and released as LP in 1992. The name is probably a play on a popular Italian proverb "Bed is the poor man's opera". This is one of the best known Kuryokhin's works, possibly because it's less avant-garde than his early albums. In particular, the opening track "Donna Anna" is among his best-known and easily recognized compositions.

It has very little to do with rock music, but I'll place it under the "progressive rock" label nevertheless. Actually, it's fairly close to Kuryokhin's early 80's free jazz experiments, but more influenced by classical music and minimalistic electronic music. Fun fact: he was one of the few Soviet electronic musicians that owned a SCI synthesizer (namely SCI Prophet 2000) that was bought for him by one of the labels associated with Leo Records, and brought to Soviet Union by Joanna Stingray. According to Andrey Tropillo, having access to such equipment (which never was officially exported to the USSR, and costed almost like a new car on a black market in mid-1980s) was the main reason for Kuryokhin to start experimenting with avant-garde electronic music. The operatic female voice which you can hear in both parts of "Donna Anna" was recorded with the help of Olga Kondina, a professional opera singer. The rest of the album is entirely instrumental.

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