Saturday, September 30, 2017

Юрий Морозов - "Неизъяснимое" [1978]

Artist: Юрий Морозов
Title: Неизъяснимое
Genre: Ambient, Musique Concrete
Country: USSR
Release date: 1978

Unsurprisingly, I find the experimental electronic part of Yuri Morozov's vast discography much more interesting than his blues rock albums that he was primarily famous for (and not only because it's much "darker" in terms of atmosphere it creates). This album, recorded in the second part of 1970s, consists of 5 untitled instrumental tracks of synthesizer improvisation with some psychedelic rock elements mixed in.

Unsurprisingly again, this album is/was unpopular in the mainstram rock community, but it seems to be highly valued among the fans of more experimnetal stuff. I even have seem it being compared to Throbbing Gristle by industrial fans, and to Henry Cow and Aksak Maboul by RIO fans. Of course I won't go that far - after all, it was recorded just for personal satisfaction by a guy who managed to get his hands on a synthesizer and professtional recording equipment. I highly doubt he could know about any of the aforementioned bands at the time, but nevertheless, I have to agree that the material on this album strangely resemble a lot of much better known experimental music from the mid-1970s.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Юрий Морозов - "Свадьба кретинов" [1976]

Artist: Юрий Морозов
Title: Свадьба кретинов
Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Proto-Punk
Country: USSR
Release date: 1976

Track List:
  1. Конформист 
  2. Кретин 
  3. Не знаю, за что 
  4. Дай крылья мне, Бог 
  5. А мне и так конец 
  6. Свадьба кретинов (Бродяга пес) 
  7. Сон 
  8. Черный пес
Yuri Morozov's name is largely unknown to modern Russian rock fans, but he was a cult figure during the 1970s, mainly because he was one of the first to record several proper rock albums in the USSR. He started his first band in late 1969 when he lived in North Ossetia, but his early works were far from rock music - it was mostly acoustic singer-songwriter stuff usual for the 1960s Soviet independent music scene. Three years later, he started to work at a Melodia studio in Leningrad as a sound engineer. So, he was lucky to have access to the professional recording equipment, which enabled him to record several albums in good quality (if you really want to know how awful most amateur recordings from that time were, check out this or this).

In the early 1980s he became increasingly religious and quite reclusive in his lifestyle. During the late 1980s Russian rock boom he formed a new band which wasn't particularly successful. Until his death in 2006, he worked mostly as a sound engineer and a writer, yet he's now remembered mostly as a multi-instrumentalist and a pioneer of Soviet rock.

His discography is quite vast, consisting of 50 or so albums, ranging from psychedelic rock and hard rock to electronic/ambient. This album is his best known work, recorded at his workplace in 1976 and released on tape in 1977. The vocals for a couple of songs, which had some "risky" lyrics, were recorded at home. Lines like "I'm a cretin and I love it!" would indeed fit into the lyrics of any early punk band quite well, but as a whole, this album is fairly typical psychedelic/hard rock of the early 1970s. It is also noticeably different in tone from his early recordings, which were more lighthearted, with fairly inoffensive lyrical topics of the "wine, women and songs" variety, while this one is much gloomier, with a prominent theme of death and suicide; the topics of spirituality and non-conformism are also present. Overall, this album might be nothing special by the measures of the Western rock scene of that time, but it was a breakthrough for the Soviet rock scene, and it certainly doesn't deserve to be forgotten. Enjoy:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Игорь Лень - "Здесь..." [1989]

Artist: Игорь Лень
Title: Здесь...
Genre: Ambient, New Age
Country: USSR
Release date: 1989

Track List:
  1. Голос
  2. Приговор
  3. Тебе...
  4. Срыв
  5. Блюз
  6. Здесь...
Here'sthe one and only solo album of Igor Len, a Moscow Conservatory-educated composer and sound producer who was an important member of Николай Коперник. His music can quite fairly be termed "dark ambient" with its depressive atmosphere unusual for most early Soviet electronic music. Anyway, he had a luxury of having his album released on vinyl by Melodia in 1989. It contains material from two his earlier demo tapes, dedicated to the works of Arseny & Andrey Tarkovsky. Download link for the MP3 rip shamelessly stolen from this blog (which I already have credited several times on here):

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Николай Коперник - "Родина" [1986]

Artist: Николай Коперник
Title: Родина
Genre: Post-Punk, New Wave, Art Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1986

Track List:
  1. Горцы
  2. В небесах лазурных
  3. Дымки
  4. Музы
  5. Юкагиры
  6. Конники
  7. Там, вдали
  8. Руда
  9. Родина
Named in honour of Nicholaus Copernicus, this band was formed in 1981 by Moscow-based composers Yuri Orlov and Igor Len. Their music has very little in common with what's usually called "Russian rock", and to be honest, that's a good thing. They released only one full-length album on tape in 1986, and one more 7'' officially released by Melodia in 1988-89, but these releases were good enough to earn them a cult status in the Moscow underground scene. The band reformed in 2005 and released a new album (which is very good as well) in 2012.

As far as I know, they had chances to work with such musicians was Peter Gabriel and Frank Zappa, but they never became a particularly well-known band - likely because their music was too experimental for an average Russian rock listener. This album isn't an exception, yet the level of songwriting on it is well above many much better known Soviet rock bands. Interestingly enough, there's even a song dedicated to one small tribe in the far Northeastern Siberia that not everyone knows about :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Дурное Влияние - "Неподвижность" [1989]

Artist: Дурное Влияние
Title: Неподвижность
Genre: Post-Punk, Gothic Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1989

Track List:
  1. 24 часа
  2. Если я лгу
  3. Дай мне уйти
  4. Неподвижность
  5. Жизнь как болезнь
  6. Мёртвые смотрят вверх
  7. Сейчас
  8. Спать 
  9. 24 часа (видеомикс)
  1. Неподвижность (2012 version)
  2. Дай мне уйти (2012 version)
  3. Кто здесь? (Петля Нестерова cover)
"Дурное Влияние (Bad Influence) was a Russian coldwave band featuring members from earlier band projects Механический Балет and Монумент Страха. The band released their debut album Неподвижность (Immobility) in 1989" (

As far as I know, they were one of the most influental Soviet post-punk bands of that time, and they're widely credited as one of the first Russian gothic rock bands. The band existed from November 1987 to the summer of 1990 (according to other sources, 1991), and made a reunion during 2011-12. Their only full-length album was recorded in November 1989 at a home studio in Peterhof. The quality of production is unsurprisingly poor, but isn't it something to be expected from an obscure 80's post-punk band?..