Ayanga Ensemble – Erkhuu Khoto: Songs of Buryats from Irkutsk

Antonovka Records produced one of my favorite records of 2022, covering music from the region of Buryatia in Russia.  From the label’s Bandcamp page: “”Erkhuu Khoto” is the Buryat name of the Irkutsk city, where “Khoto” means “City”. Buryats are the indigenous people of this area. The ensemble “Ayanga” (“Melody” in Buryat) was founded in …

Yggdrasil & Vera Kondratieva — Timint Areh

Yggdrasil are a Faroese project led by multi-instrumentalist Kristian Blak (whom I had the pleasure, many years ago, of meeting in Varna, Bulgaria) and a host of local musicians along with singer Vera Kondratieva from Siberia.  You would expect to hear a melding of Scandinavian and traditional Siberian music on Timent Areh, but this also …

Gleb Kolyadin – The Outland

Gleb Kolyadin is the pianist of Russian progressive rock band iamthemorning, but in this release, he has no problem mixing prog rock with jazz fusion.  The album is full of guests, but perhaps the biggest one is King Crimson’s legendary bassist and Chapman stick player Tony Levin playing upright bass.  Solid.

Ясный — Svetly – Project 0

Our friends at the ever-brilliant Russian record label, internet radio station and magazine Meticulous Midgets continue to work with interesting bands within the country and (now) internationally. Ясный — Svetly are a Moscow-based band which has a very forward-looking sound, yet the music they produce sound incredibly nostalgic, with wisps of Berlin School electronics, NDW industrial …

Mikael Tariverdiev – Visions in Black & White

Mikael Tariverdiev was a Russian cinema and TV composer of Armenian extraction but raised Tbilisi, Georgia, a true man of the Soviet world.  Though he was quoted as not particularly liking jazz, he was as good an improviser that Russia ever produced. From the release’s Bandcamp page: “Visions in Black and White is a collection of …

Ivan Grebenschikov – Photo of A Changing World

Our friends at Fancy Music are releasing consistently good music in the contemporary classical, jazz and progressive rock fields.  Ivan Grebenschikov composes music which manages to combine all three genres effortlessly, and adds in free jazz, rock and Latin American music into a fine stew.

Valentina Goncharova – Ocean – Symphony for Electric Violin and other instruments in 10+ parts

Russian violinist Valentina Goncharova is having something of a renaissance these days.  She had an album come out earlier in the year which were unpublished (you can find Volume 1 here and Volume 2 here). Now, we have a full album of recordings last heard on Leo Records many years ago as part of a …

Sergey Kuryokhin (谢尔盖·古廖金) – Divine Madness (天赋的疯狂)

First, a disclaimer: I am posting this review with the understanding that Leo Records has licensed this astounding collection covering the career of the late enfant terrible of Russia’s then-thriving avant-garde music community, Sergey Kuryokhin, to Old Heaven Books Records in Shenzhen, China.  If this is so, it’s wonderful to know that Sergey’s reach will …

417.3 – 47

417.3 appeared on my radar about 7-8 years ago when I was trying to explore more about Russian post-rock.  They are a heavy instrumental band, but not overly “mathy” or anything like this. 47 is a one-track single with the sort of shimmering guitar playing that one would expect from post-rock bands, as it seems …