• Music

    Assembly Of Honey – Морозные Узоры (Frost Patterns)

    Assembly Of Honey are a magnificent Russian ambient drone project related to the magazine Meticulous Midgets, friends of our blog.  Their latest album has several tracks which would appeal to meditative musicians like Steve Roach, but also to New Age artists like Kitaro and even experimental bands like Britain’s O Yuki Conjugate.  There is a calming aspect to the music that, frankly, I needed to hear after a stressful Valentine’s Day.  Well done, as always.

  • Music

    Sunset Wings and Brodsky – Songs of Love, Madness and Sleep

    From Kaliningrad, Russia (formerly my material ancestral Linn homeland of Koenigsberg, East Prussia) hail one of the most impressive psychedelic folk records I’ve heard in some time.  From the cacophony of the violin starting the album, it morphs into a Beatlesque horn arrangement.  Those few seconds set the tone for what I figured would be a very heavy listening experience. Sunset Wings, led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Aleks Popov team on this album with fellow singer Evgeniy Brodsky.  What makes the album crucial listening, along with the impressive instrumental array you will see below, is the adaptations by poets and…

  • Music

    Jagath – Samadhi

    Jagath is a field-recorded ritual ambient act from Perm, Russia who use handmade instruments, scraps and metal to make their dark, dank industrial sounds. As quoted from their Bandcamp site, “We do this to share our vision of decaying postindustrial age, to unleash the spirit of deep beyond-world and unveil life in the abyss.”  

  • Music

    Koma Stark – Kelesho

    Antonovka Records have had an astounding year releasing not only music from Russia’s hinterlands and Central Asia, but even from places like Georgia.  This album documents music by Kurdish-speaking Yezidis, who suffered horribly over the past few years in places like Iraq and Syria.  Koma Stark play traditional Yezidi folk songs, and they currently reside in Tbilisi, Georgia.

  • Music

    Evgeny Ponomarev Quartet – Clockwise

    I can’t say for sure if Evgeny Ponomarev’s 2021 release, Clockwise, counts as spiritual jazz, but it is holding it’s own as one of the best jazz releases of the year.  Ponomarev plays piano, and is solidly supported by a large cast, incuding: Andrey Polovko — tenor saxophone (1-6), soprano saxophone (2) Grigory Voskoboynik — double bass Peter Mikheev — drums (1-6), percussion (1,4) Pavel Ilushin — guitar (4) Peter Vostokov — cornet (2) Anton Gimazetdinov — trombone, tuba (2)

  • Music - Music Articles

    Russian World Music Chart 2021

    I’m proud to have been asked to participate in helping to decide which albums would top the Russian World Music Chart.  Here is a press release on this event: Russian World Music Chart 2021 Making Russian world music visible to the world In October 2021, Russia’s first world music chart, the Russian World Music Chart (RWMC), was launched. The purpose of RWMC is to attract the attention of the world music community to the novelties of folk music of multinational Russia, as well as popularization and assistance in promoting unique musicians from remote corners of Russia in the Russian Federation…

  • Music

    Perila – How much time it is between you and me?

    Perila i(Alexandra Zakharenko) s a composer from Berlin of Russian roots releases one of the heaviest and, frankly, bleakest albums of the year.  I spent today trying to unwind a bit as the snow looked pleasant, but after watching Juraj Herz’s The Cremator, hearing this album left me in a somewhat dark place. The sounds are deep and cavernous.  It is, in fact, my favorite style of ambient music, as it becomes easy to get lost in the sonic abyss the artist is projecting through her lens.  There are two standout tracks on this album; Vaxxine, with gives me the…

  • Music - Qobuz - Spotify

    Alexei Aigui & Arkady Marto – DA

    This should be a breakout year for Alexei Aigui, who has released his fourth album of the year in collaboration with pianist Arkady Marto. The album is absolutely sublime. Each track has a gentle touch, balancing violin and piano perfectly. The cornerstone of the album for me is this track, Nocturne No. 0: It is a tango that would have made Ástor Piazzlla proud. The whole album is engaging, and would have made for perfect music for a dramatic film (something Alexei has been making for several years now, with great success). As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, if you…