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fRoots напечатали рецензии

Jan 8, 2015

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В мартовском выпуске английского журнала о фолк-музыке fRoots напечатали рецензии на релизы нашего лейбла:

THE GRASS HARP The Grass Harp  SKMR 112

coverFor long it seemed the only scene bringing the sounds and shapes of Russian traditional music into present reality (as against uniformly-costumed state-approved ensembles) revolved around the excellent Sergei Starostin and his associates. But others are starting to emerge, among them Stranniki, an appealingly lively septet from Penza in south-west Russia with strong traditional songs featuring hardedged solo and group vocals from three women and one man, Viktor Klimov, who plays the traditional wind instruments zhaleika, kalyuka plus wider-world wind instruments such as kaval and bagpipe, and gusli, Russia’s kantele-kin zither, backed by folk-rocky guitar, bass and drumkit.

The Vasilyev Vecher ensemble of Tomsk sings, in polyphony, field-researched songs of the Russian peasants who relocated to western Siberia in the 16th–18th Centuries. The subjects and original role of the songs are varied but, while they sing well enough and strongly, they make them all sound the same by an unvarying, academically glum, plodding style of delivery; surely the un-named source singers gave them more variety and levity than this? (The booklet notes, largely in Russian, fail to identify either the sources or the ensemble members.)

In contrast, Vasily Evhimovich, from the Yaroslavl region on the Volga, sings traditional Russian songs with spirited, loud, lusty masculinity, solo with his hurdy-gurdy or accordeon, or joined in polyphony by one male and two female singers. Most of the text on those three is in Russian Cyrillic; the English titles given here are translations. But The Grass Harp project double CD has an English title and parallel texts in Russian and English, so is evidently seen as
more exportable as ‘world music’, though it’s more of a first experiment than yet a contender.

Taking its title from Truman Capote’s novel, its sounds are Stefan Charisius’s kora with thumping, clicking percussion, plus electronics and touches of other ethnic instruments, woven around traditional Udmurtian, Beser myan and Russian songs, sung with quiet intimacy by either Udmurt Maria Korepanova or Russian Irina Pyzhianova. The first disc is a studio recording; the second, a live concert, has more spontaneity and liveliness, still kora-centred but with more songs, the singers more assertive and featuring more of the other players of instruments such as gusli and jew’s harp, occasionally interrupted by largely unconnected bursts of beginnerlevel stuttering laptop live-sampling-ism.

 Andrew Cronshaw