Belarusian rock on vacation

Belarusian rock on vacation

Four noteworthy Belarusian albums you should listen to

The vacation period in Belarusian music did not bring much quality material, but it is worth noting two releases that have artistic and historical value. We will also make a small teaser and talk about the records that you can listen to in the near future. The new review focuses on the ‘museum’ album of Relikt, the memorial improvisation named after Artsiom Zalesski and includes the announcements of the new releases by Aliaksandr Yasinski and the Soyuz band.

“Byli, Jość, Budziem”

The Relikt band took on a rather difficult task: to present to a new listener an archive of classic Belarusian rock. Many songs from this album did not exist until now in high-quality sound, and some did not reach the studio releases at all, but nevertheless they are iconic for our stage. Interestingly, the narratives of that time are still relevant today, so the aim was not to reinterpret the well-known compositions, but to present them on high quality level. Therefore, in fact, the Relikt band musicians have created a kind of audio museum, in which, throughout the “Byli, Jość, Budziem” album, they are diligently restoring our country’s independent music legacy.
The musicians have extensive experience in creating high-quality cover versions of world famous songs, but here they faced a completely different task: to play Bonda, Ulis or N.R.M. in such a manner as to preserve the atmosphere of the original source and not interfere with the perception of the classical repertoire. And the musicians did an excellent job. If you want to get acquainted with the real Belarusian music and lyrics, then you will truly enjoy this album. This album also has an excellent cover with Vitaut Martynienka, a person who devoted his whole life to the selfless work for the benefit of Belarusian music.

“Kolorit Kulmana” 

On February 10, one of the most remarkable and expressive Belarusian drummers Artsiom Zalesski passed away. Artyom was only 44 years old, and during this time he managed to do so much that would be enough for two or three biographies. The bands “Lyubov i Sport”, “Serebryanaya Svadba”, "Cassiopeia", "Petlia Pristrastiya", Gurzuf – this is not a complete list of the projects in which Zalesski participated. Some of them never sprang to life, but some of this material is kept in the archives of the musicians who played with Artsiom at that time.

Kolorit Kulmana is one of them. An amazing, emotional and very interesting improvisational recording made in one session from the first take. On this recording, you can feel all the power of the musical expressiveness that the drummer put into each of his pieces. Just because he couldn't help it. This is a memorial record entirely dedicated to the talented person who was truly obsessed with music. Unfortunately, Kolorit Kulmana will never be a success in the form it is presented on this recording. But some things have to stay that way.

Aliaksandr Yasinski

 Historically, in Belarus there has never been a shortage of good accordion players. For example, one can mention Aliaksey Varsoba and the bands "Port Monet" and "Agata", as well as Minsk Improvisers Orchestra. Or the expressive Yagor Zabelau, squeezing its soul out of the accordion. Or Aliaksandr Yasinski, a member of the no longer existing band “Bosae Sonca”, a composer and teacher who now lives and works in Prague. A person with an academic education, Aliaksandr is a highly skilled accordion player, and he not only plays the accordion virtuoso, but also writes very interesting music himself.

This album will be released on September 30, but for now you can listen to two singles from it, namely the excellent compositions "In Freedom and Dignity" and "Storm". The first track is Yasinski’s collaboration with the guitar player Roine Stolt and the drummer Marco Minnemann, while the second is a solo performance. This is fascinating music, in which the accordion sounds completely different from what we used to imagine it to be. Prog-rock, jazz, experimental music are combined here in exact proportions, but all this does not look like academic self-admiration: this is interesting material even for an unprepared listener who just wants to discover something new. We advise you to wait for the release.

“Sila Vetra” (Force of the Wind)

The musicians of the Soyuz band have already released two full-length albums together and have collaborated with the Ivan Dorn's label Masterskaya. This music combines many trends and personal experience of the band members: jazz, soul, Soviet song, psychedelia. Sometimes it sounds like a soundtrack to an unmade movie of the 60s, sometimes it sounds like the new album of the Canadian Badbadnotgood. One thing is clear: very talented musicians have got together and are doing something unique, inspired by the quality examples of the world music.

After a rather long break, Soyuz is returning: the band has announced a new album, which will be released at the end of October and will be called “Sila Vetra” (Force of the Wind). The sources of inspiration for this album were different: first of all the Brazilian music of the 70s. Soyuz is still making the music that is very cozy, technically challenging, but easy for emotional perception, which takes the listener on an incredible journey. Exquisite, high quality and with love – a feeling that the guys are just doing what they love one hundred percent.

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