The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A Taste of Rock music from Eastern Europe (1)

Part One
Russian Rock

Musically preoccupied as I always am, and inspired by my recent adventure at the Ukrainian church in Cook's Creek, Springfield, Manitoba, I thought of researching about the Rock music of Eastern European countries like Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

Internet technology, again, works wonders for those who have patience, unwavering passion for learning, and, of course, intense love for music.

I was able to come up with this list of relatively obscure but notable Rock artists from Eastern Europe. Of course, I wouldn't be content with just reading bits of information about these artists; I have to be able to listen to them as well. Luckily, MP3 copies of the music of such bands are also available on the Net. Even you can get to download some of them; just click the links I have made below.

Give these artists a chance to be heard.

A warning though: expect something different. That's inevitable, especially that many, if not most, Rock-music enthusiasts are used to the so-called Western style of Rock music. The great thing about listening to these bands is that, the listener is transcended into the cultural roots of the particular artist—which is understandable, of course, and in a good sense.

I limited the list to those artists whose music is readily downloadable on various Web sites. This way, we can not only learn about them but also listen to them as well. Because, no amount of flowery description can encapsulate the melodies possessed by a single song. For, music appreciation, after all, is almost always a personal and subjective experience.

@ Auktyon - a nine-man jazzy Rock band formed in 1983 which is still active to this day. Their last album, 'Eto Mama' (It's Mum), was released in 2002.

My recommended songs are the following:
"Bogi"
"Ptica ('Bird')"
"Glaza (Eyes)"
"Okhotnik (The Hunter)"

Download here and there.

@ Kino - a Rock group formed in 1981 in Leningrad, USSR, (now Saint Petersburg, Russia) by Viktor Tsoi, a highly regarded Russian Rock icon. The group disbanded in 1990 when Tsoi [in the picture, second person to the right] died in a terrible vehicular accident. Accordingly, Kino was one of the recognized pioneers of Russian Rock music, also especially respected for their politically motivated lyricism. .

My recommended songs are the following:
"The Idler" (from the debut album, 45, 1982)
"Aluminum Cucumbers" (45, 1982)
"Summer Will Soon Be Over" (The Black Album, 1990)
"Pine Tress on the Seashore" (The Black Album, 1990)
"We'll Take Action from Now On" (Kino in Movies, released in 2003)
"A Star called the Sun" (Kino in Movies, 2003)

*Download here.

@ Leningrad - a Ska band formed in the late '90s in Saint Petersburg (former Leningrad) that became famous (and infamous) because of the vulgar lyrics of their songs. Listening to some of their songs reminded me of the British '80s-formed Ska band Fun Boy Three.

My recommended songs are the following:
"Blyadi"
"Common Everybody"
"Davay-davay"
"Pidarasy"
"Rezinoviy Muzhik"

*Download here.

@ Mumiy Troll - a Pop / Rock group formed in the early '80s in Vladivostok; many Russian music enthusiasts regard the band as the pioneer of a genre they call 'Rockopops' (a combination of the Rock and Pop styles of music).

My recommended songs are the following, all of which came from their latest album, Sliyanie i Pogloschenie (2005):

(song no. 03) "Банзай"
(song no. 08) "Такбываетнеслучайно"

*Download here.

@ Nogu Svelo - a Rock group formed in the early '90s; known for the childish humor of their music; I especially liked this band because of the well-arranged and complicated instrumentation of their songs.

My recommended songs include the following:

"Baby" (from Хару Мамбуру, 1993)
"Teenager Semenov" (Хару Мамбуру, 1993)
"Christmas Lullaby" (Сибирская любовь, 1995)
"Demoralization of Love" (Сибирская любовь, 1995)
"Ave Maria" (from Каллы, 2000)
"Кукла" (from Каллы, 2000)

Download here.

@ Red Elvises - a Rockabilly-style group that started in the mid-'90s in California, USA, most of whose members are of Russian descent. Their music is very guitar-based, in a style reminiscent of the '60s-popular instrumental band The Ventures, with a tinge of Punk ethos.

Songs that amused and fascinated me include the following:
"Ballad of Elvis and Priscilla" (Grooving to the Moscow Beat, 1996)
"Pilorama" (Rokenrol, 2002)
"Surfing in Siberia" (Surfing in Siberia, 1997) [instrumental]
"Scorchi Chorniye" (Grooving to the Moscow Beat, 1996)
"Sex in Paradise" (Welcome to the Freakshow, 2001)

Download here.

@ Smyslovye Gallucinacii (in English, "Semantic Hallucinations"; the band is also called Gliuki, for short, meaning "glitches in your brain") - formed in 1989 in Yekaterinburg; the music of this band may be classified as Synthpop, for the prominence of the keyboards/synthesizers as well as for the keyboard-sounding guitar melodies.

My recommended songs include the following:
.....from the 2003 album, Обратная сторона Земли
(song no. 3) "Чужое небо"
(song no. 4) "Напролом"
(song no. 7) "Mope" [my instant favorite]
......from the 2001 album, Лед-9
(song no. 1) "Сети"
......from the 2000 album, 3000
(song no. 11) "DJ'и сходят с ума"

Download here.

@ t.A.T.u. - Perhaps one of, if not the most internationally popular Russian act today; the duo broke through commercially in 2003 with the success of a triumvirate of singles: "All the Things She Said," "Not Gonna Get Us," and a commendable cover of The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" t.A.T.u. will be releasing next month its second English album, Dangerous and Moving.

t.A.T.u.'s debut album, 200 km/h in the Wrong Lane (2002)—both the English and the Russian versions—are available for download on their official Web site.

Download here.

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Russia, or the Russian Federation, is the largest country in the world. It covers a vast area of Europe and Asia. It was the dominant republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), or Union Soviet, until the union's dissolution in 1991. Russia is now an independent country, just like the rest of its former co-republics.

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4 Comments:

  • At Monday, September 05, 2005 6:00:00 AM, Blogger Alain Edbert Dizon said…

    Alfie,

    First of all thanks for the response actually your page has been a big help to me because Im trying to collect 16,000 songs for my upcoming Ipod (yup its a really big goal to work for) and New Wave will be a big percentage of the list. You also inspired me to write again and am trying to do a webpage(but its not finish yet so I cant give you details...) I enjoyed the new song of New Order Krafty and Middle of Nowhere by Hot Hot Heat. Music for us in another foreign land is a big help, it creates a time machine within us helping us dominate homesickness. I was really impressed by your knowledge of New Wave especially underground ones (music which never flourished in the mainstream). Anyway its really hard living your dreams abroad but music definitely helps and of course writing. Well by this time you know the news that Quorum closed last year. It was a great company but somehow good things never last. Oh by the way Im also a big Star Wars fan and I just watched it on the computer. (Here in Italy you cant watch a good damm movie because its dubbed in Italian...)I really had a great time seeing Darth Vader walk for the first time. Keep up the good work and fly high in Canada I will always be a visitor and admirer of your work God Bless...

    Alain
    Naples, Italy

     
  • At Monday, September 05, 2005 8:07:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Alain,
    Your kind words inspired me! to continue doing what I'm doing. As I always say, people has the power to inspire one another. And I acknowledge this every time, simply because I would not be where I am and who I've become if not for all the influences my mind and heart had accumulated through all the years. I have many icons and idols, without whom I'd probably be not here writing what I learned from them.

    But, of course, I would also want to believe that I have my own stories to tell--and these, more than anything else, are the very things that motivate me.

    You know what, because you said you need to fill up that iPod of yours with music...I'll be writing a sort of a list of songs I like from different genres. I'll dedicate it to you.

    I'm glad to know that you, too, are a Star Wars fan. Reminds me...haven't written anything substantial on my blog site about Star Wars. I guess, it's about time. Expect this in the coming days.

    Again, take care there in Italy.

    Music is indeed a loyal companion especially when one is in a place so far away from her home.

    I'll do "Italian Rock music" too soon.

     
  • At Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:08:00 AM, Anonymous rose said…

    hey yah!!

    how are you na?

    did you try going to

    http://fiestamundo.com

    some nice underground sounds kaso me bayad hehe!!


    anyway.. takecare!

    and have a nice day!!

     
  • At Thursday, September 08, 2005 3:04:00 PM, Blogger eLf ideas said…

    Rose,
    Another friend recommended fiestamundo to me. I haven't checked it out though. May bayad? Hehehe. naku, poor ako. Hahaha.

    Anyway, I'm in my usual day. Nothing special. Hehehe.

    See you on your blog site.

     

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