Good format: Yelbaev Picks, Aug ’11

Пятница, 16 Сентябрь 2011, 13:05
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

Unless shown otherwise, bimonthly reviewed are current-time Russian made CDs, BDs, DVDs (no downloads), either local or licensed presses of original world releases and specific design. Videos dubbed/subtitled in world languages. Label and date credits appear as stated. While DVDs may be zone determined, BDs are zone free. Titles available in original  from The Used Corner (Komisionyi) at Purple Legion Record Store (1, Novokuznetskaya ul, Moscow).  Reviewed by: Vladimir Yelbaev. Proceeding from the reviewer name’s key vowel, grading ranges from lower E points to highest Oh,yeah! 



aAnimation 2010 Studio Ghibli, Japan / CP Digital, Premium Film (Rus), dir.Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 1:34 min, English subtitles

 Oh, yeah!

Screened by its Russian distributor to a journalist critic circle before its DVD release, the movie makes one forget the origin and the format and, past initial 15 minutes, identify with the heroes like it were real life or an Oscar destined drama feature, anyway. It is one indeed — given all the artistry and amazing European vision exercised by the prime Jap export studio from deep the Buddhist East. Alas, none of Buddhism or odd Samurai gets sneaked cunningly in here as the action and characters grow upon the view with the power of conviction that belay Holliwood. The scene could easily be anywhere in the world, safe for just one sly director’s ploy – all the “real world” people here are Japs whereas all the “small dwarf race” ones are European breed, with an uncouth French insignia on their wall pictures and stuff. Well, the brave dwarf warrior is also a Jap, of course… The director’s chauvinism was bold  as to dare “japanize” the scoundrel house servant woman character, too (see, we, Japs, do admit having scoundrels, like normal Europeans!)  Okay, that thorn apart, the creation is fantastic, inimitable, unparallel and mighty good in painting the romantic world of kindness and humanity that’s everyone’s dream… and sure someone’s reality down in Luxembourg somewhere. This reviewer bitterly belongs to the former milieu and meself I cried tears at the scene of the dwarf girl Arietty hugging the big human boy’s finger bidding farewell. Something was telling me some destiny had not been lost yet… Get the DVD.



Generation  П

Psych, Soyuz Video 2011 (Rus), dir.Ginsburg (no relation), 111 min, Russian language only, C region, 5.1 audio.


Great hold of local produced movie with good measure of no-nonsense action and true-to-fact depiction of 90's in Russian modern history. Absolute top-notch casting and amazing standard of dedicated directing with thoroughly revamped story by Pelevin — all those work to the overall sensation of a movie. Greenabaum and Lynch influenced a lot which only adds to the enigma, with Russian hand quite traceable too. Mystery scenes and power remarks abound — thankfully rid of some offhand dubbing in dubious Russian English. Grab it even with nil understanding Russian language.    



PAUL McCARTNEY “Driving Rain” 2001 MPL/2011 Universal (Rus) remaster

Oh, yeah!

Apart from the political closer “Freedom” and the hateful Abe employed on drums (as Paul’s tradeoff for own inaptness with instruments) – the 12th solo album resounds… er, soothes with Macca’s trademark congestive and cushy quality stuck since his very first homemade effort. His recent sad shuffle of life companion makes for the song lyrics “comfortably numb” on the romantics and rather afloat with message. It remains presumably the best in his discography in terms of sheer melodism and comfort. The booklet is 2 leaf affair again.   


DEEP PURPLE “Phoenix Rising” Edel / Soyuz Music (Rus) CD+DVD


What appears to be hitherto bootleg and theatre-viewer only release matter – has been first time made available officially, meaning clean and accurate soundstage of full frequency spectrum plus pro-quality documentary and concert footage. Talking ‘bout seminal Come Taste The Band (or, better said, Bolin/Coverdale era) of the one legendary band of our time. 8 audio and 5 video tracks gratefully reflect different dates, the latter taken live in Japan, “Burn” and “Stormbringer” naturally the forte. Bolin fails to follow the rigid pattern of “Smoke…” solo having Lord’s magic organ to stand in. Booklet provides lotta info.


QUEEN “Deep Cuts 2 (1977—1982)” Universal (Rus) 


Though stated as culled from the actual albums of latter day, tracks (particularly “Spread Your Wings”, “Sidewalk”) sound more up-beat and to-the-point as singles or quality remixes do. It’s just a remaster effect but… Queen emerges like a hell of no-fooling genuine-rock idiom one hardly ever suspected. The series’ clever (no “Champions”, thank God) tracklist is utmost listen whether home, in-car or on-go, leaving actual albums to pale. You bet the download job’s quality just wouldn’t compare.    
URIAH HEEP “Innocent Victim” 1977, 2004 Sanctuary / Universal (Rus) remaster 

Oh, yeah!

Lawton hates recalling his pre-UH days in Les Humphreys to the extent of ignoring my own request of “Mexico” when playing a Moscow club night last year. He honored duly the material from this album though. For good measure too. The remaster brought fourth the bassline once again re-assessing Analog’s inherent dynamics over Digital transfers. Bonus tracks sport uncut “Illusion” with its B-sider plus very wholesome live numbers. Will Hensley’s stashed archive of unreleased tapes ever end?


MIKE OLDFIELD “Incantations” Mercury/Universal (Rus) 

Oh, yeah!

Russian Universal version is – as normal local practice goes – a scaled down adaptation of the 2CD+1DVD monstrosity released in the West. Alas, 5.1 format mentioned in the credits of the 6-page booklet spread does not apply but the remaster does project handclaps, sounds, voices and things well over your head when wearing phones. Maddy Prior’s detached singing and the sense of Mike’s own commitment glorify the grand symphorock idiom of back in 1978. “Guilty” bonus falls short of its “exposed” rendition but compensates with the stomp missed elsewhere. Not least, the remaster presents with extra seconds of retrieved original material, too.


ROGER GLOVER «If Life Was Easy» Edel / Soyuz Music (Rus)


A testimonial that not all rock’s dinos exploit hard’n’heavy – the latest from ex-DP bassman rather scans delta blues, reggae, torch, goth and pop. Sessionman Randall Bramblett’s eventful organ the major attraction, daughter Gillian’s mature singing a surprise and overall, well, a drag somewhat. Abusive at 16 selfpenned tracks and some perplexing time length, the CD just registers the grandad’s philistinity and the musician’s skill, if anything.


WHITE LIES “Ritual”  2010 Polydor / 2011 Universal (Rus) 


Suicidal new trio band of gloom post-Britpop sound ploughs on the direction in their full-length 2nd. As if custom mixed for those “deliverance societies”, the album’s tracks pursue uniform model in starting lowkey and overflowing pompous with orchestrations (delivering, that is). The lead vocals are thick, Phil-Collinsy Petshopy and U2-wy enough to make me round up the reviewing before I threw up… pardon. If that is right, I wanna be wrong (went Tom Jones appropriately). 3 points for the diligence only.


 MORBID ANGEL “Illud Divinum Insanus” Season Of Mist / Soyuz Music (Rus)


I take issue with Allmusic reviewer on Laibach-claimed leanings in this offering from 20-year old death-metal act. Inasmuch as the Slovenian idiom was meaningful – this here is formal. I can’t remember reviewing their prior releases in my 30 (or perhaps 40?) year career (non-career?) but I can’t be possibly excited by alternative rounds of heavy howitzer drumming with occasional blows of consummate roar of those wounded and dying a-field. Latin-oath evocations notwithstanding. So for the record: the studio lineup of natives and guests was D.Vincent on bass, vocals, T.Azagthoth, Myhren – gtrs, T.Yeung – dr.
NAZARETHBig DogzEdel / Soyuz Music (Rus) digipac 2CD


McCafferty and Agnew the remnants stay the course giving just enough rope to the no-namer Murrison and Agnew Jr the drummer. “Radio” and “Lifeboat” directly address the band’s old-day prowess at cooking and presenting most catchy tunes. The power of McCafferty’s voice is there alright – if not everywhere. This being the outfit’s most sensitive issue, it must be said that — whereas the husky quality overrides the immediacy will strongly depend on how the reproduction has been set up at the listener’s end. Period. Perhaps rhythm buildup is missing some, too. And the package’s unplugged 2nd live CD contributes nil. The package artwork is great though. In all, decent effort and worthy article.


 KAISER CHIEFS “The Future Is Medieval” B-Unique, Polydor / Universal (Rus) 


Their latest album is miles better than 2005 release and, alas, readily evokes Easybeats circa 60s… given of course a modern equipped studio’s paraphernalia. Same poly-vocal harmony, same song structures and uptempo urgency in instrumental buildup. More is  hi-tech effects and explosive dynamics. Less  involvement, dedication and concern. There are many such bands around who sound tricky but won’t break across… dismissed is the newer  breed trained to thrive on poison and ersatz.


KEN HENSLEY & LIVE FIRE «Faster» Edel/Souz Music (Rus) 

Famed melodist behind the Uriah Heep’s world appeal, Hensley walked out years ago, and he had ups and downs in marching the solo crusade since. He – like so many others – probed and left the Russian market, jam recordings included. Unlike Hensley’s couple – now collectable — “Russian” albums, his current one, with the Riga-based Norge lineup, combines the trademark thick sound with credible exotica and professionalism. Live Fire’s frontman duos and takes full floor on videos, and to me, he does so a lot on this album – whatever the credits say. There are analogs of “Easy Living”, “July Morning” and other staples of Hensley’s going under titles that stand little chance to register, but the album is g-o-o-d.


MOTORHEAD “Orgasmatron” 1997 Sanctuary / 2011 Universal (Rus) remaster


Reissue of dated album of oldschool pubrock sung in one-note husky shouts…   Producer Bill Laswell was about the only point to shoot mouth about. There is nothing more tedious, drab, self important, analysis defying and alike sounding in modern music business than Lemmy and Motorhead. Not even Spivakov’s orchestras graduate here. The 9+3 tracks of the CD give you the sort of dirty southern rock’n’roll that is feat to bear, let alone perform.

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