More picks to while away and look to

Воскресенье, 23 Сентябрь 2012, 17:27
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 1 комментарий.

Regular reviews by Vladimir Yelbaev since 1989, so far I can remember, encounter 40.000 or more units embracing major distributors’ stuff and presently focus on Russian proper and licensed releases. The contents of the column are free for use (will be taken in any case) while the writer is free for contract (won’t be offered any, not by the local gloss rag mugs). However the units reviewed are not the run of the mill prints on sale with street vendors.  These here are worth their low price, are sold within Russia only and in that capacity are recommended to expats and visitors who care to read this. Mail orders and personal purchases are available from Purple Legion store,  Novokuznetskaya ul. 1, Moscow.  This review ia affectionately dedicated to Conan O'Brien and Anthony Louis. Both  good and outcast. 



KILLING JOKE “MMXII” Spinefarm / Universal (Rus)


The curse of healthy prog rock as started by the likes of Krokodil, Nektar and Crimson – the decade onwards’ KJ perpetuates the dark, angst and sickness in all of their albums, lineup changes and wrath of gods notwithstanding. This latest offering is no exception, toying with variety of rhythm patterns and tempos just for its own sake. Professionalism and prowess as as well as uncanny production can’t be denied but, post listen, you’re left barren. It’s sure in the vocalist delivery and the mantras somewhere but the joy of getting further amused with this bacteria be better left to a Moscow stationed West European bore of a jerk.

ELLA FITZGERALD “Gold” 2CD, Decca 2007 / Universal (Rus)


40 tracks of her Decca/Verve periods dated 1938 to 1964 do not constitute a whole – particularly with view to partnership with Louis Armstrong on disc 2. Orchestras range, a combo lineup is spotty, and trademark beloved hits are too few: “Summertime”, “A Little Dream…”, “Lullaby”. Ella’s Live in Berlin album on GDR”s Amiga label was by far richer and engrossing. But the unique warm and humane feel of the first lady in jazz is not at all compromised by the inapt pick of tracks – her sheer delivery, her epoch of revolutionary jazz win the buyer over.


RHAPSODY “Ascending to Infinity”    Nuclear Blast/ Soyuz Music

Oh yeah!

Guitarist Dominique Leurquin and bassman Patrice Guers have recently changed the lineup and the face of Luca Turilli’s Italian band. It’s drifted from earthy primitive Whitesnake to a Marijuana visionary plane drenched in heavier and naughtier academic arrangement and augmented with a narrator part. The rhythm section (A.Holzwarth!) bends over in weaving the Who Do We Think pattern, but La Scala is too darn more powerful. A.Conti’s exemplary cookoo hi-pitched vocal hovers over the battle deamonically. What a scene. Given the Biblical theme exploit, Luca’s able hand at catchy tunes  and the production of frightening realism – got the potential CD of the year. That’s the stuff I call Digital Recording.


SAGA “20/20” Edel / Soyuz Music

sahaOh yeah!

10 tracks of 80s’ type progressive rock, return to original lineup and the charts in awe – that’s the earmark for the 35-year-old Canadian outfit. Of new faces, Brian Doerner (ex-Helix) is the one. The band has never ever been so good, with driving prominent guitar part where synthie keyboards once were. Assured drums and imaginative bass are upfront, vocals are rightfully caged and atonal for that shivery prog feeling, and then there comes a dreamy guitar… Russian classic heavy guitarists will envy all the flying ease and the sheer commitment of the rendition. To make belief an artist must believe. What do we have to believe in but the Anglo-American brand of rock?


JACK WHITE “Blunderbuss” Third Force / Soyuz Music


Okay, if I am expected to inform about a new release by a sellout artist and to briefly introduce the sound – here you are: an army of glove-change musicians, an array of moods and volumes, a show-play of guitar handling and decent voice on decent songs with modern connotation. But I would stay away from those barking strummers who wear flash players and communicate thru displays (even though it’s my daily bread too). What the many guys in business (like Jack) lack and grudge is hi ideal. Theirs is the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max and Waterworld where nothing counts and principle  is nonexistent. No love in lyrics, no catch in composition – it’s a fast food half thrown outa window to smear the front of the following car. It’s cool, at least by local philistine standards, so the many runet reviewers on payroll will glorify this – not me.     


SABATON “Carolus Rex” Nuclear Blast / Soyuz Music


Speed metal aficionados with savage vocal and overall gloomy mood. Lush full edition on par with original at the benefit of Russian local marketplace’s price. Swedish epic symph metal opera or rather a conceptual album after a special academic research is an earnest, albeit perhaps overproduced and propagandist, affair. They exert at cramming too much content, lyrics and sounds on one huge musical plateau, and you need a very good player indeed to sort things out and enjoy the ingredients. Being an opera, this got no born airwave hits but you can well brush up your Nordic History in one session and speak up on Poltava battle.


SOULSAVERS  “The Light the Dead See”   digipack, V2 / Universal (Rus)


Whether on purpose or randomly, the perception of the Brits as homosexual-ridden nation was let loose, and some mock-celebrities rubbed it in. Well, quite a number of upraised UK music projects “helped” along, and this project’s output is as put-down and artsy as any homo goes. Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan and the company play and sing well crafted tunes with impeccable accuracy and… totally uninspiring, that’s the giveaway. This is perhaps the sound of decade but I don’t subscribe. The songs are neither trad ballads nor blue eyed soul, they are of the world I just don’t share but these days you can’t get a writer’s job unless you do. So the songs appease. 


MOTORHEAD  “Bomber”  Sanctuary 1979, 2004 / Universal (Rus) 2012


One of the crying profanity in rock, void of a message while pursuing the form – the band is at lesat a tad different on this one, refreshing with a passable guitar solo on thrown-in live bonuses. Remaster technology proved futile to revamp the listless sound of the original sleeper-named-bomber. All said, the stuff will appeal to a Lemmy impersonator, to a pub stalker and to anyone digging no-frill country-rock ZZToppish muzak that makes me wanna die.


SLADE “In Flame” 1974 Polydor / Universal (Rus) 2012

Oh yeah!

Noddy Holder’s is presently the prime sought and hi riding material in Russia, vinyl particularly. Slade production and perfect instant chemistry always carried something tangible, spirited and eternally young – and the quality comes even stronger on these openers previously taken for fillers. Remaster does a lot to this end, by comparison ousting the previous CD release of the album for being too metallic and mashy compressed. The Russian press sounds dryish but even more analog for that matter. “Far Awa” naturally drives it home completely. The one-spread booklet smacks of simplified original, but still… Grab it before it’s gone.


URIAH HEEP “The Ultimate Collection” 2CD, 2003 Sanctuary / Universal (Rus) 2012


They should’ve checked themselves against simplifying the booklet – not in this particular comp! From the start you are elated by (hitherto unheard?) interludes of the obviously unedited “versions” (originals in their right?) and the breathtaking stereo that always defined 45s. Notwithstanding Hensley’s one-man ordeal of latter years and the horde of UH classic repackages – this one renders genuine collectable okay. Again, the sound character is vastly different, dry transparent not metal juggling, from Castle range. Alas, as disc 1 is wholly to the incomparable Byron, disc 2 fails to unite the good Lawton and the insolent Shaw. The latter-day replacement never really fit in virtually defacing what was the great rock band with great material. Shaw’s section expressly cuts sales that could’ve been critical to the company.


EAGLES “Long Road Out of Eden2CD, 2007/2012 Universal (Rus)

Oh yeah!

It’s not for nothin’ that Russian Universal re-released the 6th number one or platinum – what does it matter? – album of prime US country-rock hit makers. It sounds that tiny bit zanier and focused (due to remastering) to exactly win over some more fans to the tired US genre. The 2007 release had same artwork and notes, and did good credit to the analog production, but it will lose in the A/B comparison in terms of space on lush choruses and low-end thump on driving bass guitar. Those aspects stand out making for a dedicated  listen on “Business As Usual”, “Guilty Of The Crime” and the lot. It’s projects like these that keep Digital Audio afloat in the analog storm. I rated the album #2 in 2007 and I sustain today. Sincere and heart throbbing quality of it is not to be approached by our kind – not in the present setup.


MINISTRY “Relapse” digipack , Planet / Soyuz Music


Cuban Jourgensen strikes again with his homely uncouth and uncomfy sound. Hard to imagine the outfit lasts 25 years, but it’s sure worn out. The industrial buildup has stepped down to a safer thrash-hop and street-culture-whatever-rap. Notes and credits are alt-stylishly left out instantly rendering the product Russian-pirate-market cheap. Perhaps, what the obscure new label wanted. There’s nothing to chew on ‘bout the numbers ‘cept perhaps for the fact Ministry was once a fad with Borov, a husband-gone-sour for a US who’s-who woman journalist Joy Williams, currently in Aussie. Borov used to be an enigmatic and technical minded guitarist for the Korrozia band who fouled up their German contract in 90s. Their mastermind Pauk (The Spider) has been since tryin’ to pick it up with the big-time Russian Duma politics, to no avail. Sorry, that’s it for the dupy work review. ‘Cos there’s no more industrial guitar in there.


SEX PISTOLS “The great rock n’ roll swindle” Universal (Rus)


For all intents and purposes, it’s a Pistols – or even entire punkrock idiom’s – album and declaration. Thru the many versions this latest reissue presents orchestration themes, Vicious’ mutilation of “My Way” and (perhaps, that by someone else of) “Johnny B Goode” together with outward confusing tracklist and notes to speak nothin’ ‘bout the amateurish layout – that’s punk, its yet filthier arrogant sort to be credited to the notorious 90s’ local champion acts like Nick Rock’k’roll, Vremya Lubit, H Zabei and more. Whereas this soundtrack protests the boredom of officialdom – the 90s’ DK Gorbunova concerts in Moscow were striving for the West. The difference still persists in the alt’ve camp. The good booklet contains pics and stuff, designated 2012.


MIKE OLDFIELD “Ommadawn” 1975, 2010 Mercury /  Universal (Rus) 2012

Oh yeah!

Oldfield’s contribution to prog rock symphonism can’t be overestimated, and the live bonuses (“In Dulee Jubilo”, “Portsmouth” etc) on this reissue testify. American reviewers instantly guard against Oldfield’s understated finesse in what seems overworked phrasing, but it’s there alright. Remaster brings out more detail, and you got 2 parts in one go. Not bad, Universal Russia, but the booklet could be thicker.

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1 комментарий к “More picks to while away and look to”

  1. Selene пишет: Суббота, 6 Июль 2013, 0:19

    den kathe agwna psorofaiodu pou ginetai eksallou kathe vdomada i ert plirwnei sxoliasti na pigainei stin kathe poli...i eurovision pou einai mia fora to xrono tin peirakse? e l e o s

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