Turn of 2013/2014: expectations

Воскресенье, 1 Декабрь 2013, 21:41
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

By V.Yelbaev, owner, The YelbTrib online bulletin

Russian market has reached a plateau when neither audio media advances / wins over another. Same regards the gear, with vintage used, studio pro and new hi-end arrivals all left to their consumer sector. Downloads and gadgets are down-trended, first time ever so.  It’s understood that any means can yield music and satisfy, no big deal. To assess the local dynamics in moved items, corresponding values of Polish statistics should be multiplied by 50. Seemingly inadequate, the resulting figure (about 1000 transactions a week for entire Russia on all the said categories excepting i-related) is quite realistic and well representative of the money turnover. The business drags feet literally due to inapt marketing that makes use of trite corporate advertising and non-exciting publicity. Music and movie production stay as uninspired as publishing and runet – with investors keeping away. The time is ripe for a winning world formula of a music related project to take shape here. To switch from Beatles and Deep Purple (Pink Floyd overly in demand) re-release consumerism, one needs a new worthy and captivating artist on the scene. UK, USA and Europe (in that succession) yield none of the kind. Local pop factories fabricate one-night pseudo-wonders. When this small issue get resolved sales of music/hi-fi related goods will surge up giving employment to ailing European suppliers of the stuff. See how the world copes with licensing Russian CD publishers for a so-so choice of new releases. All the reviewed samples are local official CDs and a DVD from Universal Russia and Soyuz Music. Complete with original artwork and boasting low local price. Available in Russia only.


ELTON JOHN “The Diving Board”

It never pays dealing with neither-here-nor-there types like Joseph Henry "T Bone" Burnett, and for Elton John’s epical style the one-time partnership has spelt disaster. Lyrics incoherent, melodies uneventful, delivery a drag and the entire album smells, well, rusty of graveyard. As putdown and elegy as Tom Jones’ last, The DB can’t be slated as “back to roots” or, for that matter, obscene (in “Mexican Vacation” allusions) because it cannot deliver goods.  Don’t please be fooled by a full band listing and cheeky artwork design. The thing be better forgotten and dismissed. 


The worthy Heep remnant continues with commendable albums and his East European stage presence, this release being a proof. His newly revamped voice comes on as strong and credible as the band deserves, putting their frontman Shaw to utter shame. His lineup – albeit looked upon as second-league peripheral – lives up to his prowess on vocals and, Gosh, Hammond. Backing vocals might be a pitch too low, drums  kinda simple and bass light, but the guitar is okay. And then, as different from his earlier Russian lineup trial, we hear a true tacit support and one reading another on the music like this. It’s not an adhoc jam of soloing stars. Again, the album lacks continuity being, as it is, a too much obvious indie fanclub splash of good new awaited but rehashed material. One track sports USSR adulation for lyrics. Hensley can’t and won’t relinquish his 70s days which is not so bad at all – but the 4th track intro is just another “Demon”, the rest of the album a déjà entendu Lawton period.     

Bellini: I Puritani (Netrebko, 2008) opera on DVD

rrrrrrA Russian provincial gone New Yorker soprano gem, Anna Netrebko had herself duly and ably documented in her first night appearance as Elvira in the course of the seminal contract with Metropolitan. A valid art’s reference and true personal enjoyment, she convinces easily and wears a Sophie Marceau / Doris Day persona gracefully. Her performance, both in stage taking and belle canto singing, earned her many a critical laurel. The cast, complete with Ruminski and Cutler celeb talents and with Summers conducting, relates and responds in kind elevating the event to state-of-the-art production. The 2 DVD set lasts over 2 hours and hangs amply on every character but, alas, betrays Netrebko’s own off-the-stage  philistinity and her sheer mauvais ton. Unlike Khvorostovsky, another Russian gift to the world, Netrebko acts, not lives out her roles. That perhaps saves her a stage fright syndrome. And propels her voice soaring high and good. Thanks for that.

SEPULTURA “The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart”

A truistic nod to 2001 album of Max Cavalera era, this latest from the relocated and converted Brazilian thrashers lands the band and fanbase, sonically and esthetically, in a next galaxy. Everything is as complex and technical as if Miles Davis in person were in the production room. The viola intro, the timed out guitar outbursts, the bold pattern changes and, to crown, Green’s newfound shrieks and roars. As Max imported his old thrashier manner to Soulfly, this lineup seems relieved of the tedium, blessed with tunefullness and destined for yet a new fame and fortune. Give a listen and hear the cymbals shine with pitches. It’s an HM you never labeled.

New CD arrivals await your grab at Purpurny Legion Store, Novokuznetskaya ul, 1 in Moscow

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