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Kostarev Group - Live@InProg 2003 CD (album) cover

LIVE@INPROG 2003

Kostarev Group

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 12 ratings

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Vibrationbaby
5 stars RUSSIAN FREAK FUSION

Incorporating everything from folky medievalisms to wacked out phase-shifted cosmic guitar riffing to maniacal screeching violin and frantic flute this live recording of the Kostarev Group goes everywhere and beyond and redefines the art of the musical spectrum. Veering off into free form explorations with their zany instrumental pyrotechnics the listener is nevertheless constantly reminded that these guys ( and girl ) have a bottomless pit of artistic depth with the ghosts of everyone from Hendrix to Vivaldi dropping in when least expected. In fact, everything here happens when least expected! Devoid of vocals, a phantom like synth bass also replaces the bass guitar throughout which adds to all the wonderful weirdness. An east indian tabla apears on a couple of tracks as well, complementing the tight accented drumming which is sort of like a voice in itself amidst all the mayhem.

The first part of the performance consists of a series of compositions on which each sends out it`s own individual message. The pulsating synths from keyboard sorceress Ekatrina Morosova who looks more like an olympic figure skating coach than a member of an loud fusion band are used in a very ubiquitous yet ostenatious fashion. She has an arsenal if tricks up her sleave which just go fom wierd to weirder which paint canvases for the outrageous art which is to occur on each with fuzz-guitar/flute/violin and saxophone exchanges in fluctuating time signatures and tempos.

The almost sinister upbeat Heavy Water, seems to warn, musically, of an impending nuclear tragedy with it`s ominous aquatic like effects, while the hypnotic Oasis is enhanced by the mystical tabla rythmns of Gennadiy Laurentiv which create ethereal hedonistic images. Equally as moody are the intros to Pugatory and Vegetarian which contain tons of weird synth effects. On Purgatory the spooky howling effects will either send shivers down your spine or make you smile deviously. A-theist Hacker has art/religion conotations as explained unclearly by group leader Alexander Kostarev, but it`s as crazy as jazz fusion can get nonetheless.

The album culminates with a Concerto in 5 movements, Concerto Grosso #1, which invites the listener to imagine a 17th century Italian composer, frozen for centuries in an alpine glacier who is brought back from the dead and given the resources and knowledge of a modern day 21st century composer. The result is a confused artist who is torn between the music of his day and the exciting new developments which have occured during his slumber in netherworld. An initial neo classical theme is stated which is revisited throughout the work and almost goes into instant modern day overdrive with an abrupt tempo change which introduces Kostarevs overdriven flanged out speed guitar which shows our composers desire to ýtilize his new tools. The composer becomes inebriated and overcome by his creation and the second movement becomes more pathetic and melancholic as it progresseses. By the third movement the listener becomes more and more convinced that this piece was actually written by an ecclectic 17th century Italian composer recently returned from the dead rather than a 21st century Russian avante garde musical troupe. And it just keeps getting weirder and well... more weirder by the 4th movement, which has the most coherent and melodic guitar on the whole album. As one would expect the Finale is not just a finale but a grand blowout of a finale with a freeform freakout by all the players with everything turned louder than everything else which ends of with a brief statement of the original theme presented at the beginning.

Experimental and esoteric, Kostarev Live@InProg 2003 is a feat of modern composition and musicianship while maintaining an old fashioned mindset. Distant comparisons could be made to 70`s bands like Gentle Giant or Hoelderlin but Kostarev Group is light years beyond any of the two. Strap yourself into the ejection seat for this mind numbing journey into musical oblivion.Eye watering brilliance.

Vibrationbaby | 5/5 |

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