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Vespero - Rito CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 68 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Russia has always been a bastion of amazing music even under the totalitarian rule of the former Soviet Union where all that fiery passion was channeled into more traditional ethnic folk, pop and of course Western classical however since the breakup of the once almighty empire, the newfound freedom that has emerged from the vast nation that spans a dozen or so timezones has been no less than outstanding with brilliant musicians taking on virtually every genre and then some more and while Moscow and St. Petersburg may steal the lion's share of the glory, there is a whole lot of Russia beyond the boundaries of those two cities.

The band VESPERO formed in 2003 and went under the Cyrillic moniker Веспер when they released four CD-Rs, two studio and two other live before adopting the Latin alphabet and making their official label debut with RITO in 2007. The band comes from the city of Astrakhan which is situated on the Volga delta not too far from the Caspian Sea. The band was founded by brothers Arkady Fedotov (bass, synthesizer, keyboard, vocals, flute) and Ivan Fedotov (drums, percussion) before recruiting like-minded lovers of psychedelic rock that resulted in the inclusion of Valentin Rulev (violin, keys) and Alexander Kuzovlev (guitar).

The music of VESPERO is 21st century neo-psychedelic rock taken to the trippiest extremes. While primarily an instrumental journey into the farthest possible trips imaginable, there are the occasional female and male wordless vocals of Natalya Tjurina and Arkady Fedotov that add a human element to the otherwise cosmic wandering through a nonchalant musical parade where each track seamlessly cedes into the next with only a bass groove as the beacon of light that keeps it all from spiraling away into the depths of space and time. The album is split into eight tracks and extends past the hour mark at 65 minutes and 35 seconds but despite the lengthy dream sequences taking their sweet time to unfold, this band masters the art of keeping things interesting throughout.

While the band implements the traditional role of a bass groove as the stabilizing force while the synthesizers and guitars reach for the stars, the band finds cleverly fresh ways to play with sonic textures and stretch them out like cosmic rubber bands. The elaborate display of playful drumming techniques, often tribal, and Ozric Tentacles styled electronic wizardry in tandem with outstanding glissando guitar work, psychotropic violin passages, fluttering flute runs and sensational sound effects is tantamount to an astral projection after participating in a remote shamanic ritual where interdimensional crossroads are experienced with high density spiritual beings playing tour guide. The music is utterly creative with traces of Hawkwind, Gong, Hidria Spacefolk and Vibravoid never far away.

Gentle reggae rhythms make their appearance as Rastafarian visions gently embrace an early Pink Floydian zeitgeist along with the excellent echoey rich production that grounds VESPERO in the modern day world of the 21st century. The music is sublime and utterly timeless as it drifts along like gentle zephyrs only laced with crystal corpuscles that evoke the spirit of the eternal. Wow. No drugs needed to enjoy this one. This is truly sonic bliss and the soundtrack to Planet Lysergia if there ever was one. While so many bands blandly crank out tired stoner rock with a few whirling synth parts, VESPERO construct complex edifices of interwoven sounds that independently evoke the exotic while collectively elevating the mind to higher dimensions. This is the stuff that 21st century space rock dreams are made of. VESPERO is truly the king of Russian Kraut, psychedelia in Cyrillic or the ambient air of Astrakhan and it only gets better after this.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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