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Ciolkowska - Avtomat Proshlogo CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.68 | 12 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Russian act Ciolkowska first came together in 2012 as a result of a jam between Egor Svysokikhgor (guitars), Vano Ayvazyan (bass, keyboards) & Kirill Tsarkov (drums), and took their name from Russian space scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Over the years they have primarily concentrated on improvisation, and until 2016 all of their material was self-released. However, they then signed with noname records who released this album towards the end of 2018. By this time Tsarkov had departed and the drum seat was now occupied by David Aaronson, while they had become a quartet with the addition of Alesya Izlesa on ukulele, while they also used guest Aleksey Gorshkov on trumpet.

Recorded live at Dobrolet Studio in St.Petersburg, this is an incredibly varied album. It is intricate, complex, and certainly not for the fainthearted as while fans of Can and Art Zoyd will certainly get a great deal from it, these guys are trying to move the avant garde into even more complex and diverse areas. It can be dreamy, almost space rock, with gently picked acoustic guitar combining with trumpet to create a mood, or it can be driving. "108" even contains a repeated chant much in the vein of Hari Krishna devotees, but if you listen to the words being chanted then you may well be in for a surprise. Let's just say they are invoking the mighty gods of the late Sixties as opposed to any more recognised religious being, although all those being named were indeed touched by genius and whose flame burned very bright indeed and for far too short a period.

It isn't an easy album to listen to, and I must confess it took me at least three attempts before I managed to get inside it, but once I had I was intrigued by what was being produced. Ayvazyan has a gentle touch on the bass, and it is often he who keeps everything pinned and moving forward, as this while there is still undoubtedly an improvised element these songs are far more structured than many working in this environment, and the use of vocals on some of the numbers only strengthens that. This is certainly well worth investigating for those who enjoy music pushing boundaries.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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