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Aquarium - Треугольник / Triangle CD (album) cover

Треугольник / TRIANGLE


Prog Folk

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3 stars It's a very strange feeling for me: russian "Aquarium" in Progarchives!

I first had listen this album ( on underground cassette, of course) still being a student in former USSR. My country was occupied by Russian Army, rude and always half-drunk russians still were on control of small old Baltic nation. KGB eye was everywhere, some rare vynil albums from West were unlegal, total contraband. You can't imagine that even in your nightmare dream!

During one on my first vist to St.Petersburg ( Leningrad in that time for sure), my friends- Leningrad's students gave me this cassette to listen. It was not usual underground rock, but some strange, unusual songs. Acoustic piano, guitar, harmonica, middempo, unusual melodies and methaphysical lyrics. To be honest, it was so unusual, that I didn't accepted it at once. But just made my copy ( using cassette recorder).

After, at home, listened this music again and again, I found this music for myself and became heavy fan of that group. Being one of most "free" cities in "Empire Of Evil", Vilnius was good place for rock fans. Very soon I had the possibility to listen "Aquarium" in one of the first ( half- underground) rock festivals in USSR.

They were kind of strange genius. Mix of classic rock, acoustic solos, folk, indian music, rock'n'roll and weird dzen-budism and impressionism in lyrics ( with crazy soviet reality somwhere deep in their basics). They for a long became spiritual leaders of young intellectuals from dark side of Iron Curtain.

Great question - how much this music can be accepted and interesting for the "normal world"? OK, at least it is original example of russian unortodox folk-prog-avantgarde.

Report this review (#238842)
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars My hometown of Udine, Italy (in north-eastern Italy, not far from Austria and Slovenia... quite hard to spot on a map, actually) is not exactly short of Ukrainian immigrants: in fact, a classmate of mine at the primary school was Ukrainian, and a 3-people Ukrainian family lives some 50 metres from my family's apartment. So, some weeks after I started my researches on beyond-the-iron-curtain progressive rock bands, I asked them if they knew Aquarium, as I suspected that they were popular in the ex-USSR area just as PFM are popular in my homeland. Some months after, I receved two (legally compiled!) mp3 CDs covering the first 10 Aquarium albums, in the remastered edition with bonus tracks. I started from Треугольник since it's the first on the compilation, thought Aquarium's early chronology is quite controversial since some albums are recorded in a some years' span.

Snobb rightfully wonders how much this music can be accepted and interesting for the "normal world"; Boris Grebenshikov himself describes the record as "an album of pure and unaccountable absurdity". In fact, I would have never expect such an absurd album coming from the Soviet regime. Pieces are all short, the longest being Мой муравей (My Ant) clocking in at 3:46; lots of crackling sound effects (due to, probably, the fact that those effects were recorded on tape and badly edited for the record) are employed over the whole album. Although compositions are mostly acoustic and similar in instrumentations, the album sounds like split in two parts. In fact, the record is split in Tin Side and Bronze Side, but I actually feel that side 2 should begin with the last two tracks of side 1. The first part is mainly composed of almost Zappa-like bizarre and humourous musical sketches, and since I can't speak or understand Russian sadly spoils the whole experience (since I'm going to study foreign language, I might cope with that problem in a few years' time), while the second one is composed of mostly melancholic, folksy numbers, in which there are occasional hints of medieval folk. I don't know if it depends from the language barrier, but to me the album has a quite unfocused feeling over its duration... which is quite normal for a band at its early stages, after all.

Musically, Boris Grebenshikov's unmistakable voice and Sergey Kurekhin's piano dominates the record, nicely complemented by Romanov's flute and guitar and Gakkel's cello, while bassist-drummer Fainstein has a quite subdued role, since the numbers are almost entirely acoustic.

The recording quality is obviously below early 80s standards, but not unlistenable as one might think... mind that these are not professional recordings!

Recommended to people keen on folksy bizarries and, obviously, to the few Russian speaking people still unaware of the existence of Aquarium.

Report this review (#296959)
Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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