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LUNAR CAPE

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Russia


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Lunar Cape biography
LUNAR CAPE is a rock group from Moscow consisting of Petrovsky NIKOLAY, Olga SCOTLAND, Paul BULAK, Andrey SHASHKOV and Mikhail ZOLOTAREV. Under the guise of witty biography about musicians coming from the Moon on Earth, the band showcases a skilled performance of diverse music on their debut album which has been described as an excellent soundtrack to non-existent cartoon or a movie. 'Just Lunatics' from 2015 is a melodic work which depending on the song can be of folk, jazz-rock or just plain avantgarde genre.

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LUNAR CAPE discography


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LUNAR CAPE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 10 ratings
Just Lunatics
2015
4.02 | 7 ratings
Lunar Folk Tales (instrumental version)
2017

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LUNAR CAPE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lunar Folk Tales (instrumental version) by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 7 ratings

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Lunar Folk Tales (instrumental version)
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The second effort by the charming eccentrics of Lunar Cape exaggerates the Prog Folk whimsy of their debut album ("Just Lunatics", 2016), to a point where the Jazz Rock pigeonhole of the band's page in these Archives now seems completely wrong.

A drastic purge in the lineup, from a sextet to the current augmented trio, might have actually helped to focus their eclectic style. The instrumentation resembles a typically multi-tasked Gentle Giant recording session, but with curious detours. Translating from the Cyrillic runes of the official Lunar Cape website, Andrey Shaskov is listed as "bass guitarist, bass flutist, and storyteller"; Olga Scotland (possibly a pseudonym) plays flute, mandolin, recorder, tin whistle, and "all sorts of things"; and Roman Smirnov is given responsibility for " guitars, ocarina, and pure positive"...although I strongly suspect a Google Translation failure for that last credit.

Drums are rare, and by invitation only. Thus the Ian Anderson-like fluting of Ms. Scotland assumes a more prominent role here, together with the washboard and mandolins giving the music its medieval peasant vigor. Rock dynamics are kept to a minimum, but they do exist: in "Greedy Cousin Leprechaun", and the exotic Jethro-Tull-in-Arabia groove of "What the Peacock is Silent About". Fans of the debut Lunar Cape album might also recognize the feline tease of "Cat Bite", recycled here as the more unplugged "Old Man Crowley and Wood Goblin".

The fanciful track titles are meant to suggest imaginary fairy tale narratives, to be further explored in upcoming separate English and Russian language editions of the album: a novel plan that I hope doesn't suffer from the inevitable redundancy. This first version is entirely instrumental, and benefits from the more universal appeal: it's hard to imagine how words could possibly improve the folk-art purity of the music alone. The project was originally conceived for children, and in their undiluted instrumental form the songs retain a lot of that childlike innocence and joy, but in a manner equally attractive to discerning young-at-heart adults.

The vocal alternatives are overdue, by the way. But don't worry: in the meantime the album is also available as a collection of 30- to 40-second ringtones, for the next time you receive a phone call from the moon.

 Just Lunatics by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 10 ratings

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Just Lunatics
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The debut release by the eclectic Russian sextet Lunar Cape is an album of music even more colorful than its eye-catching folk-art 'cover' illustration (by one Arseny Lapin, who deserves a credit equal to the band itself for his distinctive visual branding of their musical style). The group, one of many notable acts to emerge in recent years from Russia, is Moscow-based (by way of the moon, according to their own fanciful creation myth), and play "music that could be the soundtrack to a film, cartoon, video game, or a certain performance"...quoting the awkwardly-translated official Lunar Cape biography.

Each of the album's eleven tracks presents a beguiling mix of influences, weaving eastern European folk-music traditions into a decidedly modern framework: part throwback '70s rock; part smooth jazz; and flirting at times with a local strain of oddball instrumental pop...textbook Prog, in other words, and immediately appealing from the opening notes of the kickoff song "Pink Slippers": a beautifully-crafted ray of musical sunshine almost guaranteed to cure your late-autumn existential angst.

The rest of the album follows the same optimistic trend, easy on the ears in the best possible way. Consider it the musical equivalent of a cloudless sky in mid-summer: warm, relaxing, and all the more surprising from a nation of artists notorious for their moody self-absorption.

It helps that these six musicians really know their stuff, and obviously enjoy playing together. Two-thirds of the group include recorders among their arsenal of instruments, best heard in a 100-second Gentle Giant-like 'Excerpts from Octopus' interlude called "Dudki". Showboat solos are discouraged, although guitarist Nikolay Petrovsky (Electro-Nick, to his friends) is allowed a brief, spotlight moment of mock-heavy blues jamming in "Cat Bite" (preceding the songs "Mouse Dirigible" and "Cats the Captain"). But if the album has a standout player I would nominate Olga Scotland, whose colorful flute and mandolin accents give the music its bright ethnic disposition.

You'll note an element of Space Rock fusion elbowing into the mix, in "Southern Harbor" and "The Realm of Sleep", adding further contours to an already irregular musical landscape. But for the most part it's an album of simple tunes and catchy melodies, more than a little moonstruck yet always grounded in the fertile soil of the band's native culture.

 Just Lunatics by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 10 ratings

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Just Lunatics
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by nikitasv777

4 stars There is a legend that the musicians came to us on Earth to restore a piece of star-striped textile, which earthlings have forgotten his last visit to the moon and establish cultural contacts.'In reality 'Lunar Cape' is a rock group from Russia (Moscow). 'Just Lunatics' leaves a really positive impression on first listen. Lunar Cape certainly have their own style and distinctive sound. I must say that the production of the album sounds professional. Just Lunatics is a mixture of prog with jazz influences and folk tunes. They have been clearly influenced by Gentle Giant and perhaps Frank Zappa. One thing that must be acknowledged though, is outstanding Flute work Olga Scotland. In some places music witty and funny.

I recommend it highly to everyone, 4/5.

 Lunar Folk Tales (instrumental version) by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.02 | 7 ratings

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Lunar Folk Tales (instrumental version)
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Using an interesting format by releasing three different versions of the same album, the first instrumental, the second with vocals sung in the band's native Russian, and a third with the vocals sung in English, LUNAR CAPE has an intentionally non-pop motivation behind their light, folkie jazz tunes. Gorgeous melodies abound throughout.

The instrumental versions:

1. "History Of The Moon" (2:43) opens with nice guitar arpeggio repeated until wooden flute (basso recorder?) and, later, treated wooden alto flute enter. Cool Northern folk intro! Almost a N. Carlos Nakai feel to it. (9/10)

2. "Nymph Syrinx Amidst The Stars" (5:37) delightful upbeat prog folk that sounds like it came from the flower children of the 1960s and early 1970s. (9/10)

3. "Doughball's Travels" (3:56) slightly more Russian/Eastern European informed Prog Folk here with balalaika, flutes, accordion and hand percussives weaving together with the electric bass and electric guitar. Could be a polka. Or a track from a Spaghetti Western. (7.5/10)

4. "Old Man Crawley And Wood Goblin" (5:10) slower and a little more sinister, the flute makes it a bit more disarming. Electric guitar tracks in the end of the second minute turn it back to scary, but they disappear within 30 seconds and we're then treated to a gorgeous flute solo over gentle electric guitar arpeggi. This is then followed/joined by odd/eerie male vocalizations before everything crumbles into the end. Interesting. (8/10)

5. "Blacksmith" (2:55) opens with electric guitar before mediŠval wooden flutes bring in a mediŠval folk melody (English). Halfway through the guitar starts strumming while mouth percussion (basso recorder) and breathy flute play off each other before returning to the pastoral beauty of the verses for the finish. (8.5/10)

6. "Who Brought The Berries?" (6:15) plays like a whimsical Rockabilly song with rodeo bass, drums and guitar play while flute and percussives play around above, between, and below. The frenzied flute solo in the end of the third minute is cool. A slowed down section soon ensues in which a bluesy pick-less lead guitar solo ensues (somewhat reminiscent of legendary Roy Buchanan). Flute joins in while guitar continues to perform its magic. Truly an astonishing guitar sound and solo! Then at 5:25 we return to the happy-go-lucky sound and melodies from the opening section. (8.5/10)

7. "Greedy Cousin Leprechaun" (4:29) brooding bass line opens before rapid-fire cymbal and fuzzy electric guitar "power" chords join in with a second electric guitar track of picking. Flute enters and takes the lead. Fuzzy guitar takes lead at 1:43 with a STEPPENWOLF-like solo. Flute returns in a higher octave. Flute, tin whistle, and guitar take turns in the lead to the end. (8.5/10)

8. "What The Peacock Is Silent About (Oriental)" (7:34) opens in a brooding manner like a song from RETURN TO FOREVER's Romantic Warrior album. At 1:25 the song shifts rather dramatically into a kind of C&W/Rock structure and sound over which flute displays the melody. Lots of neat shifts from the instrumentalists within the constantly changing weave here. Even the styles of flute play shift form time to time. Electric guitar takes a turn to deliver a 1980s-EDDIE VAN HALEN style solo beginning at 3:40. At 4:40 the bass takes a turn with minimal support (in a typical jazz style). At 5:40 guitar strums and Arab-sounding male chanting enter before bass and flute accompany. Cool section! The final minute feels like the end to a FOCUS or FROM.UZ song before emptying space for the wind- supported Arab chanter. (8.5/10)

Four stars; a nice addition to the creative, jazzy edge of Prog Folk.

 Just Lunatics by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 10 ratings

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Just Lunatics
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgAlia

3 stars "Just Lunatics" is a record that is for a particular type of listener, The quality and musical value here are recognizable even if you don't fully embrace its idiosyncrasies. A stylistic mashup that can border on being a little too meandering at times, but ultimately contains enough melody and highly musical passages to stick out to the fan of instrumental world music and psychedelic rock. Many elements are brought into album, and the eclectic melding of psychedelic rock, light jazz, chilled out atmospherics and Celtic, Asian, and Eastern European folk elements create a musical landscape that varies tonally from track to track. Some songs even take on a soundtrack-like vibe and experimental or even Avant bent that can be pretty convincing and trans-formative when the disparate parts align properly. I just wish there were more opportunities in the dynamic that focused the world music elements in some different and more exciting ways.
 Just Lunatics by LUNAR CAPE album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.18 | 10 ratings

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Just Lunatics
Lunar Cape Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars

Formed in Moscow in 2011, this is the debut (and so far, only) album from progressive rock/jazz fusion instrumental outfit Lunar Cape. The line-up is Petrovsky Nikolay (Electro-Nick) on guitar, harmonica, alto recorder, Olga Scotland on flute, mandolin, alto recorder, sopranino recorder, Paul Bulak (SadFat) keyboards, guitar, sound effects, Andrey Shashkov ' bass guitar, basso recorder, Mikhail Zolotarev, drums, and Ilya Myasin ' soprano recorder. Yes, there is a lot of woodwind on here, most unlike many other bands around. Although there are times when they do come across as similar to Jethro Tull, due to the way the lead flute is being played more than anything else, they have also been clearly influenced by Gentle Giant in particular, and western Seventies prog in general. For some reason, I also kept thinking of Camel, just because of the way they approach the music, but in reality they sound nothing like them at all.

From the first time I put this on I found that I had a smile on my face, as this album truly is a delight from beginning to end. I find it hard to believe that they have yet to be picked up by a label that can do them justice, as this is timeless music that certainly deserves to be heard by a far wider audience. It can be in your face, or reflective and gentle, and although it may never turn into rapids, this is a babbling stream of musical water that has a great deal to offer. The song 'Motorbike' commences with influences from South America, before gradually turning into something both more Cuban and Celtic, as if Clannad or Enya have been on holiday to warmer climes.

The more I play this the more I like it, and have discovered that this is music that really does benefit both from headphones and having the eyes closed, so that it can be fully concentrated on with no distractions whatsoever. A beautiful album, I can only hope that there is enough support for another one soon.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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