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GLEB KOLYADIN

Crossover Prog • Russia


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Gleb Kolyadin biography
Born in __/__ (Saint Peterburg, Russia)

Following the success of three albums with IAMTHEMORNING, Russian pianist Gleb KOLYADIN affirms his musical attitude with his debut, self-titled album on Kscope. The record features a lot of session musicians like Gavin HARRISON (King Crimson / Porcupine Tree) on drums; Nick BEGGS (Steven Wilson) on bass; Theo TRAVIS (Robert Fripp / Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson) on flute and saxophone, Jordan RUDESS (Dream Theater) on additional keyboards; voices and lyrics of Steve HOGARTH (Marillion) and Mick MOSS (Antimatter) and so on.

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4.17 | 87 ratings
Gleb Kolyadin
2018

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 Gleb Kolyadin by KOLYADIN, GLEB album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.17 | 87 ratings

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Gleb Kolyadin
Gleb Kolyadin Crossover Prog

Review by proghaven

4 stars This album is the best possible evidence that there's no Russian progressive as a developed scene/school. Once upon a time I mentioned this on the PA forum - and was immediately booed by special collaborators, prog reviewers, senior members etc. How!? What?! Do you know Aviva? Do you know Little Tragedies? Do you know Dawn Dialogue? - and so on and on. Yes, yes. I do. Make no mistake. In total, about 150 prog artists from Russia are listed here on PA. (Or more, I checked a year ago.) But they don't form a national scene/school. And the brilliant 2018 solo album from Gleb Kolyadin puts an end in proving this.

Nobody knows how it turns out. Most of historical bands of 1970s-1980s so-called Russian rock (which was in fact Soviet underground) were distinctively Russian and formed a whole, a real (though partially semi-professional) school, a musical movement. Just remember DDT, Mashina Vremeni, Alisa, Brigada S, Agata Kristi, Chaif, Nautilus Pompilius, Aquarium, Nastya, Yanka, Piknik, Grazhdanskaya Oborona and other projects by late great Yegor Letov... well, even hooligans like DK, Romych Neumoev or Chorny Lukich were distinctively Russian. I don't like to say that they systematically and professionally used, or reworked, or rearranged Russian traditional music in their works. No, not at all. Far from that. So-called 'national spirit' in music is truly impossible to be verbalized - but easily diagnosed by ear. Kerrs Pink is Norwegian, Genesis is English, Eloy is German, Kansas is American, Topos Uranos is Brazilian, Asia Minor is Turkish, Czeslaw Niemen, SBB and Abraxas are Polish - but...

...but Riverside is global. No Polish national spirit may be found in their music, despite all its splendour. And as global are Russian 1990s-2010s prog artists en masse. On the other hand, Russian national spirit is present in the music of old proggy/somewhat-close-to-prog bands like Dawn Dialogue, Oblachny Kray, Araks or Urfin Juice. But perhaps they were not prog enough and/or (with the exception of Araks) not professional enough to form a Russian prog scene. Yes they were distinctively Russian, but (with the exception of Araks!) dangerously close to what we in Russia call 'samodeyatelnost' (amateur performance). In fact, they belong to the same school as Aquarium and other old Russian rockers. Quite Russian and well crafted as a composer is Nastya, but her music is rather indie than prog. Distinctively Russian and highly professional was and still is Kalinov Most, but this greatest band is usually found to have too strong folky, psychy and bluesy touch to be included in the prog community. Maybe Andrei Misin is the only true progster from that old generation.

Kolyadin and his band Iamthemorning are purely cosmopolite Russian progsters. Their albums (all amazing in all respects I admit!) miss the same thing that was present in old 'Russian rock' but is usually missing in modern 'Russian prog'. Kolyadin's music is global, supranational if you like, and it does not put any start to what might be called genuine Russian progressive school. If we discuss the musical level (composition, arrangements, instrumentation, musicianship) of Kolyadin's solo album, then undoubtedly it's a masterpiece (5 stars). But if we consider it a work by a Russian artist, then it's rather 'good but non essential' (3 stars; that's why I give 4 stars as an average...). Just because it should start a movement in current Russian music but didn't.

Glinka said: a nation creates music, we artists only arrange it. Russian music needs new Glinka - can Kolyadin become him?

Sure. Why not? He is talented enough and, on the other hand, crafted enough for that. But instead, he does his best to pass another exam for the degree of 'progster like everybody else'. Yes he passed this exam perfectly well again. He formed a sort of supergroup for his solo album, the only two tracks with vocal are sung in some language that didn't even remind Russian, and some people already say that Kolyadin is 'another Emerson'. Most likely they think it's a compliment. I'd say it's rather a condemnation. Why should Kolyadin become Emerson The Second (or Banks, Lord, Watkins, Moraz or anyone else) while he has all opportunities to be Kolyadin The First And Only? The only thing needed for that and still missing in his music is national spirit. And in this respect I (as a dedicated listener) rely on Kolyadin more than on other current Russian progsters, because very slight 'prodromes of Russianness' may nevertheless be heard in some of his virtuoso piano-dominated pieces. Hardly but heard.

P.S. Looks like I completely forgot about the track-by-track investigation principle. Excusez-moi, I'll try at least to end up with it. As a diehard prog fan I should mark first of all the only track with duration typical for epic suite, i.e. 10-minute Confluence. But its musical tissue sounds homogenous with the surrounding material, and can faintly be distinguished from it by ear. In fact, the entire album is one giant epic suite. An excellent epic suite, with no doubt.

 Gleb Kolyadin by KOLYADIN, GLEB album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.17 | 87 ratings

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Gleb Kolyadin
Gleb Kolyadin Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars IAMTHEMORNING's musical mastermind has gone rogue! And we are so glad he did! This kind of creativity should not be slowed or held back. In the typical piano-based chamber music constructions common to IAMTHEMORNING's albums (especially their debut), Gleb has opened himself up to the collaborative inputs of some of London and Petersburg's best--and the outcome is outstanding.

1. "Insight" (4:11) reminds me of the sound, style, and support of John Tout with Renaissance. When the synth solos happen then there is a bit more of a Keith Emerson feel, but really, this is more akin to the intros to "Trip to the Fair" and "Mother Russia." Nice guitar work from Vlad Avy. (9/10)

2. "Astral Architecture" (6:29) delicate solo piano work is eventually joined by deep vocal of Antimatter's Mick Moss. Equally delicate toms, cymbals, and percussion join in, then synth and cello. As it builds, so does Gleb's piano intensity. Wonderful! Crescendo in the fourth minute cascades to the opening quietude before the mounting menace of drums, bass, and guitar join in. Awesome song. (9.5/10)

3. "White Dawn" (2:30) (4/5)

4. "Kaleidoscope" (5:50) Now this is a Keith Emerson-like piece. Nice to have maestros Gavin Harrison and Nick Beggs to weave together with as Carl Palmer and Greg Lake would have in days long gone by. An uncredited female voice sings vocalise during the third minute as vibraphone also plays a significant part in this gorgeous section. Flute joins in at 4:45. Nice overture-like feel to this one. That's a good flute player! Gleb takes the final solo on a couple vintage-sounding synths. Nice tune! (9/10)

5. "Eidolon" (2:10) stride-like piano blues. The melody sounds quite familiar--something from old-time jazz. Awesome, haunting ending! (5/5)

6. "Into The Void" (1:44) a variation on the previous song with different tempo and dynamics. Sounds like a song from IAMTHEMORNING's first album. (4/5)

7. "The Room" (4:13) opens with a kind of VINCE GUARALDI feel to it before becoming more modern jazz-rock infused. Nice work from Gavin and Travis. Delicate solo piano interlude in the middle before diving back into the rock medium at 2:20. Nice soli from synth and sax in the hepped up second half. (9/10)

8. "Confluence" (10:23) opens with a little Satie-like feel before heavily treated vocals of Steve Hogarth join in-- talking. Fretless bass and seaside synth noises join in at the end of the third minute. Around 3:40 a koto-like fast "plucked" keyboard sound rises from beneath to take over supplying the main fabric of music over which drums, bass, and piano play. This is stunning! The next section has toms, hand drums, and harp(?) building its stunning weave while piano does his thing and just before rock rhythm section (guitars, bass, drum kit) drive the song more insistently. The harp and koto/dulcimer/zither sound take the fore at the end of the ninth minute, gelling in a delightful weave with the piano and percussives to the final seaside fadeout. Fantastic! (9.5/10)

9. "Constellation / The Bell" (3:16) this solo piano piece has a very classical, romantic feel to it, though the main melody is more modern. What a pianist! The second half contains the participation of some female voices/vocalists performing an eery ghostly melody in the lead fore. Wow! That was not expected! (5/5)

10. "Echo / Sigh / Strand" (2:25) more grandiose piano-based music, this time supported by all kinds of hand percussives. The second part is an extraordinary display of two-hand piano play. The third part sees some eerie guitar and synth sounds joining in as the song builds to a final crescendo. (5/5)

11. "Penrose Stairs" (5:01) this one could also be a Keith Emerson song--with its many disjointed stop and start sections all precisely sequenced with and by the piano. Nice acoustic guitar work (I assume by Vlad). Not my favorite kind of music or style, but I can certainly appreciate the virtuosity on display here. (9/10)

12. "Storyteller" (3:19) opens with a low end bass piano arpeggio that reminds me of Peter Gunn as well as the opening to RETURN TO FOREVER's "Sorceress." The collective appearance of the full rock retinue gives it more of a RENAISSANCE feel. The recorded theatric "radio" voice joins in before we return to instrumental. A wicked and wild extended synth solo spans the second and third minutes, playing right up to the end. (8/10)

13. "The Best Of Days" (3:24) rondo piano chord sequence supports the singing voice of Steve Hogarth. The music may be too pretty for Steve's voice and lyrics, but I still like it. This one perhaps should have been saved for Marjana. One can imagine what Marjana's stunning voice could have done with this one. What gorgeous music! (9.5/10)

Five stars; a masterpiece of classically-oriented progressive rock music. Truly, I can think of few contemporary composers able to express the type of instrumental virtuosity that Gleb possesses. Check this album out! It's available on KSCOPE, of course.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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