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TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT)

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Russia


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Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) biography
Two Siberians bio:
Irkutsk, Siberia, is 150 miles north of Mongolia and home to instrumental duo to hit the music scene in quite some time-the Two Siberians ( This name is used for internatinoal scene, in Russia they started to play in 1993 under the name "White Fort" ("Белый Острог").

Yes, it's instrumental music (electric violin and electric guitar), but do not be fooled. Think infectious melodies with burning virtuosic displays. Think impassioned whispers and fiery bursts with a propulsive ethnic pulse. Think world pop instrumental.

Yuri himself, when he was just thirteen, won the Russian National Competition in Folk Dancing. But it was the guitar that his uncle played while he danced that captivated him. Unable to afford a guitar, he attempted to build his own, repeatedly, until his uncle finally gave him his own prized instrument. Artyom, as a young child, fell in love with a violin case and wouldn't let go.until he was finally provided the violin. Soon after, he became a child prodigy.

Yuri and Artyom met while attending the Irkutsk Art Academy. They experimented with the various musical idioms that found their way to Siberia from the different corners of the world until they finally arrived at a blend that defies categorization.

Their concert debut was at a festival in Novosibirsk, Siberia, where they won the award for "Best Original Artists," but officials at The Irkutsk Academy were appalled. Rock and jazz were not considered appropriate repertoire for the violin, and Artyom was suspended. To complete his degree, Artyom was warned to focus strictly on his classical studies, and he agreed to do so until the day he graduated. A promise not adhered to.

Yuri and Artyom would meet privately and rehearse together for hours at a time, weeks and months on end-which resulted in an amazingly tight hookup between the two musicians; and the pure joy of being able to play together found its way into their writing.

Upon Artyom's graduation, he and Yuri hit the Trans-Siberian Railway and their legend has been rapidly unfolding ever since. After garnering tremendous acclaim throughout Siberia, they borrowed money to travel six time zones to Moscow to make a stand-and succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They then borrowed money to come to New York-another dream. They played in the middle of Times Square to astounded residents and tourists alike. They...
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TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) discography


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TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 2 ratings
Peculiar Reality (as White Fort)
1995
5.00 | 1 ratings
Cave of Elder (as White Fort)
1996
5.00 | 1 ratings
Забытое имя / Forgotten Name ( as White Fort)
1997
4.85 | 4 ratings
Out Of The Woods
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Любовь моя - цвет зелёный / My Love, Green Color (as White Fort)
2001
5.00 | 1 ratings
Two From Siberia ( as White Fort)
2002
3.17 | 10 ratings
Out of Nowhere
2003
4.00 | 2 ratings
Two Kings ( as White Fort)
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Duke Montenegro ( soundtrack) ( as White Fort)
2006
2.50 | 2 ratings
6/8
2013

TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Out Of The Woods by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.85 | 4 ratings

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Out Of The Woods
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by AmaRJust

5 stars This CD is one of my all-time favorites.

The sounds produced by the Two Siberians, also known as White Fort, are as unique as the land they come from, and as a musician myself, I especially appreciate the intricate melodies infused into each track.

I find it interesting that their songs have been classified as jazz, rock, world, folk, and progressive. Perhaps that's because the best things in this world cannot be defined in words, and such is the music of the Two Siberians.

On another note, as of October 2012, they are back in the U.S. for a brief tour after nearly a decade of being here. They will be playing in Oregon and also NYC (one gig only at the The Bitter End in NY on Oct. 14 at 10 PM).

For more information about the band's 2012 reunion and the latest tunes, visit White Fort's official band website (in English), which is being promoted by the Oregon-based Cool Hat Records.

Seeing them live is an experience you will remember forever, as the energy they give off from their stage presence and instruments is something you just have to witness in person!

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 Out of Nowhere by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Out of Nowhere
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by flibby

4 stars Being a huge fan of White Fort, I have a love-hate relationship with this album. On the one hand, it has the virtuoso performances and intense melodies that I expect (and love) from their music. On the other, I personally find the addition of other musicians distracting. White Fort has an incredible sound on its own--hearing other instruments almost dilutes the experience.

However, if your album MUST have a detrimental aspect, that's not a bad one to have: Too Much Amazing Talent. Cry me a river, huh?

The album opens with "Outpost Radio," performed by "classic" White Fort: Yuriy Matveyev jamming on electric guitar and Artyom Yakushenko shredding the electric violin. The next track adds the late Michael Brecker on saxophone and Mino Cinelu on percussion. I suppose Brecker's fans will probably see that as an improvement--beautiful music is, after all, in the ear of the beholder.

The tracks continue to alternate between White Fort playing alone, or with additional musicians or vocals. The genres vary considerably--Russian folk, lively jazz, Latin salsa, Jewish dance, hard rock. White Fort is not distinguished by genre--they cross all clique lines in the music world. Their signature is their performance itself: no matter what kind of music, they don't just play it, they PWN it.

A few bits of trivia: Track 14, "Evidence of Things Not Seen," is a remix (with addition of percussion and vocals) of the song "Sad Heart," which was introduced to Western audiences on their demo CD, "Out of the Woods." Track 15, "Searching for Power," comes from an unreleased concept album, "Enigma of Basalt Figurines." The album was inspired by a science fiction novel, "The Mind Parasites," by Colin Wilson.

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 Peculiar Reality (as White Fort) by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.09 | 2 ratings

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Peculiar Reality (as White Fort)
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by flibby

4 stars This first work by White Fort is probably the most cerebral of their albums. Their classical training is obvious before you even pop the CD into the player; the album consists of two "suites," each seemingly intended to be one side of a vinyl LP.

The music is generally less reminiscent of Russian folk ballads than their later albums. If anything, it may be closer to indigenous Siberian rhythms than the European/Middle Eastern themes that infuse traditional Russian music.

As with all of their work, the album consists solely of electric guitar and electric violin. More than one reviewer has commented that these two men produce more sound on two tracks than many entire bands, and it is true for this album as well. If you appreciate virtuoso performances, you'll enjoy this album purely for the musicians' technical excellence.

I'd liken the sound to Adrien Belew or the Fripp/Eno collaboration. It's rich and stark at the same time--only two instruments, but both are played without rest or mercy, wringing out every drop of sound hiding within their strings.

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 Two Kings ( as White Fort) by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Two Kings ( as White Fort)
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It may be sounds strange, but this album, released in Russia only, is much better, than Two Siberians next, international release "Out Of Nowhere", recorded and released in US with big team of fusion known musicians.

And I know, why. "Out Of Nowhere" was released as commercial release ( and because of that supported with some international well-known names). And main problem was label tried not to present interesting musicians, but to sale exotic product. Even their name are oriented in exotica fans ( Two Siberians name is using for international market only, in home country they are known as White Fort). As a result, almost all compositions of "Out Of Nowhere" are modern form of Russian folk song, or original composition with heavy Russian folk influence. Something between vodka and matrioshkas, kitsch for foreigners. And even participating of good fusion guest musicians didn't help.

This album, Two Kings, is good record for domestic market. So, no matrioshkas, no vodka, just interesting acoustic jazz fusion with strong classic elements. The only minus of this album is there are just duo ( violin+ guitar), so music is quite specific. I think nearest example of similar music is McLauglin/Dimeola/De Lucia trio acoustic albums. If you like them, I believe this album will be interesting for you. I believe adding of rhythm section and some additional instruments could make this album almost great. But even as it is "Two Kings" are interesting enough for acoustic strings jazz fusion lovers. And for sure, much more better entry work.

Strong 3,5

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 Out of Nowhere by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Out of Nowhere
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars I was surprised to find this album on PA, because never heard this name. OK, first reason is that Two Siberians is used for abroad recordings only, and they are known in Russia from early nineties as White Fort ("Bely Ostrog" in Russian). They even released all collection of records under White fort name there in Russia. Two Siberians name was used when they got the contract with US label, just two albums were recorded under that name.

About music. This duo is two classically trained musicians from Irkutsk, Siberia ( el. violin and el. guitar). As you can imagine, playing as duo, it's a hard job to make a different music having just two these instruments ( no studio overdubbing, etc). So I can see that happily "Out Of Nowhere" is recorded with big team of guests. It strongly helps to make music more different and attractive.

Very first album song is Russian traditional folk song, slightly modified. You can hear Russian folklore elements more or less almost in all songs. For me, big part of album sounds as modernised Russian folklore , played by unusual instruments. I believe that for some it could sound a bit exotic, but generally it has not a big relation with jazz at all.

Few songs are a bit stronger - that ones, on which you can hear more jazzy sound played by guest musicians. All others are just light jazzy versions of modernised Russian folklore tunes, prepared for foreign market.

You can find few interesting sounds of electric violin and even fewer interesting sounds of guitar. Possibly, not bad album for world/folk lovers, can't imagine who in jazz fusion community could be interested by this album.

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 Out of Nowhere by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Out of Nowhere
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars I must say this is one title that didn't do much for me. At first spin there is the novelty of their folksy charm and the interest factor of their story and the great efforts they made to get this music recorded and released. They did work hard to get this done and I commend them for that.

However continual listening for me turned into sort of a background experience whereas the tracks sounded a little similar and unstimulating. Perhaps it just wasn't my cup of tea but I'd be hard pressed to recommend this title with so many other great things to get to.

Apparently others feel this way too as there are currently dozens of available used copies at the behemoth seller website starting at a penny. I'm not saying this album deserves that fate but it didn't excite me either. I agree with Keith that it is "unique" but did not find it as refreshing as he did. 2.5 stars.

Luckily there is a PA sample to check out so give it a spin and perhaps it will interest you!

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 Out of Nowhere by TWO SIBERIANS (Белый Острог / WHITE FORT) album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.17 | 10 ratings

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Out of Nowhere
Two Siberians (Белый Острог / White Fort) Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Muzikman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Artyom Yakushenko (electric violin) and Yuri Matveyez (electric guitar) are literally the TWO SIBERIANS. The talented gents hail from the vast and ruggedly beautiful land of Siberia, essentially "Out of Nowhere". Indeed their name and the title of the CD tell some of the story. The pair that used to entertain all walks of life at photographers exhibitions and the like for shots of vodka now have their own album to boast of on the award winning Heads Up International label.

When I saw the name of the artists, I had to wonder a bit, it seemed out of the ordinary for Telarc/Heads Up to send me a CD with a name like TWO SIBERIANS, and then to find out that the performers are actually from Siberia, well that was the icing on the cake. Right from the beginning of the opening track "Outpost Radio", I was enamored with their sound. For two instruments, for the most part, the sound is incredible. The duo exchanges parts with Michael Brecker (sax), George Whitty (synth), Matt Garrison (bass) and Mino Cinelu (percussion), all guests that add some nice filler to their already full-bodied rich sound.

What you will hear is a gorgeous combination of jazz-rock-fusion and ethnic compositions from this dynamic duo (excuse the reference to Batman for those of you that remember). This kind of music requires close attention to the details of each track and many listens before you will honestly appreciate it. The focus and depth of the artists and their music is exceptional. I can say without hesitation that this music is unique and completely refreshing. My only wish is that you give yourself and opportunity to hear it.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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