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NE ZHDALI

RIO/Avant-Prog • Estonia


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Ne Zhdali biography
Ne Zhdali (Unexpected) were formed in 1987 in Tallin, Estonia. They were initially a septet which was reduced to a sextet and included: Leonid Soybelman (guitars, lead vocals), Ilja Komarov (bass, backing vocals), Andrei Kulagin (aka Victor Bitlovsky) (keyboards, vocals, euphonium), Avi Nedzvetsky (keyboards, left after the first album), Vadim Veeremaa (trumpet French horn), Oleg Davidovitch (trombone, guitar, backing vocals), Vitaly Redchits (drums).
François Couture from All Music Guide says this about their sound:
"Blending punk energy with the complexity of true progressive rock (think Henry Cow), occasional funk rhythms and Balkanese folk melodies, the sextet displayed tremendous amounts of energy on stage."

Until the release of their first album, "Rhinoceroses And Other Forms Of Life" in 1990 (recorded 1989), they performed all around the country and the then still existing USSR. Due to them achieving much popularity they were offered to record an album through the ADM label in the Netherlands and got permission to travel there for that purpose in 1989. During the chaos of the fall of the Soviet regime, in the atmosphere of uncertainty, the band couldn't tour, Nedzvetsky quit the band and Soybelman moved to Israel and then to Switzerland. In 1991 they released She - Ye - Ye which was a collection of older material). When matters seemed to resume to normal they resumed their activities, toured and recorded "Hey, Driver, Cool Down The Horses" and it was released through RecRec (Europe) and Feelee (Russia) in 1994. Their first album was also released on CD through AYAA (France) in 1993. Their peak, was in 1995 with the release of "Whatever Happens, Twist" (again, through RecRec). During this time they toured and performed in festivals throughout Europe and even one show in a festival in Canada. In 1997 they released the live album "Live Rarities Vol. 1" and in 1998 their collaboration album "Pollo d'oro" with the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet. At that point members took interest in their own personal musical paths: Soybelman with Kletka Red and his solo career; Komarov with Les Halmas; and the trio of Kulagin, Davidovitch, and Redchits with their R&B group, BBX.
Though they are still active as a band and perform, they have not released any new material in recent years.


Sources for this bio:
- The band's bio from All Music Guide as written by François Couture.
- Band pages in the No Man'd Land label website....
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NE ZHDALI Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy NE ZHDALI Music


Rhinoceroses And Other Forms Of LifeRhinoceroses And Other Forms Of Life
No Man's Land
Audio CD$24.29
Whatever Happens, Twist !Whatever Happens, Twist !
No Man's Land
Audio CD$24.29
Live Rarities - Volume OneLive Rarities - Volume One
No Man's Land
Audio CD$6.39
$9.24 (used)
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NE ZHDALI shows & tickets


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NE ZHDALI discography


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NE ZHDALI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.96 | 4 ratings
Rhinoceroses And Other Forms Of Life
1990
2.96 | 4 ratings
She-Ye-Ye
1991
3.83 | 3 ratings
Hey Driver, Cool Down The Horses
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Whatever Happens, Twist
1995
2.95 | 2 ratings
Pollo d'Oro
1997

NE ZHDALI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Tokyo, Nov.25, 1998
1999

NE ZHDALI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NE ZHDALI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Rarities Vol.1
1997

NE ZHDALI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NE ZHDALI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hey Driver, Cool Down The Horses by NE ZHDALI album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.83 | 3 ratings

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Hey Driver, Cool Down The Horses
Ne Zhdali RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by OT Räihälä

4 stars Ne Zhdali's third studio album Hey Driver, Cool Down The Horses is a strong effort in the best RIO tradition. This Tallinn-based Estonian band consists mostly of Russo- Estonians, and where there are sung lyrics, they are in Russian.

Just as many other RIO bands, Ne Zhdali expand their instrumentation with brass and various percussion. The result is a nice blend that in certain passages brings the Balkan disco of today into mind. There are also some similarities between them and early Aksak Maboul, and Henry Cow is another obvious godfather. Ne Zhdali have subsequently influenced later RIO bands like Höyry-kone (although I'm not sure they had heard Ne Zhdali).

Most of the tracks are really nice, and the ones that stand out for me are the opener Chrysantemums and the swinging Poitiers. Unfortunately I don't speak Russian, and cannot comment on the lyrics, but the nature of the music is often humorous even without any vocals at all.

I recommend Hey Driver, Cool Down The Horses to anybody who appreciates a good old RIO album!

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 Tokyo, Nov.25, 1998 by NE ZHDALI album cover Live, 1999
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Tokyo, Nov.25, 1998
Ne Zhdali RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Final Ne Zhdali album, live recordings from Tokyo concert in 1998. Band's swan song, and obviously their best release. Started as punkish semi acoustic minimalist band in early 90-s, this Estonian band became one of most respectable band from former Soviet Union territories. Their music became different - explosive, much more complex, still with punk roots, but full of screaming guitars, a bit dark and melancholic modern progressive avant-punk.

For those familiar with Japanese punk-avant from late 90-s it is strange and interesting how much this Ne Zhdali concert sound similar to domestic bands! Main difference is still huge dose of Eastern European melancholic melodies and klezmer elements in music.

Few years later (in 1991) band's guitarist Leonid Soybelman will immigrate to Israel, than - to Switzerland and in Berlin. There he will establish his another noisy band - Kletka Red, but it will be another story yet...

If you are new with Ne Zhdali - start with this album.

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 She-Ye-Ye by NE ZHDALI album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.96 | 4 ratings

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She-Ye-Ye
Ne Zhdali RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After their debut, Ne Zhdali's second album is some development of same sound. Piano player Avi Nedzvetsky left the band, and sextet loosed it's classic/jazz element at all. From now their main sound is same DIY combination of mostly acoustic punk-rock energy, Russian urban folklore and avant. There they sing few songs on this album (in Russian, texts are nonsense based on Russian streetwise themes).

Whole sound became more sharp, more explosive, it's obvious musicians feel comfortable now in their music and atmosphere. Still minimalist recording, but with more professional and complex arrangements. Early form of Eastern European punkish avant. Few last album's songs contains heavier electric guitar soloings and some psychedelic influences though.

Some improvement comparing with heir debut and more punkish direction at the same time. Interesting, but still far from great recording.

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 Rhinoceroses And Other Forms Of Life by NE ZHDALI album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.96 | 4 ratings

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Rhinoceroses And Other Forms Of Life
Ne Zhdali RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Debut Estonian band's Ne Zhdali album is very atmospheric minimalist recording. By it's sound it's very similar to classic Bill Frisell's Americana/fusion recordings. Leonid Soybelman is capable guitarist, and after some years he will become one of the best former-USSR avant prog guitarist, but there he is still too safe and only shows some blueprint of his later explosive guitar works.

Music is guitar based, and cold be tagged as " DIY guitar fusion played by avant musicians". Musicianship isn't complex, but more dissonant, with some unusual time signatures and sound jams. But all " avant" elements are added in small dose, it looks, that freaky musicians tried to record album for " normal" listener. As a result all album is quite accessible listening, but too simple for jazz fusion (and in fact has it roots in quite different music), and at the same time too "normal" for being avant records. Some first elements of klezmer and Russian modern urban folk are added; they will become more important on band's later recordings.

Interesting album for fans and researchers, not such attractive for casual listener. Still 3 in my scale.

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 Pollo d'Oro by NE ZHDALI album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Pollo d'Oro
Ne Zhdali RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Split album of American avant-jazz Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet and Estonians Ne Zhdali is last to date release of the later band. Released on grants, there was not too much time for preparing the material, and the listener will easy feel it.

Ne Zhdali by it's nature always was live show avant band, combining circus, klezmer and free jazz elements. With addition of American fee-jazz Quartet, the music became even more chaotic. The first comparison is coming on mind listening to this album is Zorn's Masada or Frank London NY downtown klezmer based free jazz. But....

If Zorn's outside free chaotic sound has very complex inside logic, and Frank London's jazz-klezmer has strong roots, this split album sounds more like not very successful imitation. Separate pieces are really great, but the main problem is there is no logic or structure or concept in this recording at all!

In fact, all compositions sound as just jamming, combining downtown free jazz elements and Ne Zhdali usual klezmer cabaret. Without any idea or concept. For sure, we are on the such musical genre's territory, where it is difficult to use regular categories, as structure. But - everyone with interest to Zorn's music will confirm, that even under the chaotic skin you can feel something, what connect sounds, melodies and noises together. And nothing is connected on Pollo d'Óro.Or let say - it's more punk-klezmer free jazz, attaractive in moments sounds and forms without having too much under the skin.

Still interesting album for free-avant jazz music and klezmer - punk lovers though.

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