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CIOLKOWSKA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Russia


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Ciolkowska biography
Formed in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2012

CIOLKOWSKA is a new band from St. Petersburg/Russia. In 2014 the quartet self-released a promising EP consisting of three well conceived songs which are showing them underway in psychedelic/space rock territories basically, additionally decorated with native folk flair as well as post and art rock elements. Hopefully there will come more from this band soon.

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CIOLKOWSKA discography


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

4.40 | 15 ratings
Pistolet Budushchego
2015
3.68 | 12 ratings
Avtomat Proshlogo
2018
3.35 | 8 ratings
Психоделия (Psychedelia)
2020

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

4.00 | 5 ratings
At The Height Of The Trees
2014
4.50 | 2 ratings
Kley
2019

CIOLKOWSKA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Психоделия (Psychedelia) by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.35 | 8 ratings

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Психоделия (Psychedelia)
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

Even as I drift further into 2021, somehow I'm still stuck in 2020. Well, that's not entirely true, as I have been listening to a lot of music from 2021, but I continue to find gems I missed from the year before, and this short album from Russians Ciolkowska, Психоделия, is certainly one of those gems. A brightly shining psychedelic gem in the sky for Lucy to gaze upon, with many facets sparkling with different colours. A little space rock here, some avant there, and maybe even a little hint of post rock at times. It must be post something, though, because it definitely delivers! And despite Germany and Russia not having had a particularly cordial history, the eastern tinged Russian psychedelia at times appears to take influence from the West German bands of the original Krautrock scene. The music sounds at the same time both ancient and modern, retro and contemporary.

One of the first things you'll hear is that the ukulele is a prominent highlight in Ciolkowska's sound, and it's an absolute delight. The use of staccato picking on ukulele and guitar gives both a folky and post-rock feeling to much of the music. It's often - somehow - both delicate and dissonant, the way a lot of folk music from Russia and surrounding countries is. A lot of folk music from this part of the world makes use of microtones, which can sometimes sound off-key to Western ears. One of my favourite albums from last year was Giorgi Mikadze's Georgian Microjamz which put a modern spin on traditional Georgian folk, highlighting the microtonality in all its glory. Психоделия is nowhere near as challenging as Mikadze's album, and it's almost poppy in its own off-kilter manner. As poppy as it might be, though, the sense of the strange and foreign is ever-present.

Ciolkowska's sound is quite unique, not just by its instrumentation and composition, but its structure. The rhythm section often seems to be working independently from the ukulele and guitar, coming together through synchronicity rather than design. The vocals float in and out as if they are yet another coincidental occurrence. This description may give the impression that I'm not a fan, but I actually mean the opposite. I love the way the band makes music in this disparate manner. It makes the music feel very fresh and spontaneous, even if has been meticulously composed, rather than improvised. And actually, when it comes down to it, I'm not sure how much the music is composed, and how much is improvised. The band's origins are in improvisational jams, so it's easy to believe they still do this ? but Психоделия seems too concise and succinct to contain much improvisation.

Психоделия is the first album I'd heard from Ciolkowska, so I made sure to explore their back catalogue. And in comparison to what precedes it, Психоделия is remarkably restrained and delicate ? yet somehow still manages to take all they have done in the past and make it into a perfectly packaged, and potentially more palatable product. It has all the eccentricity, innovation, dynamics and experimentation, but in a more listener-friendly format. Unfortunately, for me, that just leaves me wanting more. I usually say there is no right or wrong length for an album, and that a good album is as long as it needs to be - whether that be half an hour, or two hours. But this is a good album that would be better if it were longer, and almost leaves me frustrated when I realise I've reached the end and there is no more. I can't remember the last time I said that, and in a way I guess it's more of a compliment than a criticism.

As a taster for Ciolkowska's sound, Психоделия provides a convenient entry point. It packs a lot of variety into its short time span, and has a quite immediate and accessible sound. In a way, its short length works to its advantage, as it is incredibly hard not to put it straight back on again once it's finished. The repeated listens definitely pay off, because for all the immediacy, there is a lot more to the music than one might notice after just one play through. The music of Ciolkowska is subtle, and packs a lot of depth and heaviness into what might initially seem fairly sparse and simple. There is so much expression in all the instrumentation - perhaps more so than in the vocals. I find myself carried away by it, without realising it. Психоделия is a multi-layered psychedelic delight, and if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play it again.

 Психоделия (Psychedelia) by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.35 | 8 ratings

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Психоделия (Psychedelia)
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars St. Petersburg-based quartet Ciolkowska are back with their eighth release, just two years after 'Avtomat Proshlogo'. Unlike the last album there are no guests on this release, and they have also on board a new bassist, so the line-up now is Egor Svysokihgor (vocals, guitars), Alesya Izlesa (ukulele), Alexandr Monah (bass) and David Aaronson (drums). They describe themselves as "Music in the style of space rock. We make a sound, as if a star curtain falls on the Russian expanses." I am not too sure of that to be honest, as while this does have some space rock influences at times, it is far more psychedelic, although also mixed at times with the likes of Foo Fighters. It is not only the vocals, which are often off key, which makes one realise this is not a Western album as the ukulele is an important part of the overall sound, not something one often hears in rock groups.

It is an eccentric release, with lots of picking from both ukulele and guitar, with the music often far more melodic than the vocals, which drags the material back. The band sound happier when they are working in a purely instrumental aspect, and in that respect some of the songs are actually quite poppy with hooks, such as second track "Коврижки (Gingerbreads)" which contains some elements of Talking Heads. Monah has certainly settled in with the band, providing some very strong basslines, but there overall there are too many times when the rhythm section seem quite separate from the rest of what is going on, as they are controlled and dynamic while the ukulele and guitars are quite strident and staccato, and just don't work with the vocals. It is an album which is going to polarise listeners, and while I think I understand what they are trying to achieve this just does not work for me.

 Психоделия (Psychedelia) by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.35 | 8 ratings

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Психоделия (Psychedelia)
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams

4 stars A comfortable space rock from Russia.

A Russian act Ciolkowska have been active since 2014 for launching their own space rock products. This album "Психоделия (Psychedelia)" released in 2020 represents decent space rock leaning towards an authority Hawkwind, and guitar-oriented dissonant but pleasant sound compote, just as the title says. Colourful mind-friendly sound architecture, with Russian folksy texture here and there (at least upon my ear), is quite accomplished and technically organized. Beautiful, acceptable melody lines are merged with serious, discordantly harmonized construction. Well of course, I'd like you to listen to this stuff enough with relaxing yourself at first.

To illustrate the musical point above mentioned, please let me recommend the first shot "Клей (Glue)" filled with uptempo comfortable psychic, psychedelic agency plus somewhat eccentricity and discrepancy. Via this melodic mixture you will be driven into another higher dimension. The quartet-oriented dreamy artistic delivery is  full of expectation. On the other hand, "Махавишну (Mohavishnu)" brings about gentle, mellow melody figure like a quiet green lake. Their spacey appearance should be consistent but atmospheric kaleidoscopes via every content of theirs are enchanting from the beginning to the very end.

Worth listening to this fantasy not only for psych / space fans but also for all of progressive rock followers.

 Avtomat Proshlogo by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 12 ratings

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Avtomat Proshlogo
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Russian band CIOLKOWSKA started out back in 2012, and the band have half a dozen releases to their name in the 7 years that have passed since the band was formed. Their most recent album at the point of writing is "Avtomat Proshlogo", which was released on the Russian [addicted label]) in 2018.

Those who fancy a slice of innovative, creative and ever so slightly eccentric psychedelic rock should take note of this album by Russian band Ciolkowska. While this isn't music that strikes me as having a vastly broad appeal, the at times challenging nature of the material a limiting factor in that context, those who tend to treasure demanding and eclectic psychedelic progressive rock should find many moments of joy on this CD.

 Avtomat Proshlogo by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 12 ratings

BUY
Avtomat Proshlogo
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Russian act Ciolkowska first came together in 2012 as a result of a jam between Egor Svysokikhgor (guitars), Vano Ayvazyan (bass, keyboards) & Kirill Tsarkov (drums), and took their name from Russian space scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Over the years they have primarily concentrated on improvisation, and until 2016 all of their material was self-released. However, they then signed with noname records who released this album towards the end of 2018. By this time Tsarkov had departed and the drum seat was now occupied by David Aaronson, while they had become a quartet with the addition of Alesya Izlesa on ukulele, while they also used guest Aleksey Gorshkov on trumpet.

Recorded live at Dobrolet Studio in St.Petersburg, this is an incredibly varied album. It is intricate, complex, and certainly not for the fainthearted as while fans of Can and Art Zoyd will certainly get a great deal from it, these guys are trying to move the avant garde into even more complex and diverse areas. It can be dreamy, almost space rock, with gently picked acoustic guitar combining with trumpet to create a mood, or it can be driving. "108" even contains a repeated chant much in the vein of Hari Krishna devotees, but if you listen to the words being chanted then you may well be in for a surprise. Let's just say they are invoking the mighty gods of the late Sixties as opposed to any more recognised religious being, although all those being named were indeed touched by genius and whose flame burned very bright indeed and for far too short a period.

It isn't an easy album to listen to, and I must confess it took me at least three attempts before I managed to get inside it, but once I had I was intrigued by what was being produced. Ayvazyan has a gentle touch on the bass, and it is often he who keeps everything pinned and moving forward, as this while there is still undoubtedly an improvised element these songs are far more structured than many working in this environment, and the use of vocals on some of the numbers only strengthens that. This is certainly well worth investigating for those who enjoy music pushing boundaries.

 Avtomat Proshlogo by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.68 | 12 ratings

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Avtomat Proshlogo
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars You can hear that CIOLKOWSKA are deriving from the Russian Federation. What may surprise one or two anyhow - they have developed a rather eclectic approach in recent years. The stylistical fundament is obvious, the arrangements though are definitely sophisticated, more than what one normally would expect from a common psychedelic space rock band. Let's say ... due to a strict structure, diverse tempo changes, twists and turns, as well as unusual instruments and a sublime atmosphere. Just for your entertainment, okay? There is a trumpet aboard now too, but not solely Aleksey Gorshkov will add a proper jazzy touch to some songs. Just take the speedy My Iz Dzhaza for example, which shows the whole band off the beaten path.

The nine tracks are focussed on the instrumental scope, vocals are not always given. If so, then truely presented in many variants, partially also via sample, or in narrative form. Not to forget, somewhat spectacular of course is the presence of an electrified ukelele, played by Alesha Izlesa, and this since the band's very beginning. What ultimately serves an ethnic vibe, akin to Slovo Mira's balalaika. Furthermore, due to punchy drums and bass, the songs generate strength and power again and again. And then Yegor Svysokihgor shows the complete expression on his guitars, from soaring to acid, melancholic to heavy. Simply fabulous!

I will pick up another example here, more close to a jam, the inspired 108 shows some funny (freestyle?) vocals, in some way referencing Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and others. Goal accomplished. Released digitally and on CD by addicted label noname666 'Avtomat Proshlogo' turns out to be a recommended purchase. Some may deprecate that two covers are taken for the song collection, they are adopted from other obscure Saint Petersburg based bands. Doesn't really matter, because I'm sure that most of us never ever will have listened to the originals beforehand.

 At The Height Of The Trees by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.00 | 5 ratings

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At The Height Of The Trees
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars This is the first step of a new russian, St. Petersburg based quartet named CIOLKOWSKA. A short but rather essential music collection, currently only available via download from their bandcamp page. Just for the reason that the recording quaIity does not fail at all and I really appreciate their output I would consider this a debut EP which consists of three songs. There's not much known about this band, but I'm quite sure this will change soon, if only they may have the impulse to act further.

The characteristic within the sound is a special dual guitar appearance. That means on one hand we have a more common - though surely excellent - psychedelic/space lead guitar work by Egor Svysokikhgor to state. And then Alesya Izlesa adds a valuable contrast, a fine native folk touch with her ukulele, this in a somewhat semi-acoustic manner. That will harmonize quite well and sometimes even sounds close to their fellow countrymen from Vespero.

This comparism is definitely valid, at least when it comes to the quality of the compositions. A surprising find - all four musicians yet are acting on a high level. 'At The Height Of The Trees' comes with 26 minutes of filigran and multi-layered psychedelic/space music, definitely attractive to genre fans.

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

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