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Shalash Band - Shalash CD (album) cover

SHALASH

Shalash Band

 

Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 16 ratings

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jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Also, like Kempokid and others, after receiving (with a private message) the request to review "ROZMAINSKY & MIKHAYLOV PROJECT - Adventures at the Babooinumfest 2017", published in last month, I received the request to review this album (Shalash, 2018) by the group keyboard player Dmitry Karavaev. And so, flattered, now I'm willingly willing to this burden. Notwithstanding, I am not an expert in Russian music, nor am I a lover of instrumental symphonic prog.

What do you listen to on this record? A drum and keyboard music, then with only two instruments, and without singing (apart from some recitative voice present in a few songs). It's therefore minimalist music, somewhat homogeneous, and ambient: halfway between EL & P and Brian Eno. In fact, I have listened to it as film music, or background music, that isn't very demanding music.

To please, to be appreciate, such minimalist music, which can't count on the arrangements or the voice, must have some ingredients: 1) good composition 2) good creativity / originality 3) good performance

The music of the Russian duo has all three qualities, in particular the second and the third. Of course the keyboard player has talent and creativity. The compositions (and melodies) are not memorable, but they are quite good.

The first song "54321 (3:51)" is pleasant, cheerful, well-marked. In the melody you hear something Slavic. Vote 7. The second, "12/8 (7:59)" eight minutes, begins as a slow ballad, but then has a sudden speeding up, the keyboard player enters a tour de force and then returns the ballad, at a faster pace than the initial one. Vote 7.5. The third one "V.S. (3:52)" has a rhythm and a pop mood, it seems like a nursery rhyme. The rhythm continues to change, the musicians do their best in virtuosity. Acrobatic. Paradoxical. 6.5.

"S.Z. (6:59)", seven minutes is one of the best songs of entire Lp: Vote: 8. Start and end psychedelic, central core very well rhythmic and engaging, great work of the drummer Maxim Smirnov. The fifth: "V (4:00)" is less convincing, too syncopated, Vote 7+. The sisxth piece, "R.N. (5:17)", opened by spoken words in Russian, gives a folk flavor to the song, which has some rhythmic passage similar to the polka. The voice returns in some situations to give a very characteristic Slavic folk dance color. Psychedelic final. Vote 7,5/8. Also the next song ("R.T. (5:23)") has a Slavic folk dance rhythm, then the song takes another direction, going towards an almost epic space rock final. Vote 7+.

So far Shalash Band have managed not to get bored while adopting a keyboard / drums music. Their music is listened to with pleasure.

"P (3:25)", is shortest but engaging. Vote 7,5. "W (4:44)" opens at a samba rhythm, then comes a noise piece, then samba come back. Very strange. Vote 7. The last song, "S (6:00) is more solid. It's like a miz between Pink Floyd and New Order. Spoken words, space rock atmosphere, and a heavy pulse. Vote 8.

Good music. Good creativity. Good ability to keep the listener's attention high without asking too much effort but also without giving him food made of too banal rhythms or melodies. Good balance between demdanding music and light music. It is made to listen with pleasure. Recommended for lovers of rock instrumental with psychedelic and folk inflections.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,375. Vote album: 7,75/8. Rating: Three Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |

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