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Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project - Adventures at the Babooinumfest 2017 CD (album) cover

ADVENTURES AT THE BABOOINUMFEST 2017

Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project

Eclectic Prog


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TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars 'Rozmainsky and Mikhaylov Project' is a band comprised of the title members Ivan Rozmainsky keyboardist (also from 'Roz Vitalis') and Vladmir Mikhaylov, guitarist and bass guitarist. Also on this album are Leonid Perevalov taking the bass line on the Bass Clarinet for most of the tracks, and Yuri Goiser on drums. All of the tracks, except for the last one, are recorded at 3 different Babooinumfest shows in 2017 in Saint Petersburg and Vladimir, Russia. The tracks are comprised of some live interpretations of existing tracks taken from their 'For the Light' album, and new structured and improvised performances. The music is a psychedelic, jazz fusion that are sometimes inspired by early Pink Floyd improvised tracks and other times very unique sounding, especially with the bass clarinet playing an important part in much of the music.

'Dedication to the Floydian Sun' is definitely a homage to 'Pink Floyd'. After a mid-tempo beat is established, the bass takes on a similar bassline to 'Run Like Hell' and the bass clarinet takes on the improvisation spotlight, later followed by guitar and keyboards taking turns and then playing together.

'A Flower in the Smoke' uses a plodding and heavy basis to begin a more dirge-like track. The organ takes over and drives the music forward as the percussion stops all together, but returns later, this time with wild guitar effects. 'Coming of the Troubled Water' uses what is usually a light-hearted meter of 6 / 8 to created a waltz-like atmosphere for a mostly dark guitar led excursion. This later changes to a 4 / 4 meter and later a free meter, as things get atmospheric and a bit experimental.

'The Thing in the Light' begins with a solo keyboard. Later a foundation is established in a complex 7 / 8 meter. A psychedelic feel swirls around as guitars take the lead around a single note organ drone as drums and bass clarinet hold the foundation. 'My Soul Melteth for Heaviness' sees a return to a Floydian style with an organ playing in the style of older PF music but soon a churning guitar creates some intensity. This sort of reminds me of the last movement of 'Saucerful of Secrets', but that bass clarinet always comes across as a pleasant surprise that makes the sound unique for this band.

'A Dedication to the Babooinumfest' is specifically improvised track for the musical festivals that this album is recorded from. This one is a jazz fusion improvisation that works out quite well. The free form feel of this track makes it go wandering of into some very interesting directions at times, sometimes the keys, guitars and percussion increasing or decreasing in tempo together with hardly any warning. It is pretty amazing how all of the musicians can stay on point with all the changes in tempo. Some places get rather chaotic too as the stretch boundaries into avant-prog territory.

'A Flowered Withered' returns to a more structured track starting off led by an almost calliope sounding keyboard. Suddenly some really strange effects come in and later the keys start to plunk out some strange harmonies and melody lines. 'Return of the Troubled Waters' visits PF sounding psychedelia, again sounding like 'Saucerful' again. Things soon turn to a more tightened sound as keys take over. 'The Light of Things' sees the guitar taking a more melodic line this time, but later the clarinet takes over the spotlight.

'And a Heaviness Fell from My Soul' starts out giving the clarinet the spotlight again while the guitars and keys chime along making for a glittery atmosphere. Later, the steady percussion falls off and things become more free jazz and psychelic- like. 'Forsake Me Not' is the last track and is the only one not recorded at any of the Babboinumfest shows, although it is still a live track. The bass line is again inspired by early Pink Floyd psychedelia. Shimmering keys support the guitar and the clarinet that keep taking the improvised, melodic line from each other.

Overall, I find this album quite enjoyable and unique, even with the sometimes heavy leanings on early Pink Floyd sound. For live performances, these tracks are surprisingly tight as far as how the band plays. The first several tracks are well done and seem to be full performances, but I couldn't help but feel during some of the later tracks, that they were only partial performances, especially on the shorter tracks. This is a fairly minor issue however. The music is quite well done, and so is the recording, plus the album cover is really beautiful and colorful, for the most part, everything is quite well put together and should appeal to lovers of psychedelic, free form jazz fusion with a lot of experimentation and interesting effects.

Report this review (#2118885)
Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you're looking for some engaging, contemplative, slow-moving space jams, you've come to the right place. I was unfamiliar with the Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project until they approached me and asked me to review their latest release, "Adventures at the Babooinumfest 2017". Many of the tracks on this album (1-4, 8-9) are live adaptations from their studio release "For the Light", while others (5-7, 10-11) appear to be new or on-the-spot improvisations. All tracks were recorded live at three Babooinumfest shows in 2017 (in Saint Petersburg and Vladimir).

The album clearly has lots of improvisational elements to it, so much so that I might be inclined say it was released by the Russian equivalent of Oresund Space Collective. The tracks are low-energy, slow (typically 70-80 BPM), un-intrusive, contemplative grooves with few melodic elements that would incline the listener to hum along or play air guitar. Nothing here will jolt the listener, but there is enough forward-leaning groove to keep you engaged, and the musicianship is first rate. It's a good album for an afternoon of daydreaming while basking in the dappled sunlight illuminating a comfy hammock on the banks of a lazy river. My only complaint is that the tracks are all fairly short -- 6 minutes or less, except for the final track which clocks in at nearly 7 minutes. For a live album, the recording quality is top-notch. You would not know it was live until the applause kicks in at the end of each track. The final two tracks, for me, are the best on the album. They appear to be new pieces, so I'm looking forward to hear how this project evolves. A solid three stars.

Report this review (#2119306)
Posted Friday, January 18, 2019 | Review Permalink
jamesbaldwin
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It's my first time with Russian prog, and I'm happy to write a review on a new, enticing, contemporary and very stimulating music.

The first instrumental piece, "A Dedication to the Floydian Sun" (5:24, vote 7,5/8), is very epigonic but interesting. The sounds that cross it go from the psychedelia of the first Floyds to the gloomy sound of The Wall. At some point the bass player Vladimir Mikhaylov plays a phrasing that seems a cross between "Another Brick in The Wall" and "Run Like Hell". The track is quite enjoyable.

The second song, "A Flower in the Smoke" (5:22, vote 7,5) is dominated by the electric piano played by Ivan Rozmainsky. It's a good ballad. "Coming of the Troubled Waters" (3:57, vote 7,5) is more difficult but even more original than the firsts two songs. Leonid Perevalov's bass clarinet gives to it an avanguarde mood.

"The Thing in The Light" (4:48, vote 7+) is more psychedelic thanks to the guitar of Mikhaylov and the use of drums, played by Yurii Groiser in a wild way. In the background the synth (even if they sound like keyboards), then comes the clarinet. While not achieving high climax moments, the music is held on high quality levels. The audience applauds and rejoices between one song and another. "My Soul Melteth for Heaviness" (3:00, vote 7+) is shorter and still psychedelic (Floyds are around the corner). "A Dedication to the Babooinumfest" (6:02, vote 8) are six minutes of jazz improvisation, where the work of all the players is clear heard, in particular there are virtuosic moments on the electric piano and the drums. The sound ranges up to the heavy.

"A Flower Withered" (2:45, vote 8) is again very sustained. both the rhythm and the quality have risen, reaching more involving moments. The electric piano is rising to dominate the sound of the group, which is closer and closer to heavy psychedelia. In some passages they also remind me of the Quatermass. "Return of the Troubled Waters" (3:25, vote 7,5): again the keyboard player dominates this song, where the guitar is distorted into increasingly sophisticated sounds. The shorter "The Light of Things" (2:16, vote 7+) is finally characterized by the sound of the guitar, and sees the return of the clarinet.

"And a Heaviness Fell from My Soul" (5:28, vote 8): the piece has a jazz performance especially at the beginning (great work on drums), and still enjoys the clarinet sound. The ending is particularly experimental, with dissonance. "Forsake Me Not" (6:53, vote 7) is more relaxed, less significant.

The album is enjoyable, well played, and well recorded (live at a festival). The group manages to maintain a homogeneous and good music throughout the album, with a peak in the middle. Despite being all instrumental and dominated by a few instruments, not tired, thanks to its particular mix of psychedelic, heavy rock dominated by keyboards, and jazz passages. The sound is characteristic thanks to the particular use of the various instruments and the presence of the clarinet.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,55. Vote album: 8. Rating: Three (and a half) Stars.

Report this review (#2120451)
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | Review Permalink
Kempokid
COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This album is one that I never would have reviewed if not for the fact that it was a request. The reasons for this are that as well as this being from a band I had never heard of, and likely would not have discovered, it's also a live album, which are usually massive turn offs for me. When it comes down to it, I am quite grateful for such a request, because this album turned out to be great. The sound quality and production is great, and the mostly improvisational style of the tracks works well on a live album. As for the songs themselves, I find them to be quite exceptional for the most part, being plodding, slow, psychedelic jams with some really great emphasis on the bass clarinet during the majority of the highest points on the album.

The tracks on the album all have a fairly consistent, psychedelic sound to them, which makes this album fairly easy to listen to and simply tune out to while the mostly calm music just plays on. 'A Dedication To The Floydian Sun' is a fairly obvious homage to 'Pink Floyd'. I find the bass clarinet here to be quite good and the way it adds more elements of guitar near the end to be well executed and enjoyable to listen to. 'A Flower In The Smoke' is one of my favourite songs on the album, starting off with a consistent beat and some really fun use of the electric piano, before continuing nicely throughout with a decent guitar line. The next track, 'Coming of the Troubled Waters' becomes somewhat more interesting with last 20 seconds of the song heavily using soundscapes, making for some great, trippy atmosphere that then carries over to the next track, which has its one minute intro solely use the electric piano with a lot of reverb, further having the listener become enraptured in the atmosphere. I like the post- rock vibe the next couple of minutes have, almost sounding like the first album of 'Magyar Posse' at points in the repetitive groove that slowly changes and becomes more powerful, until the final portion of the song uses the electric piano to sound like an organ, which does sound quite pleasant. I really love the slightly eerie tone 'My Soul Melteth For Heaviness has', with some really cool sounding interplay between the bass clarinet and guitar. 'A Dedication To The Babooinumfest' is the improvisational peak of the album for sure, with each instrument having compelling sections that both sound great, and are also quite skillful as well, with the couple of freakout moments on it being quite short and adding a lot to the track, rather than taking away as they often can do if they go on for too long. I enjoy the fact that the next two tracks borrow elements from the songs that share parts of the same title as them, as I always do find reprises such as these to be quite entertaining as long as they aren't overused. 'The Light of Things' is a short, fun track with heavy emphasis on the bass clarinet. 'And A Heaviness Falls From My Soul' stands as the single weak point on the album for me, as I really don't find too much about it to grab me in any particular way. It is fortunate that the final song, 'Forsake Me Not' easily makes up for this slight misstep, utilising both bass guitar and standard clarinet, having some incredibe moments throughout, both due to the grooviness of the bassline, and due to the subtle melodic elements scattered throughout, especially with the clarinet.

Overall, I find this album to be very high quality, with almost every track being extremely compelling and entertaining, which can be quite tough to do, given the nature of the sound that is achieved on here. It isn't quite worth 5 stars, simply because there were very few points in which I was truly 'wowed' by it, but it was undoubtedly wholly enjoyable nonetheless, and I'll definitely be sure to check out any future works by this band.

Best Songs: A Flower In The Smoke, A Dedication To The Babooinumfest, Forsake Me Not

Weakest Songs: And A Heaviness Fell From My Soul

Verdict: I do find this to be an album that would be fairly easy to enjoy on some level, as long as the listener enjoyed instrumental music, as none of this is particularly challenging, with most of the music being quite soft and pleasant, with fairly short songs in general, the only issue being that by the end, it can start to feel quite tiring, despite the great closing track. Definitely worth a listen in my opinion.

Report this review (#2120592)
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | Review Permalink
Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars First of all my thanks to the band for asking me to review this album.

Rozmainsky and Mikhaylov Project (RMP) is a band from Russia, formed by Ivan Rozmainsky on keyboards and Vladimir Mikhaylov on bass and guitars, here supported by Leonid Perevalov on clarinets and Yurii Groiser on drums. This is a live album capturing some of their performances at the 2017 Babooinumfest festival, consisting of some songs from their debut 'For the Light' plus some new cuts, except the last track which is also live but not from those shows.

The sound is very clear for a live recording, of course lacking the production of a studio album but still with a very direct sound where every instrument is clearly audible.

The style is psychedelic / space rock very much reminding of early Pink Floyd. Completely instrumental, most songs take some motif, some chord progression, and start developing it by adding or removing complexity, shifting the intensity with crescendos and diminuendos, playing solos with the different instruments, introducing breaks, switching the sounds used etc. The pace is for the most part slow to mid-tempo.

Most songs are not too long, between 3 and 5 minutes, and while the instrumental quality is good this is not music where virtuosism comes into play like in many other Jazz-Rock / Fusion albums. At any rate it is accessible music, nowhere dark nor too complex or intimidating. It is perfect as background music while we are doing something but also rewarding when we put on the headphones and simply lay back to relax and let our mind escape under the influence of the music.

Rozmainsky uses a lot of e-piano and organ and some sound effects, but probably the most distinctive feature is the comprehensive use of the clarinet, mostly its bass version.

Overall a very enjoyable album but without any 'Wow' factors.

Report this review (#2151581)
Posted Sunday, March 3, 2019 | Review Permalink
Neu!mann
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars In my review of the debut RMP album ("For the Light", 2017) I suggested that it might have suffered from the understandable growing pains of a promising new act still finding it musical feet. Which is why the band's new live album should have been welcome news, as an opportunity to hear the quartet shed its studio inhibitions and (hopefully) grow together as a group on stage.

Unfortunately, these concert recordings either predate or were concurrent with the sessions for their first album, and the same neophyte shortcomings (compositional na´vetÚ; the occasional clunky performance) were only emphasized when performed without the camouflage of studio production cosmetics.

The good news here is the abundance of new material, a lot of it written on the spot: an indication perhaps of where future Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Projects might be heading. The not-so-good news is their collective lack of improvisational chops, at least in these excerpts (from three different gigs). Live music should always carry an element of risk, and a little imprecision only shows the genuine human heartbeat of a true musician, unafraid to expose his faults alongside his virtues. But the often sloppy jamming in the latter half of the album doesn't flatter the otherwise engaging talent on display, with the lead-footed drumming in particular acting not unlike a ship's anchor dragging on the musical sea bed (imagine Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, only more so...)

Some bands are at their best when performing without a safety net, but it might be too soon to include RMP among their ranks. The proof is in the album's closing track, still live but more effectively recorded in the controlled environment of a recording studio, and easily eclipsing all the Babooinumfest material preceding it. Like all of RMP's music the curtain closer is cinematically instrumental, highlighting Vladimir Mikhaylov's punchy bass guitar and some droning, dreamy synth and electric piano interplay, not far removed from the more atmospheric currents of Krautrock.

And the name of the song? "Forsake Me Not", a title I will certainly take to heart when the next RMP effort - hopefully another studio album - crosses my radar.

Report this review (#2237141)
Posted Wednesday, July 10, 2019 | Review Permalink
3 stars Acid/Psychedelic/Free-Form/Progressive Electronic/Fusion/Reverie'

Yes, I don't know what the heck this is!

And that's ok.

After all, progressive music ought to push the borders from time to time, right?

This is a capture of live performances at festivals in Russia, yet I think there's more going on here.

I'll call it 'spiritual reverie', maybe even 'worship'-

Through layers of keyboard sounds- electric piano, clavinet, organ; guitar sliding, musing, singing; deep, plodding, droning bass guitar lines; drumming that sometimes nails down a simple, forceful groove and other times goes wild; and of all things bass clarinet squalling, noodling, screeching'

'in almost a Gregorian Chant kind of way the listener is brought into other realms, almost like meditation'

'through repetitions, droning octave lines, and increasingly urgent calls and responses among guitar, keyboards, clarinet, and who-knows-what.

'Live' is devilishly hard to capture:

For me anyway, live albums often suffer in comparison with studio recordings in which musicians get to obsessively craft and create exactly the sounds and moods they wish to capture.

Live performance, on the other hand, is notoriously hard to manage, and recording it is a challenge as well- who knows what the wind will do, the heat, the audience, the equipment?

Yet here we have seasoned musicians creating moods on the fly

Most often the keyboards start things off, then others enter, spar, add to, deviate from, at times in dissonant jarring tones, and sometimes quietly powerful.

Somehow as the album progresses, things fly more and more into the ozone of challenge, dis-harmony, near frenzy and chaos.

IF spiritual reverie it is, as I am suggesting, it is a spirituality that pokes, challenges, prods, pummels, demands, wails, and whines- as well as soothing and uplifting.

Conclusion

These tracks yanked me around, moved me, calmed me, agitated me, annoyed me, and amused me.

I'd say that's a win.

3.5 whirling-dervish encounters

Report this review (#2240566)
Posted Sunday, July 28, 2019 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars The summer of 2017 saw the third Babooinumfest take place in St. Petersburg. Eleven bands from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Vladimir took part in the two-day event which included the debut live performance of the St. Petersburg- Vladimir collective Rozmainsky & Mikhaylov Project (RMP), which has now been released as an album. Keyboard player Ivan Rozmainsky (Roz Vitalis) and guitarist/bassist Vladimir Mikhaylov (Enine, Algabas) were joined by clarinetist Leonid Perevalov (Yojo, Pustotsvet) and drummer Yurii Groiser and released their debut album, 'For The Light', in the same year. When looking just at the song titles it appears there isn't any crossover between the two but given that these are improvised works perhaps that isn't surprising.

For the most part the sound is very good, although the drums aren't quite in the space they need to be and I'm not sure if that is down to the production or how they were set up, while the clarinet isn't as to the fore as it should be at times. For the most part the ears are concentrated on the interplay between Rozmainsky and Mikhaylov, and the guitar sound in particular is very clear and distinct. Given the band were new, and hadn't performed live prior to this, perhaps it isn't surprising there are times when they lose their way. When they get it right then they are very good indeed, but when they lose the musical thread it can be heard for them to pick it up again. Pursuing a musical area often thought of as belonging to the likes of Art Zoyd, this is an album showing promise, so given that both this and the studio album are now two years old I look forward to the next release with interest.

Report this review (#2251231)
Posted Saturday, September 14, 2019 | Review Permalink

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