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DISEN GAGE

Eclectic Prog • Russia


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Disen Gage picture
Disen Gage biography
Founded in Moscow, Russia in 1999

DISEN GAGE is a unique mixture of various genres of instrumental music , including fripp-rock, progressive, fusion, world-music,psychedelic and improvised spots.Formed in 1999,the duo-guitar quartet (Yuri Alaverdyan and Konstantin Mochalov - guitars, Nikolay Syrtsev - bass and later Eugeniy Kudryashov - drums) gained popularity in intellectual and student's communities.Being busy with their academic career in the Moscow Institute of Bio-Organic Chemisrty, the band members decided to stop their musical activity.Using rare chances, they managed to arrange few late-night sessions in 2002 in a studio to record a farewell cassette for their friends and fans (later Yuri has left the band to continue his academic career). To their luck, this material was remastered and released in 2004 by RAIG music as DISEN GAGE's debut album.It was an exciting CD for many progzines and progfans all over the world, musically compared with KING CRIMSON, DJAM KARET, OZRIC TENTACLES and others. New band's mamber Sergey Bagin (guitar) helped the band to progress from a guitar-oriented prog-rock outfit to a challenging avant-prog group. Intricate textures, atonal improvising, tough rhythms and riffs, gentle soundscaping, great sense of melody, remarkable individual skills and excellent sense of humour - those who like instrumental prog aesthetic will not be disappointed!

Prog-Jester (Igor)

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DISEN GAGE discography


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

3.92 | 36 ratings
The Screw-Loose Entertainment
2004
3.53 | 23 ratings
Libertage
2006
4.16 | 60 ratings
... The Reverse May Be True
2008
3.93 | 35 ratings
Snapshots
2016
3.41 | 11 ratings
Hybrid State
2017
3.16 | 16 ratings
Nature
2018
3.78 | 31 ratings
The Big Adventure
2019

DISEN GAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DISEN GAGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Equilibrium Trip
2016

DISEN GAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Big Adventure by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.78 | 31 ratings

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The Big Adventure
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I have been a fan of this Moscow-based band for some time now, but this is the first time I have come across a physical release, as they have now signed to the Addicted label, who proudly state that without a name or logo, support all types of psychedelic music, formed in Moscow in 2011. They have set me quite a few albums to work though so they will be reviewed at some point in the future. But back to Disen Gage, and the first thing I noticed even before putting it on is that there have been some significant changes in the band, with only Konstantin Mochalov still there from 'Nature', which in itself was a change from the previous line-up with only Anton Efimov still involved with Kostya. This change has seen quite a dramatic change in the overall sound, as while they are back to a four-man line- up with Konstantin (guitar and sound engineering), Eugeny Kudryashov (drums), Nikolai Syrtsev (bass) and Sergei Bagin (guitar and synth), they have definitely shifted so some of their music sounds almost mainstream progressive rock, which is a long way from where they were previously.

But although the guitar is far more front and central in this instrumental album than it has been previously, and there are far more commercial elements in some of their music, Disen Gage are still mixing in left field influences and sounds when they feel the urge. There are a few guests involved to assist in pushing the envelope, adding in some jazz lounge piano to 'Carnival Escape', or including some brass sounds, and who else but Disen Gage would feel that a piano accordion would be the accompaniment at times? Twenty years on from when Konstantin started working under this name with Yuri Alaverdyan, Disen Gage continue to delight. It will be interesting to see if people finding this album for the first time then work back through the catalogue, as if they do, they may well find themselves in for quite a surprise as here is a band who continue to push musical boundaries. This is a major shift from 'Nature', and certainly surprised me, but is a wonderful way to find a band who continue to do whatever they like, whether that is bringing in Russian folk, RIO, or more commercial elements. They refuse to conform, and it is all the better for it. This is not as challenging as previous albums, so hopefully more will discover what a great band they really are.

 The Big Adventure by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.78 | 31 ratings

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The Big Adventure
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by felonafan

5 stars This 46-minute release is not only a return to the Disen Gage prog-rock style, typical for the first four albums of the band (2004 - 2016), and not only a reminder that one of the best instrumental Russian ensembles continues to exist, although it does not play gigs.

'The Big Adventure' is one of the best releases in the entire 20-year history of this group. It is better than the two previous albums in the ambient / avant-garde style. Moreover, it is better than the very good 2016 'Snapshots' album which was based on the 'jam approach' (like the second album titled 'Libertage' (2006)). On the contrary, the newest release is characterized by a rigorous construction of compositions. In this aspect, it comes close to such landmark releases as 'The Screw-Loose Entertainment' (2004) and '... the Reverse May Be True' (2008). Each of the eight compositions of the album impresses with elaborate arrangements and thematic development, and each of them catches!

The best tracks are Chaos Point, Selfish Tango, Carnival Escape ' all these creatures are characterized by an unpredictable development and sharp changes in musical pictures. These compositions embody in the best possible way the main "principle" of the album: "from irony to sudden insights, from caustic irony to sudden grim frankness".

I would like to congratulate the group Disen Gage with undoubted creative success! The artistic level of her new album 'The Big Adventure' can be comparable with the level of the aforementioned '... the Reverse May Be True' release, which is deservedly considered as the 'essential highlight' of the band. 'The Bid Adventure' is one of the Albums of the Year.

 The Big Adventure by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.78 | 31 ratings

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The Big Adventure
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Disen Gage is a band that has never been afraid to try completely different things to make fine prog. I last listened to "Hybrid State", which was a spaced out take on the band's sound. This time, the group has focused on a particularly heavy sound that features various different sounds and guest instruments meant to distill into a single album the course of Disen Gage's now twenty year career. These turns include folk style accordion on "Adventurers", piano on "Chaos Point" and "Fin", with the former collapsing into free jazz style improv, and cello on "Enough". The driving rock of the band themselves is the most satisfying part of the record, which refuses to relent for the extra instruments. Personal favorites include "Chaos Point" and the horror of "Carnival Escape". Altogether, this is a great album that deserves a listen from anyone who loves harder edged prog and unique eclecticism.
 The Big Adventure by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.78 | 31 ratings

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The Big Adventure
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars 'Disen Gage' is a clever name for a Russian Eclectic Prog band that was formed in 1999. The original members were going to the university at the time and didn't have a lot of time for the music they wanted to play, however, and they could only play a gig every once in a while. Finally, in 2004, 'The Screw-Loose Entertainment' album was released, and since then, they have released 7 full length albums, concentrating mostly on instrumental music.

Their 7th album, 'The Big Adventure', was released in February, 2019. The album cover art is quite clever and makes you want to hear what it is all about. Konstantin Mochalov is on guitars, Eugeny Kudryashov on drums, Nikolai Syrtsev on bass, Sergei Bagin plays both guitars and keyboards. There are also other musicians playing other instruments featured on some of the tracks.

'Shiroyama' starts off the album with a clumping percussive sound with some metallic noises. Soon a solo guitar plays a sparse, yet dark introduction. 'Adventurers' begins with a guitar again, this time playing a more playful solo. This is soon joined by a whimsical rhythm which the rest of the band joins in. On the 2nd cycle of the theme, an accordion joins in to add to the jovial, yet chunky sound. It's all quite unique and interesting. Around 3 minutes things get a bit more serious as an atmospheric solo plays before the original rhythm takes a hold again as the guitar continues to play a really good solo.

'Chaos Point' enters in on a droning guitar that suddenly takes up a thumping rhythmic pattern with percussion. Later a trumpet joins in establishing a melodic theme which is later followed by piano, then things suddenly erupt into a chaotic section with the main instruments going into dissonant improvisation. Things switch from normal to chaos a few times, then the background gets heavier with a churning guitar and the piano playing along with it all. Later, things slip into a jazzy sound with the piano while the guitar continues to churn out dark chords. It's a rather interesting mix of styles. It almost gets into a circus-y feel when a few wordless vocals come growling along, but not for long. The Russian influence is felt in a sort of a traditional dance style, but the heavy guitar continues to churn along without ever overpowering the track.

'Enough' begins with a soft atmospheric sound as jangling effects echo around a soft guitar. There is a quick soft percussion added as things build a bit, then it settles in with a complex rhythmic pattern and Discipline-era KC guitar patterns. There is a guest celloist that adds another nice flavor to it all, and then a sudden heavy guitar solo comes in. 'All the Truth's Meeting' begins with a latin-dance style sound with a jazz flavor. A Spanish style guitar and brass effects from a synthesizer also give it a quasi-mariachi sound. At 3 minutes, an electric guitar plays a solo improvised off of the beat.

'Selfish Tango' has that tango beat, but sounds more like an island flair with the xylophone synth. Later however, it does sound more like a tango with a piano helping along with the guitar. The guitar is a little to metallic for a tango and gives it a clumsy feeling. The rhapsodic feel is a nice touch in some places. The last part of the track actually moves into a more boogie style which gives space for a rousing guitar solo.

'Carnival Escape' starts off with a bass guitar playing a spy-style solo with a mysterious feel. After a little while, you get that carnival style though, and a rather heavy guitar solo pushes things past the lounge jazz feel that threatens to take over. The carnival gets rather dark and dramatic in some places making you wonder if the title hints not about a carnival you might escape 'to' but one you want to escape 'from'. The synths perform an orchestral effect at one point before the guitars come back in and things actually become nicely dramatic. 'Fin' is the last track and begins with a soft piano solo. Later, an electric guitar contrasts with the simplicity of the piano. There is a little snippet of a ragtime jazz style at one point and a rhapsody at another. Then the band kicks in with a moderate rhythm for a short time before piano takes the lead again. Towards the end, the rhythm takes on a march style bringing the guitars back in for the big finish.

The album isn't too bad, in fact, there are a lot of nice surprises and touches of irony throughout the album. The unfortunate thing is the album at times seems a bit clumsy and I'm not sure that was on purpose. On the later tracks that utilize a synthesized brass section, things are a bit 'plastic' sounding because the effect is a bit overused. If there was going to be that much brass in it, it would have sounded much better to use a real brass section. It is a fun album at times however, and other times it is rather dark. The album is inconsistent in the mood it is trying to provoke, and its hard to tell if that is on purpose or not. But, the band is on the right track and maybe with a little more work, they can get the right sound and mix that they are shooting for.

 Nature by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.16 | 16 ratings

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Nature
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The latest-to-date curveball by the unpredictable Russian band Disen Gage is even more obscure than their 2017 live-in-the-science-lab soundtrack "Hybrid State", and easily earns my vote as the most difficult album of the year. But like all challenging music the effort needed to appreciate it makes the rewards more gratifying...especially to masochists.

This is a group (now just a duo) willing to sever all ties to conventional music-making and embrace more dangerous creative impulses: musique concrete, industrial noise, and all the environmental dissonance of their troubled homeland. The two remaining Disen Gagers - Konstantin Mochalov and Anton Efimov - are both listed as guitarists, but you'd be hard-pressed to hear anything resembling a traditional guitar anywhere over the album's three long sound-assemblies (you won't, under any circumstance, confuse them with 'songs').

The album opens with a shocking burst of interplanetary noise: the real thing, using documentary tapes from (according to the band) Iowa astronomers "converting strange signals coming from the orbit of Jupiter into audible sound palettes". Did they spot a mysterious black monolith circling the planet as well? The sense of cosmic disorientation would be no less startling...

The atonal cacophony lasts for 16+ minutes, at one point briefly incorporating background snippets of actual music (I hear a saxophone..!), credited to a "Zen Porno rock-band recorded in the vicinity of Jupiter" but possibly an outtake from an earlier Disen Gage session, back when the band was a legitimate group, performing on real musical instruments.

Next up is "Trains": a collage of metal-on-metal ambience recorded after hours at a Moscow railway station, the "fascinating sonic roulades emitted by the wagons" looped into a semblance of rhythm. There's really no comparison, but the harsh yet hypnotic effect recalls the uneasy slumber of Tangerine Dream's proto-ambient "Zeit", reduced to its elemental brain-wave basics.

"Animals" then combines the two preceding soundscapes into an unruly zoological sh!t-show, with a storm of bestial noises plundered from the natural world: check out the long, tongue-in-cheek guest list for the track. I'm reminded of something the early Residents might have spliced together, in their pre-eyeball mask adolescence...at least until it erupts suddenly into a raucous, Post-Everything rock loop, so over the top (when the wolves begin howling) that it's hard not to respond with astonished laughter.

In all, it's a unique and oddly compelling achievement, requiring yet another defense of the often misunderstood two-star ProgArchives grade. If five full stars acknowledge an essential masterpiece, two stars must be the connoisseur's rating: not a measure of relative quality, but a mark of distinction for albums aimed strictly at aficionados.

 Hybrid State by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Hybrid State
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Moscow band Disen Gage entered a new phase of musical evolution with this year 2017 oddity, credited to the group in name but in truth more of a side-project by guitarist Konstantin Mochalov, joined here by Anton Efimov and Daria Solovyeva. Two of them are part-time musicians; all three are scientists at the Laboratory of Nano-Bioengineering Physics, a branch of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhi).

The band now describes itself as a "musician association with a flexible participants crew". And the first recorded effort by the reduced ensemble is closer to R&D than to actual rock music, sounding very much like an extended improvisation by The Pink Floyd, circa 1967: drifting, untethered electric guitar drones, with Mochalov playing the (relatively) conventional notes and Efimov acting as the Interstellar Overdrive noisemaker.

In other words, the new album is a startling departure from the Eclectic Prog of previous Disen Gage albums. Initial listens didn't leave a strong impression: with little actual music to latch onto, the album can seem a trifle self-indulgent, and not in a good way. But subsequent replays are proving me wrong. These sinister ambient dioramas, so far removed from anyone's comfort zone (not least the nominal band itself) are like anti-matter twins of a Robert Fripp soundscape installation, trading the often symphonic beauty of the Crimson King's solo guitar mantras for a darker, more claustrophobic Russian aesthetic.

The album is divided into nine discrete tracks. But it's really a single, sustained performance, improvised by the guitar duo in the Moscow science lab where Ms. Solovyeva was at the same time calibrating "a novel design of a scanning probe microscope integrated with an ultramicrotome for serial block-face nanotomography" (quoting one of the academic papers about her research, and no: I don't understand a word of it either).

I only hope the MEPhi laboratory directors didn't catch them in the act. From the documentary evidence, accessible directly from the album's bar-code 'cover art', Mochalov and Efimov might be accused of goofing around with their electric guitars while Solovyeva did all the actual science. The experimental procedure, whatever its nanotomographic aims, looks very esoteric, and the soundtrack to the event is even more so. Despite the album's abbreviated length (barely 33-minutes), it can present a challenge to unwary listeners. But shouldn't that be the goal of all so-called progressive music?

 Hybrid State by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.41 | 11 ratings

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Hybrid State
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Disen Gage continue to be, at least for me, one of the most exciting bands coming out of Russia at the moment. They are determined to push the boundaries of music, and this is very much the case again with their 2017 release, 'Hybrid'. Here, the music itself has been created in a rather unusual manner, with this album actually being the soundtrack to a self-titled documentary where scientists make music in the course of an experimental procedure, and directly in the lab. Disen Gage feel that it requires from the participants a specific hybrid state of mind, and the result is hybridization of the two rather wide-apart aesthetics of art and science. The artwork is a QR code, which when scanned takes the listener/viewer to the documentary on YouTube.

This is Art Zoyd combined with Can, RIO and Krautrock being thrown together and then taken into new directions, eclectic in the extreme. But, there is also a New Age and Space Rock feel to proceedings, with a delicacy and other worldliness which is incredibly compelling and engaging. Disen Gage continue to make music that I find drawn to, even though I don't really have the words to describe it, with a strange music of electronics, guitar and bass. I find it completely enthralling, being taken on a journey in space and time, to a destination unknown. This release is currently available on their Bandcamp page for just $3 USD, and I urge anyone who wants to discover music at the cutting edge to discover more about the strange and unusual world of Disen Gage

 Nature by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.16 | 16 ratings

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Nature
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars When Kostya contacted me to let me know that there was a new Disen Gage album available I was of course excited as they are one of my favourite Russian bands, but I was also intrigued as this is what it said in the email. "This story started a long time ago, when the participants of Disen Gage scoured in the night in the dangerous vicinity of the Moscow railroad station "Sortirovochnaya" trying to capture fascinating sonic roulades emitted by the wagons. At the same time, on the other side of the globe, in the State of Iowa, astronomers succeed in converting strange signals coming from the orbit of Jupiter into audible sound palettes. Later, in an Australian swamp, Mrs. Toad said to Mr. Crocodile: "Dude, why not concoct a Tops-of-the-Pops album of all those ingredients, one on which we would sing all together?" "I'll call Mr. Bear, my Siberian friend. He knows how to mix all stuff with a beat", answered Mr. Crocodile. Finally, the Nature, crafted from sounds of planets, trains and animals including higher primates, is now in your hands. Still we wonder how the human ear will take this?"

I know how most people would take this, they would listen to ten seconds, scratch their head as if trying to make sense of it, then discard it, probably with extreme prejudice. Me? I'm made of sterner stuff than most, and will happily branch into areas of RIO and progressive rock that are more commonly referred to as noise (yes, it's a genre). This album isn't meant to be easy to listen to, it's not meant to be something that will ever be played on the radio or to be hummed under breath while driving, this is all about challenging the very term "music" and wondering just how far that boundary can be stretched while still making it something that people, at least some people, will want to listen to. I find this music enthralling, almost hypnotic in the way that it drags me in, using sounds that are industrial, mechanical, other worldly and not even created by the band, twisting them into something that is not recognisable in its original form

There are very few bands who can say to be actually progressing in the truest sense, as opposed to the regressing that many seem all too fond of, but Disen Gage are creating a path that only the brave will follow. Are you one of them?

 Nature by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.16 | 16 ratings

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Nature
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by felonafan

4 stars This album contains very progressive music, But it is not progressive rock at all! You will not be able to find some similarities between "classic" DISEN GAGE albums (2004 - 2016) and "Nature". There are no bass and drums here. Sound is based on "sonances" and noises generated by surrounding environment - together with guitars, of course (both current participants of DISEN GAGE are guitarists). The 1st track is based on "tones" and noises generated by Planets, 2nd track - by Trains, and 3rd one - by Animals.

If you want to feel and understand music of "Nature" you should forget about stereotypes and try to listen attentively and carefully to these sounds. And you will appreciate and perceive space, atmosphere, hidden dynamics and inner beauty of this music.

"Nature" is not the best DISEN GAGE album - ".. The Reverse May Be True" is the almost unapproachable highlight - and endlessly very far from from "typical" DISEN GAGE "musical approach" (as I already mentioned). But it can beautify both your prog rock collection and your life!

Nevertheless, if you cannot imagine DISEN GAGE music without "rockish" rhythm-section. strange time measures, complex interactions between "guitar lines" and detailed compositional structures, pethaps, you should skip "Nature". But I recommend to go beyond prog rock stereotypes!

 ... The Reverse May Be True by DISEN GAGE album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.16 | 60 ratings

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... The Reverse May Be True
Disen Gage Eclectic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars

Following on from my review of their 2016 album 'Snapshots', which was their fourth full release, guitarist Konstantin Mochalov kindly sent me their third which was released as long ago as 2008. As with their later album, musically this is all over the place, with influences from King Crimson being taken as a starting point and then moving rapidly into extremes. It is an album that is hard to describe, just because there is so much going on. That there are melodies, counter melodies, counter counter melodies, and s psychic understanding from each player as to what is happening next is a given. It's just from there on that it gets complex. Somehow, they manage to bring some Russian Cossack-style themes into 'Landing', which allows the listener to recognise where they are from, but apart from that there is little to let anyone know that they are Russian.

Highly complex and complicate, the music interweaves amongst itself, twisting and turning like a meandering river, at times just babbling gently but at others it is in full spate changing the musical flow into rapids of noise and intricacy. As with their most recent album, I find myself rapidly falling in love with the very strange and different world of Disen Gage, and I am sure that there are many other progheads out there who will feel the same way. There are some amazing bands coming out of Russia, and Disen Gage are at the vanguard.

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

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