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Ciolkowska - 2018 - "Avtomat Proshlogo"

(57:19; [addicted label])


TRACK LIST:                  

1. Map 0:19
2. Earth 5:08
3. Thereabouts 7:33
4. End of Action 6:48
5. Ceiling About the Prison Inside 6:55
6. At Trees Height 8:10
7. We Are From Jazz 6:12
8. 108 7:06
9. About Lord and Buddha 9:08 


Yegor Svysokihgor - vocals, guitars
Alesya Izlesa - ukulele
Vano Ayvazyan - bass, vocals
David Aaronson - drums
Aleksey Gorshkov - trumpet
Mikhail Tsyrulnikov - vocals

Prolusion. 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.

Analysis. Ciolkowska is among those charming bands that are frustratingly difficult to pigeonhole into any one subcategory of the progressive rock universe. They use elements from many different types of music in their compositions, and they play around with compositional structures and arrangement choices that draw in impulses from an even wider range of genres and sub-genres to boot. The common denominator throughout is that the music has a psychedelic and often cosmic tinge to it though, and as such psychedelic progressive rock is arguably the best manner in which to summarize what this band is all about. They do have a novel and rather eclectic approach to this type of music though, as indicated, so fans of music described in this manner will be in for a few surprises along the way. For starters, my impression is that the band blend and mix between composed, structured and planned elements and passages, part and details that have more of an improvised nature to them. This makes the general as well as the overall structure of the songs themselves to come across as ever so slightly chaotic, in an almost avant-oriented kind of way. The songs have a tendency to be challenging in part or in full, with many alterations and changes along the way, and the arrangements can be hard to wrap your ears and brain around in the busiest moments. A detail particular to this band is how they use the ukulele throughout, and depending on mood, style and choice of delivery this instrument takes the place of guitar, keyboards and even the good, old harp, replicating core functions of each of those instruments throughout. To the effect that I noted down keyboard details of an odd sound and quality on several tracks here prior to checking the actual line-up of the band. Another detail of note is the use of the trumpet throughout this album, both that it is at all present in these surroundings as well as the mostly delicate manner in which this instrument is utilized. Both of these band particular traits noted down as most charming and effective, incidentally. The material here ebbs and flows and blends and mixes quite a few genres and sub-genres of music, as previously described. Psychedelic rock is the common denominator, ranging from wild, effects laden passages to more delicate trajectories with more of a cosmic touch to them. Wild, twisted guitar riff effects living side by side with delicate, echoing plucked guitar and ukulele notes. Some of the guitar details takes on something of a funkier mode of delivery at times, and textured instrument motifs as well as nervous plucked notes with more of a post-rock orientation is a part of the proceedings as well. The rhythm section showcase that they do know a bit about jazz on a one-off occasion on the album too, and like quite a few other psychedelic rock bands these guys aren't afraid to throw in some dub elements here and there either. At times even bordering a kind of psychedelic variety of reggae. There's a lot going on on this album, and intent listeners won't get bored easily by this album as getting acquainted or even familiar with the totality of what this production has to offer will take more than a few spins. Everything is cohesive however, and as different as some of the songs may well be to the others there's never any doubt that this is the product of one band following their own particular and peculiar approach in terms of creating their specific brand of progressive rock. A solid production on all levels, although for me the subtly more folk-tinged atmospheres explored on '108' is the one track I'd highlight as this band at their very best.

Conclusion. 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.

Progmessor: October 24th 2019
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Ciolkowska Noname Recordz


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