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(45:19; Lost World Band)
Back in 2005 I came across the debut album by a trio of Moscow Conservatory luminaries which had been released a few years earlier. The band was Lost World and the album ‘Trajectories’: I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended them to others. Over the years, myself and Andy Didorenko (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, violin) have become friends, but what I had not realized until he contacted me some months back was that there was in existence a much earlier album, which was originally just released on cassette back in 1992. Andy described it to me as much more of an art rock album than prog, “It was our very first recording. It sounds a bit naive now, but it has some really nice moments, especially considering that there was literally no art rock in Russia at that time.” When he went back to the original recordings Andy realized there was little which could be done with them, so this is a re-imagined and newly recorded version of the album with Andy being accompanied by long-time flautist Vassily Soloviev and new drummer Matt Brown. I have always enjoyed the music of Lost World Band (they added the word ‘Band’ after the first two albums), and their 2019 album ‘Spheres Aligned’ is a masterpiece, but what would it like to go back to before the beginning? The result is a crossover album which is thoroughly enjoyable indeed, sounding as if it had come out of the UK as opposed to Russia. It has a pastoral and laid-back feeling, with the flute an important instrument and not as much violin as I have come to expect from the guys, and is one of those timeless releases which could have been released any time in the last 50 years. It is modern yet dated, always with fresh sounds and stacks of restraint. One could drive a bus through the holes in the music, there is that much space, which provides plenty of room for the instruments to bounce off each other. All lyrics are in English, and the songs are incredibly accessible, with the vast majority being under four minutes in length and only one more than five. It would be interesting to compare this against the original, as if this is close to the original ideas then it must have had quite an impression this close to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lost World Band continue to be one of my favourite bands out of Russia, one of the strongholds of progressive music, and while this may be somewhat removed from the style they normally play today, it is still a wonderful album.
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