"Music is a single language of the world": interview with Mikhail Mamonov, owner of SmartAudio Studio
SmartAudio Recording Lab is a modern, professional recording Studio based in Kirov and consciously focused on working with analog. About this and not only in an interview with the founder…

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Camera obscura: four new albums with classics
Let's talk about the chamber genre. A trio, a Quartet, a quintet-that's it. The spring of 2019 brought a lot of beauty to this field: the canonical Shostakovich quintet, Eugene…

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Camera obscura: four new albums with classics
Let's talk about the chamber genre. A trio, a Quartet, a quintet-that's it. The spring of 2019 brought a lot of beauty to this field: the canonical Shostakovich quintet, Eugene…

Continue reading →

Nineties without Linden: seven great forgotten songs

The initiators of the Alice in Chains grunge will come to Moscow in the summer. The band recorded the first exemplary album of this style “Facelift”, and in 1992 AIC released the Swan song of grunge — the album”Dirt”. In General, there were many musical breakthroughs, discoveries and shocks that year. Something has been forgotten, but it seems that the 90s are with us for a long time.

From the point of view of show business, the main achievement of the nineties, probably, is that almost any non-commercial music has learned to make commercial. “Reposition”, in the language of marketing textbooks. So, it was in the 90’s that it was “discovered” that heavy music is not “stupid/Dolby”, but just the opposite: diverse, for all tastes,with quite pop hits-ballads within the style. And Yes, other styles are most easily grafted on to it, from ethnics and hip-hop to electronica and jazz. From a cultural point of view, the “real nineties” probably began in 1991 — with the release of the Nirvana album “Nevermind”.
And 1992 is a breakthrough in the mass market of heavy hip-hop, Gothic “metal” and student “alternative”.With “metal” everything is simple. For example, it was at that time that the doom metal style appeared. Back in 1991, the British band Paradise Lost released their second album with the program name “Gothic”. On this album, a Quartet of young men from Halifax played slow and dark metal, but it was seasoned, completely out of the spirit of the genre, with classic female vocals (Sarah Marian, soprano) and synthesizers. It was a bomb. True fans of heavy rock, ” TRU ” – metalheads, did not know how to treat it. Curse? Or accept it? While they were thinking, the style (doom metal – “metal of the doomed”) won new fans. Nick Holmes, Greg McIntosh and their bandmates invented a new style-a kind of subculture within a subculture. In the 90s and in our time, groups of this genre began to breed like cockroaches. Especially in Scandinavia for some reason. But that’s another story.Holmes and McIntosh later revealed where they got the idea for doom metal: “We just decided to play metal slowly. Everyone tried to play as fast as possible, and we tried to play as slow as possible.” Simple as all genius.In 1992, another productive symbiosis became widespread: heavy rock with hip-hop. Hard rock and heavy metal-styles, mostly “white”, i.e. they are played, as they say in America,” caucasians ” — people of the white race. And rap is a completely black style. That is, they were two completely different subcultures, from different planets.Here some fans of heavy rock again fell into perplexity, not knowing how to treat it all. Racking my head — is it true or corrupt? And some-on the contrary, were happy, admitting that there is no-no Yes and listened to the rap “well, for recreation.” The instigators of piquant interests in heavy music are new Yorkers Anthrax, who recorded a rap-metal version of Joe Jackson’s hit Got the Time (the album “Persistence of Time”).Even more successfully and steeper from the point of view of high art, so to speak, the vein was developed by the Californians of Faith No More, who began to engage in this risky business back in 1989, sitting in the deep underground. The first serious success for the quintet came in 1991, and in the mid-90s they were considered almost the main rock band on the planet. But that’s later. And in 1992, they released the album “Angel Dust”, which then seemed like a masterpiece. It is mixed with everything, but with a subtle taste, masterfully, without seams. A very solid album. Even now, you can listen to it with great pleasure.After this, it’s hard to come up with something cooler… Faith No More, having changed a couple of guitarists and released two more pale albums, dispersed who where. Guitarist Jim Martin at one time produced industrial bands, drummer Mike Bordin got a job in Ozzy Osbourne’s band, and vocalist Mike Patton hit the fierce avant-garde (like “Peeping Tom”). Until Faith No More was revived in an almost original line-up.Another unique opening in 1992 was the Los Angeles — based Quartet Rage Against the Machine, whose members “Troll” their Pro-Communist views and active citizenship. Their first album-eponym-an unprecedented mix of tricky guitar sounds, hard rhythms and recitative.Finally, the last phenomenon of 1992 — college rock. This “student rock” appeared, of course, not in the 90s, but decades earlier. But it was in 1992 that a whole bunch of notable albums were released, and bands of this style began to gather stadiums, perform all over the world, appear on TV and in glossy magazines. Although before College rock-it was really “rock for students”, and stylistically it meant anything from indie pop to avant-electronica.The fate of the alternative Quartet Soul Asylum from Minneapolis is indicative. They formed in 1983 and released their first album in 1984. The debut appeared simultaneously with the works of more famous Minneapolis bands at the time, Husker Du and The Replacements. And although the group Soul Asylum noticed, but considered the “third echelon” in their hometown and “shelter for the soul”, perhaps only for avowed fans. In our country, by the way, no one listened to such music at all, and only readers of the magazine “Rovesnik”knew about Husker Du.For Soul Asylum, everything changed overnight. In 1992, they released their next — almost the tenth — album “Grave Dancers Union”, and the single” Runaway Train ” from it became a resounding hit. On MTV in heavy rotation, a social clip about missing children; on music radio stations, the song plays once an hour, the musicians of the Quartet are in high demand.American Rolling Stone gave material about the band as much as several turns. One is a stunning black-and-white shot of Dave Pirner lying on a rough iron cot in rotted jeans and matted hair. The mood of the image is “nowhere, never, restless”. Typical of College rock: no danger, no rebellion, but an endless melancholy and restlessness, youth without prospects. It is difficult for us, Russians, to understand why there is so much music with melancholy in the prosperous and prosperous States. But regardless of our understanding, the degree of melancholy does not decrease. As one smart psychiatrist said, Russia is a manic country that pretends to be depressed, and America is a depressive country that pretends to be a manic country.And in fact: College rock is mostly a kind of Holden Caulfield 90’s. “the catcher in the rye”, by the way — one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite books (despite the fact that the story is included in the school curriculum).Once again, when you look at the bands that flourished in 1991-92, you regret that Jerome Salinger’s cult hero was born too soon. If Holden “Catcher in the rye” Cofield had been born a couple of decades later, he would have found a place in a rock band. And in the 90s-even in a very good rock band. Which is not a phoney. Without the “limes” that is.

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