Prog River Records is releasing some very obscure, but absolutely crucial, progressive rock gems from all over the world. This particular release comes to us from Belarus, where the group, the legendary Pesniary, melded folk-rock with prog-rock weirdness and a tinge of psychedelic rock, sounding something like early Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention at times.
Their popularity was so strong in the former Soviet Union that they were granted a shot at touring in the United States in 1976, proving to audiences that Soviet Rock was something to take seriously.
The lyrics are based on the works of Russian and Belarusian poets, including Yanka Kupala. This is quite a charming work.
Pete Sinfield was in need of an album cover. Having served as roadie, light man, lyricist and a general conceptualizer for a new band named King Crimson, he was now tasked with the matter of finding a way to package the strange music the band was committing to tape in the recording studio. Wasting no…
Eurock Documentary Fundraiser from Don Slepian on Vimeo.
When I was growing up and getting into strange music during the early to mid-1980s, I had several resources I would go to monthly (or quarterly, after a while) to find out about anything that had to do with progressive rock: Audion, a magnificent English magazine which covered pretty much everything I liked at the time, and the American equivalent, Eurock. I had the pleasure of meeting Archie Patterson, the mag head, a few times when I was working at a record shop in Los Angeles, and the guy was absolutely brilliant.
Eurock has a 47-year history of giving their readers a peek at the best in avant-progressive music. He is working on a documentary on both the magazine and some of the musicians he has been doing business with for the past 40 years, including Gilbert Artman, Mikhail Chekalin and Luis Perez.
Beyond Beyond is Beyond has begun to carve a place for themselves as the premier prog-psych record label in the United States. Their catalog features acts like Japan’s Kikagaku Moyo, Brooklyn’s Ancient Ocean and many others. This compilation is a great way to introduce yourselves to their racket.
It’s a crying shame that Belarusian Rock-In-Opposition-influenced band Rational Diet is no more. For my taste, they had carried the torch first illumined by bands such as Art Zoyd, Univers Zero and Henry Cow.
Paolo Rustichelli and Carlo Bordini were two musicians from Italy who formed a progressive rock group out of the ashes of a band called Cammello Buck. Truly operatic in a sense, with powerful keyboard work. A treasure of Italian prog!