Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CD Review: Volga's 'Kumushki Pjut'

Kumushki Pjut
Asphalt Tango Records

Led by Armenian, Anzhelika Manukyan, Volga reinvents the traditional music of Russia using delicate house, dance, trance, and dub sounds that effervesce with soothing melodies and punchy rhythms. The Russian group resurrects ancient texts and performs them in modern contexts. The group comprises of Grammy Winner, Uri Balashov on zvukosuk and Tibetan cup, Alexey Ostashev on bass guitar, Sergei Klevensky on jaleika and bagpipe, and Roman Lebedev on guitar and electronic arrangements. Anzhelika is the lead vocalist. The poignant rhythms and electronic overtones are carefully selected and executed for a great result that is never too over-the-top. The mix of historical roots, modern rhythms, and various instruments make for a great album. The lilting melodies of "Kaverzi" appropriately demonstrates Anzhelika's emotive vocals and the sauntering guitar arrangements in a laid-back setting. "Postylyi Muzh" contains a pulsating rock guitar beat as an opener with recurring beats throughout. "Mala Nochka" possesses a cheery rhythm with rollicking bass, guitar, and percussion that eloquently accents the subtle electronic touches. Overall, Volga is one of the best groups to come out of Russia in recent memory. Enjoy it for yourself! ~ Matthew Forss

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