Exposé Online banner

Air Canda — Air Canda
(RAIG R084, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-08-05

Air Canda Cover art

I just recently discovered this Russian band, and it has turned out to be one of those “Where have you been all my life” things. Given that this 2014 release is their only album to date, I can take some consolation that there isn’t a whole back catalog to catch up on. Talk about hitting the right buttons to get me interested! Air Canda is a St Petersburg band crossing jazz and rock in an interesting way — the flavor of rock that they use is math rock, with twisty arrangements full of odd meters and abrupt changes, and their jazz is of the noisy modern variety. Some references might be Raoul Björkenheim, Panzerballett, and Už Jsme Doma; think of Ahleuchatistas (back when it was a trio) with a sax added, and you’ll be in the ballpark. Unlike many bands playing music this tricky, they manage to groove on their irregular rhythms, and they have a sense of fun as well, doing things like throwing a tango section into the middle of “Fata Morgana.” Stepan Zhzhyonov is an inventive and unpredictable guitarist, laying down a Crimsonian pattern one minute, wah-wah funk the next, then tossing off a jagged solo mangled by freaky effects. Saxman Alexander Belousov plays acoustically, but keeps up with the guitar on crazy rhythms and wailing solos. The rhythm section consists of Andrei Belka (bass) and Roman Oboskalov (drums), and they make a solid team, having a way of putting accents in unexpected places and avoiding standard patterns. As an added bonus, the entire album was recorded live in the studio. This can have both good and bad points. On the one hand, the energy and feeling are superb, and you know if you saw them in a club, this is exactly what they’d sound like. The small negative is that there is a somewhat demo-ish feeling to the album, which a little post-production might have beefed up. But that is a very small negative. On the whole, this is an outstanding release, well worth the attention of fans of the kind of jazz you find on Cuneiform, Moonjune, or RareNoise.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Air Canda

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

III Milenio - Aliança dos Tempos – Here's an example of where vocals can be quite innovative and then subsequently make you wince. The album is obviously a concept album and in the vein of Ange, the vocals are theatrical often being...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues