Five-Storey Ensemble — Not That City
(AltrOck Productions ALT-033, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-11-13After about a dozen years, with a handful of excellent releases to their credit, Belarus based Rational Diet has split up, or rather split into two bands, with most members from their last album On Phenomena and Existences ending up in Five-Storey Ensemble. Other members went to another band called Archestra, which this writer has not heard yet, but to confuse matters even more, some of the former Rational Diet members (specifically woodwind player Vitaly Appow and drummer / percussionist Nikolay Semitko) are in the lineup of both new bands. Five-Storey Ensemble seems to be doing an excellent job of carrying the style of their previous band forward, with an expanded lineup of ten members and plenty of additional instrumentation, they play a disciplined chamber-rock sound that might be reminiscent in some ways to the work of groups like Univers Zero, Aranis, Julverne, and others, although generally the tone is not dark and somber like UZ, but more light and playful. The compositions are all credited to Appow or keyboardist / vocalist Olga Podgaiskadja, with lyrics by Alexander Vvedensky, and as one might suspect, Five-Storey features more vocals that Rational Diet did, and also tends to rely more on scored compositions than improvisation, or so it seems, yet there are some notable exceptions, like “Amid the Smoke...” There’s a lot going on here, and after numerous listens I’m still hearing new surprises with every play. Heartily recommended for all fans of the acoustic based chamber-rock style.
Related artist(s): Five-Storey Ensemble
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more