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
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more