Exposé Online banner

Kalutaliksuak — Death of the Alpinist
(RAIG R081, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-11-19

Death of the Alpinist Cover art

This Russian band’s name gives a clue about their musical interests. It is named, so they say, after a goddess from the mythology of Arctic peoples, a “malicious but dull-witted” entity. The band is neither malicious nor dull-witted, fortunately, with a variety of ethnic touches in their music, both from the Northlands and elsewhere. Death of the Alpinist consists of four tracks, two over 20 minutes and two under 10, and there’s a hefty dose of cosmic krautrock influence in them, though with other touches as well. The result is a heady and distinctive collection of moods and grooves that is quite enjoyable. Founding members Vladimir Konovkin (assorted keyboards) and Alexander Chuvakov (guitars, flutes, voice) provide the main thrust of the sound, and Chuvakov’s wooden flutes are one of the great touches that set this band apart from legions of space-rock groups. Certainly there are factors here that would appeal to fans of Ozric Tentacles and Hidria Spacefolk, though Kalutaliksuak tends towards less dense instrumentation, and the breaks for free-form floating are more prominent, featuring flutes and strange (but not abrasive) vocals. The band has worked with musicians from native Siberian (I think) cultures in the past; Death of the Alpinist features just the core quartet (Konovkin and Chuvakov along with bassist Alexei Ohontsev and drummer Sergei Titovetz) to produce its sounds. Keyboards include classic sounds like electric piano, organ, and synthesizers as well as more modern touches. Chuvakov’s guitar is consistently interesting, engaging in a wide variety of tones and textures and never sounding like any of the typical guitar icons. The rhythm section provides some good driving beats, but also backs off at times for varying moods. Bottom line is that even if you have difficulty pronouncing the name, Kalutaliksuak should provide some good listening.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Kalutaliksuak

Latest news

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

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roger Powell - Cosmic Furnace – This legendary album from the early days of electronic music is a welcome reissue. The overall sound is a bit unusual because of Powell’s use of ARP synthesizers rather than Moogs. The tracks...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues