Rational Diet — On Phenomena and Existences
(AltrOck Productions ALT-014, 2010, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01
This is the fourth time out for this seven-piece chamber-rock ensemble from Belarus, their third in three years for AltrOck, a great label that seems to be able to do no wrong. Featuring drums, guitar, bass, piano, organ, violin, cello, and woodwinds – including bassoon – their music seems to be informed to be informed by 20th Century classical composers like Stravinsky, Bartók and Shostakovich, but also by the drive and electrified energy of complex progressive rock music. If it sounds like I could be describing Henry Cow circa Western Culture, Simon Steensland, Univers Zero, Zypressen, or Nazca, those would certainly be some good points of reference here, as Rational Diet seems to inhabit roughly the same space, with the dark foreboding character intact. The compositions are handled by either violinist Cyrill Christya or keyboardist Olga Podgaiskaja; the latter also provides the vocals on three tracks with lyrics (those lyrics penned from outside the band). As with the other artists mentioned, this is an ensemble where every note is tightly arranged, their work is uncompromising at every level, and their playing measures up to the highest standards. There is much here to recommend.
Related artist(s): Rational Diet
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more