Roerich Trilogy 3CD set
(extraordinarily limited) 3 cassette set
strange fish twenty five
Welcome to a Russian band called St. Kraut; I was introduced to them by Carry Munter, a music blogger in the Netherlands, who thought we’d make a good fit; he was quite right, and a planned one track on a Fruits de Mer sampler CD has somehow become a triple CD.
Over the past year and a half, the band have released three albums that make up the ‘Roerich Trilogy’; this triptych combines motorik beats, psychedelic rock and ambient sounds. As you might expect, there’s more than a hint of classic krautrock to their music, but it’s all original, no covers and it all makes for rather fine progressive rock, to my ears; occasionally I'm remunded of Cranium Pie - not because they sound similar, but because they take risks within a well-worn rock format; anyway, I'm really pleased to be able to introduce the band to a new audience.
My Russian isn’t too good, so I’m relying on the band’s slightly broken English to explain what their music is all about…
"The sound of St. Kraut was born out of jams that the musicians recorded in 2017. Then, according to the Theory of Obscurity (as practiced by The Residents), this music lay in the archives for a few years until the musicians themselves forgot what they had recorded. And then it was a time to begin to release these recordings, accompanying them with paintings by the Russian artist Nicholai Roerich, the favorite artist of each of the musicians.
The album ‘Boris and Gleb’ was the first to come out; it opens up the world of St. Kraut, setting out the two constants they say exist in all their music - Zen and Groove.
Album two - ‘Ann Without Hand - dives to the world of dreams; a phantasmagoric atmosphere. On the third album, ‘Fire Madness From Outer Space’, St. Kraut added to their sound a vintage soviet synthesizer called a Электроника ЭМ-04; this added a hypnotic vibe to the recordings and took the music into the depths of Lovecraftian cosmos.
We tried to find a good name for a project and one of them was ‘Boris & Gleb’. We thought it’s funny because there are three of us in a band and none of us is Boris or Gleb - also it was a name of a painting by Nicolai Roerich. In the middle of recording sessions, there was another name considered - ‘St. Kraut’, because Boris and Gleb are orthodox and catholic saints and the German motorik sound was clearly there in the recordings. We recorded all the music in 2017 and we didn’t think about production or the band name till 2020. And then we remembered ‘St. Kraut’ - so basically it came from the Roerich legacy."
And there you have it (…it makes more sense each time I read it, maybe their English is pretty good after all)
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