"The album is enjoyable, well played, and well recorded (live at a festival). The group manages to maintain a homogeneous and good music throughout the album, with a peak in the middle"
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"If you're looking for some engaging, contemplative, slow-moving space jams, you've come to the right place. "
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"'Rozmainsky and Mikhaylov Project' is a band comprised of the title members Ivan Rozmainsky keyboardist (also from 'Roz Vitalis') and Vladmir Mikhaylov, guitarist and bass guitarist. Also on this album are Leonid Perevalov taking the bass line on the Bass Clarinet for most of the tracks, and Yuri Goiser on drums. All of the tracks, except for the last one, are recorded at 3 different Babooinumfest shows in 2017 in Saint Petersburg and Vladimir, Russia. The tracks are comprised of some live interpretations of existing tracks taken from their 'For the Light' album, and new structured and improvised performances. The music is a psychedelic, jazz fusion that are sometimes inspired by early Pink Floyd improvised tracks and other times very unique sounding, especially with the bass clarinet playing an important part in much of the music.
'Dedication to the Floydian Sun' is definitely a homage to 'Pink Floyd'. After a mid-tempo beat is established, the bass takes on a similar bassline to 'Run Like Hell' and the bass clarinet takes on the improvisation spotlight, later followed by guitar and keyboards taking turns and then playing together.
'A Flower in the Smoke' uses a plodding and heavy basis to begin a more dirge-like track. The organ takes over and drives the music forward as the percussion stops all together, but returns later, this time with wild guitar effects. 'Coming of the Troubled Water' uses what is usually a light-hearted meter of 6 / 8 to created a waltz-like atmosphere for a mostly dark guitar led excursion. This later changes to a 4 / 4 meter and later a free meter, as things get atmospheric and a bit experimental.
'The Thing in the Light' begins with a solo keyboard. Later a foundation is established in a complex 7 / 8 meter. A psychedelic feel swirls around as guitars take the lead around a single note organ drone as drums and bass clarinet hold the foundation. 'My Soul Melteth for Heaviness' sees a return to a Floydian style with an organ playing in the style of older PF music but soon a churning guitar creates some intensity. This sort of reminds me of the last movement of 'Saucerful of Secrets', but that bass clarinet always comes across as a pleasant surprise that makes the sound unique for this band.
'A Dedication to the Babooinumfest' is specifically improvised track for the musical festivals that this album is recorded from. This one is a jazz fusion improvisation that works out quite well. The free form feel of this track makes it go wandering of into some very interesting directions at times, sometimes the keys, guitars and percussion increasing or decreasing in tempo together with hardly any warning. It is pretty amazing how all of the musicians can stay on point with all the changes in tempo. Some places get rather chaotic too as the stretch boundaries into avant-prog territory.
'A Flowered Withered' returns to a more structured track starting off led by an almost calliope sounding keyboard. Suddenly some really strange effects come in and later the keys start to plunk out some strange harmonies and melody lines. 'Return of the Troubled Waters' visits PF sounding psychedelia, again sounding like 'Saucerful' again. Things soon turn to a more tightened sound as keys take over. 'The Light of Things' sees the guitar taking a more melodic line this time, but later the clarinet takes over the spotlight.
'And a Heaviness Fell from My Soul' starts out giving the clarinet the spotlight again while the guitars and keys chime along making for a glittery atmosphere. Later, the steady percussion falls off and things become more free jazz and psychelic- like. 'Forsake Me Not' is the last track and is the only one not recorded at any of the Babboinumfest shows, although it is still a live track. The bass line is again inspired by early Pink Floyd psychedelia. Shimmering keys support the guitar and the clarinet that keep taking the improvised, melodic line from each other.
Overall, I find this album quite enjoyable and unique, even with the sometimes heavy leanings on early Pink Floyd sound. For live performances, these tracks are surprisingly tight as far as how the band plays. The first several tracks are well done and seem to be full performances, but I couldn't help but feel during some of the later tracks, that they were only partial performances, especially on the shorter tracks. This is a fairly minor issue however. The music is quite well done, and so is the recording, plus the album cover is really beautiful and colorful, for the most part, everything is quite well put together and should appeal to lovers of psychedelic, free form jazz fusion with a lot of experimentation and interesting effects."
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"This album is one that I never would have reviewed if not for the fact that it was a request. The reasons for this are that as well as this being from a band I had never heard of, and likely would not have discovered, it's also a live album, which are usually massive turn offs for me. When it comes down to it, I am quite grateful for such a request, because this album turned out to be great. The sound quality and production is great, and the mostly improvisational style of the tracks works well on a live album. As for the songs themselves, I find them to be quite exceptional for the most part, being plodding, slow, psychedelic jams with some really great emphasis on the bass clarinet during the majority of the highest points on the album.
The tracks on the album all have a fairly consistent, psychedelic sound to them, which makes this album fairly easy to listen to and simply tune out to while the mostly calm music just plays on. 'A Dedication To The Floydian Sun' is a fairly obvious homage to 'Pink Floyd'. I find the bass clarinet here to be quite good and the way it adds more elements of guitar near the end to be well executed and enjoyable to listen to. 'A Flower In The Smoke' is one of my favourite songs on the album, starting off with a consistent beat and some really fun use of the electric piano, before continuing nicely throughout with a decent guitar line. The next track, 'Coming of the Troubled Waters' becomes somewhat more interesting with last 20 seconds of the song heavily using soundscapes, making for some great, trippy atmosphere that then carries over to the next track, which has its one minute intro solely use the electric piano with a lot of reverb, further having the listener become enraptured in the atmosphere. I like the post- rock vibe the next couple of minutes have, almost sounding like the first album of 'Magyar Posse' at points in the repetitive groove that slowly changes and becomes more powerful, until the final portion of the song uses the electric piano to sound like an organ, which does sound quite pleasant. I really love the slightly eerie tone 'My Soul Melteth For Heaviness has', with some really cool sounding interplay between the bass clarinet and guitar. 'A Dedication To The Babooinumfest' is the improvisational peak of the album for sure, with each instrument having compelling sections that both sound great, and are also quite skillful as well, with the couple of freakout moments on it being quite short and adding a lot to the track, rather than taking away as they often can do if they go on for too long. I enjoy the fact that the next two tracks borrow elements from the songs that share parts of the same title as them, as I always do find reprises such as these to be quite entertaining as long as they aren't overused. 'The Light of Things' is a short, fun track with heavy emphasis on the bass clarinet. 'And A Heaviness Falls From My Soul' stands as the single weak point on the album for me, as I really don't find too much about it to grab me in any particular way. It is fortunate that the final song, 'Forsake Me Not' easily makes up for this slight misstep, utilising both bass guitar and standard clarinet, having some incredibe moments throughout, both due to the grooviness of the bassline, and due to the subtle melodic elements scattered throughout, especially with the clarinet.
Overall, I find this album to be very high quality, with almost every track being extremely compelling and entertaining, which can be quite tough to do, given the nature of the sound that is achieved on here. It isn't quite worth 5 stars, simply because there were very few points in which I was truly 'wowed' by it, but it was undoubtedly wholly enjoyable nonetheless, and I'll definitely be sure to check out any future works by this band.
Best Songs: A Flower In The Smoke, A Dedication To The Babooinumfest, Forsake Me Not
Weakest Songs: And A Heaviness Fell From My Soul
Verdict: I do find this to be an album that would be fairly easy to enjoy on some level, as long as the listener enjoyed instrumental music, as none of this is particularly challenging, with most of the music being quite soft and pleasant, with fairly short songs in general, the only issue being that by the end, it can start to feel quite tiring, despite the great closing track. Definitely worth a listen in my opinion."