Album Review: staraya derevnya - Boulder Blues (2022)

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Artwork: Danil Gertman
Design: Maya Pik

staraya derevnya - Boulder Blues
Release Date: August 05, 2022
Label: Ramble Records
Format: Vinyl / CD / Digital
Duration: 42:43
Genre: Krautrock / Psychedelic Folk / Experimental
Origin: Tel Aviv Yafo, Israel / London, England

Those of you who are acquainted to Slav languages will have realized that staraya derevnya (or Старая деревня in Russian Kyrillic) is the Russian term for Old Village. And those of you who know the Russian metropolis Saint Petersburg (or Санкт-Петербург) will know that this Old Village is the city's historic core.
Nevertheless, we are now leaving the spheres of the Russian Federation because staraya derevyna is also the name of a band from Tel Aviv Yafo and London who has recently released their latest album "Boulder Blues". The five-track longplayer was recorded in Israel, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mexico and Germany between 2020 and 2022 by eleven musicians. A list of the featured artists can be found at the bottom of the post.

staraya derevnya have been around for almost three decades. Besides some singles, compilations and live albums, the release on hand is their eighth studio album. You can check their Discogs profile for more information about the discography.
The music by staraya derevnya can roughly be located somewhere between the musical realms of Krautrock, Psychedelic Folk, and that sparkling tiny line between immense genius and pure insanity. On five tracks, the band invites us on a deep and intense trip to a dimension far from what our senses can grasp.

The fantastic séance begins with 'Scythian Nest', a colourful fever dream driven by dynamic percussions, savage Acid Jazz elements and freaky vocals. Next up, the title track brings the sonic meditation to a way deeper level while staraya derevnya add plenty of Kraut and Psych elements. While the music's intensity rises over time of this eight-minute song, the mesmerizing effect increases, too.

After 'Boulder Blues' has climaxed at its end in a psychedelic explosion, there is vast space to fill. Thus, the Psychedelic Folk tune 'Tangled Hands' fits perfectly as it spreads over the sonic supernova's barren leftovers like wild flowers growing from desert sand. After this song has activated unknown forms of energy in the audience's minds, the listeners are ready for the twenty-minute longtrack 'Bubbling pelt'. This song, originally performed at Tusk Festival 2020, is an invitation to explore the deepest and most remote edges of one's own self. This impressive Kraut jam may remind of sounds by artists such as Oulu Space Jam Collective combined with the energy of Kutiman. As this thrilling jam finds its ost exciting and most psychedelically shaking part in its final act, it then gently fades out and transitions to the album's shortest track 'Gallant spider'. In the final song, staraya derevnya pick up themes and motifs from the opening track again and thereby close the full circle - a fantastic trip has come to an end.

And when the final note has faded, the psychedelic mist clears up. The session is over and those who have undertaken it are back stronger than before. staraya derevnya's "Boulder Blues" is a beautiful psychedelic and salutogenetic séance - sonic balm for body and soul.

Musicians featured on this album:
Galya Chikiss - cries and whispers,
Dasha Gerzon - choir, piano,
Masha Gerzon - choir, piano,
Gosha Hniu - objects, percussion, cries and whispers, marching band kazoo, wheel lyre,
Grundik Kasyansky - feedback synthesizer,
Ran Nahmias - silent cello, theremin,
Miguel Pérez - guitars,
Maya Pik - synthesizer, flute,
Andrea Serafino - drums,
Yoni Silver - bass clarinet,
Tom Wheatly - double bass.

Featured playlist for this review:
MangoWave Release Radar
The Mango 100: Experimental / Freakshow / Free Jazz
The Mango 100: Folk
The Mango 100: Kraut / Psychedelic / Space
The Mango 100: Meditation / Work / Studying
Sound of Israel: The Mango 100
Sound of the UK: The Mango 100

staraya derevnya online:
Wikipedia (English)
Wikipedia (עברית)
Wikipedia (Русский)

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