Kruzenshtern and Parohod

Kruzenshtern and Parohod
Songs LP

I’ve been dying to get the cling film off of this record for ages, ever since the pastel-shaded artwork popped it’s intriguing cartoon-village in front of me when I opened the envelope. The only thing is, I’m not sure that the words exist to describe this marvel of an album from Tel-Aviv experimentalists, Kruzenshtern and Parohod.

Oh well, here goes anyway…

This largely instrumental offering is a fusion of traditional Israeli music with elements of jazz, rock, and (believe it or not) hardcore. The result of this strange concoction is a Jewish musical foundation that gets subjected to sudden chaotic moments of blast-beat drumming, jazzy improvised clarinet solo’s, Toupe-style bass lines and, well, pretty much whatever slightly insane combinations Igor Krutogolov could dream up.

The alarm-clock opening track, ‘Boker’, suddenly turns into the bass-riff and clarinet led ‘Joy’, which showers sparks courtesy of some massive drumming that locks itself super-tight to the multi-string bass guitar work. There are also some sudden vocal cries and mixtures of scary loud-bits with a classic clown-tune.

However, things aren’t as odd as they seem (actually they are – but read on). ‘Mehalalot’ is a strangely addictive track with lot’s of catchy elements and strap line melodies that have the essence of all their avant-garde style while remaining distinctly palatable. And it’s not alone; ‘Young Ones’, ‘Portrait of a Sitting Man in a Hat’, and ‘Sippurimfrolenid Saybelman’ all stood out with their inexplicably compelling compositions.

Now, before I start to sound like an art-historian, it’s probably worth an attempt at describing how this appears to the Western-ear. With an inspiring Jewish music-scene being a massive influence in Russia, the closest most of us will have come to this kind of thing was when the Gos Tsirk came to town and this is evident in the mixture of dark moments, heart stopping risks and humour.

Having heard the record, it’s no surprise to discover that Igor not only writes the songs, but also created the artwork that had me gazing in wonder.

Tired of the usual hum drum? Kruzenshtern and Parohod are the antidote to predictable music.

Kruzenshtern and Parohod Articles

Written by Fenton on

Steve Fenton writes in our music, words, and culture categories. He was Editor in Chief for The Mag and covered live music for DV8 Magazine and Spill Magazine. He was often found in venues throughout the UK alongside ace-photographer, Mark Holloway. Steve is also a technical writer and programmer and writes gothic fiction. Steve studied Psychology at OSC, and Anarchy in the UK: A History of Punk from 1976-1978 at the University of Reading.

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