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Evgeny Masloboev / Anastasia Masloboev: Russian Folksongs in the Key of Rhythm

Glenn Astarita By

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It's music from the frigid environs of Siberia that is warmly evocative and magnetic. On Russian Folksongs in the Key of Rhythm, Evgeny Masloboev performs on drums, rainstick, small marimba, kitchen utensils, and almost everything short of the kitchen sink. And with the angelic vocals of his daughter Anastasia, who was only fifteen years old at the time of this recording, they transform Russian folk into curiously interesting and utterly enjoyable rhythmic works.

Evgeny Masloboev's credits include music teaching and the institution of a theater targeted for children along with compositions for plays and Russian film. Essentially, the artist possesses a broad musicality that is engineered with polytonal overlays and persistent flows via his expansive array of implements. Within the eastern folk attributes of these endearing compositions, Evgeny Masloboev conjures up the rhythm of life, while his daughter's heavenly chants and endearing lyricism—iterated in her native tongue—adds an aura of mystery and spiritualism.

Many of Evgeny Masloboev's pieces incorporate subliminal Asian frameworks and African cadences to round out the core Russian themes, often treated with his block-flute lines and small marimba-based ostinato passages. He also generates ethereal backwashes and tribal-like patterns in spots. However, the jazz element surfaces due to his steadily flowing snare drum based shuffle groove laid out on the ten-minute piece simply titled "Bird." Here, the sounds of bird chirps loom as the lead instrument where Evgeny Masloboev elicits imagery of nature's inherent music and rhythmic nuances, spiced up with a jazzy touch. Nonetheless, music of a distant land blossoms into a marvel of beauty and ingenuity throughout this strikingly persuasive album.


Track Listing: Prologue; Holidays; St. Ivan; Kvashnya; Dialogues; Arrow; Little Garden; Bird; Dark Night; Lullaby; Epilogue.

Personnel: Evgeny Masloboev: drums, cymbals, block-flutes, vargan, all other instruments; Anastasia Masloboeva: voice.

Title: Russian Folksongs in the Key of Rhythm | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Leo Records


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