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As I have been working all alone on the site for some time now and have plenty of promo material in my queue, I can't indulge myself doing detailed reviews of compilations and EPs. The hero of this occasion is a split CD, consisting of two imaginary EPs, each clocking in just over 20 minutes. The first five tracks here are all the new creations of VIALKA, a French duo comprising Eric Boros on baritone guitar and vocals and Maryselle Frecheville on drums and lead vocals. Their style can roughly be defined as a fusion of Punk Rock and Balkan folk music using an RIO approach, though the reading of my review of their previous outing, "Curiosities of Popular Customs", might help you, dear readers, to get a much clearer idea of the matter. In all, this is a truly unique, in many ways remarkable music, and the only problem I have with it is that it is lacking in density of sound, since the duo never betray their rule to keep the specificity of their live performances when working in the studio as well. The last four tracks come from Israeli quartet KRUZENSHTERN I PARAHOD (KIP hereinafter), the band's name (Captain Kruzenshtern & A Streamer), as well as the names of most of its members (Igor Krutogolov (bass & vocals), Ruslan Gross (clarinet), Olya Yelensky (accordion) and Guy Shechter (drums)), instantly suggesting to me the idea that all of them originate from Russia or, to be more precise, from the former USSR. This is my first encounter with these musicians' work, though at the same time I experience a kind of deja vu when listening to their music. The point is that all the releases which I've received from Israel since 2003 concern Rock In Opposition, thus inevitably making me think that, along with Belgium, this country is one of the richest in that genre's performers. It is not for the first time that I find elements of Jewish folk music interwoven with RIO structures, but on the other hand, it's clear to me that KIP reveals just a perfectly balanced synthesis of those styles, most often eliminating any frontiers between them. Just as that of Vialka, the style of KIP is beyond comparison, the group playing a highly original music throughout each of their numbers, all of which are both intense and very eventful and are filled with everything necessary to please even the most exacting connoisseurs of profound Progressive Rock. I highly recommend this CD, especially to RIO fans.
VM: June 29, 2007
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