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(54 min, Unicorn)
TRACK LIST: 1. Nomad in Time 4:25 2. Dreamway to Scotland 3:45 3. Lay Back Nasretdin 2:03 4. Ultimately for Screwy DJ 4:36 5. The Heart 4:10 6. Mechanical City 4:55 Greeting From Nostradamus (7 to 10): 7. Caravan Enduro 1:56 8. Bottomless Abyss 2:55 9. Shaman 2:50 10. Vacuum Hush 1:51 11. Artificial Paradoxes 4:47 Bonus tracks: 12. Alternative Greeting 3:50 13. The Heart Remix 4:11 14. Cold Passion 8:23 All tracks: by Badirov. Produced by Badirov. Engineered by I. Minich. LINE-UP: Vladimir Badirov - drums, percussions; synthesizers Vadim Tamaev - basses Alex Tamaev - guitars Vitalij Popelov - guitars Nodir - Karnai Gafur Norbaev - Nai, Changouz Toir Kuzyiev - Sato, Ud, Tanbour With: Ravshan Namazov - vocalize (1, 3) Otabek Ismonaliev - clarinet (6, 11) Victor Kurnitsky - trombone (9, 14) Alexander Khabirkhanov - trumpet (9) Olim Khakimov - percussion (5) Dijvan Gasparyan - duduk (13)
Prolusion. Composer and drummer Vladimir BADIROV is one of the most renowned progressive musicians in Uzbekistan. However, his activity has been noticed outside our republic as well. In 2003 he was a member of the "warm-up-band" in Peter Gabriel's "Grown Up" tour in Europe and America. Vladimir's debut solo album "Greeting from Nostradamus" was first released in Uzbekistan for the distribution within Russia/CIS, but is now available to the international progressive audience, kudos to Michel St-Pere at Unicorn Records.
Analysis. Certainly, my fellow countrymen >Al-Bird, >Flight 09 and Vladimir Badirov (for more names, please click >here) have become parts of the international Progressive Rock movement not accidentally. As many of you dear readers might know, Mr. St-Pere would hardly undertake to release something ordinary. Personally, I find "Greeting from Nostradamus" one of the most unique albums appeared in the new millennium. Nevertheless, for some time now I don't feel quite responsible to review the works of Uzbekistan artists in the way that I usually follow to when being very much impressed by a material. So I'll try to generalize my thoughts on Vladimir's effort, not going far beyond a few particular facts that may remain unnoticed by the other progressive reviewers (though I believe they will estimate the album at their true worth). Uzbek folk music, which lies at the basis of all eleven of the album's 'staff' tracks, has very little in common with any other kinds of Oriental music - Arabic, Indian, Turkish, not to mention Chinese and the like. It notably differs even from those by our neighbors, living in the other former USSR republics located in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, etc. While listening to "Greeting" I notice some features related to the so-called World Music, but there are too few of them to refer the album to that style. In most cases, this is a blend of Uzbek folk and classical music performed by dints of Jazz-Fusion, and only on Dreamway to Scotland, all this is blended with: you know what, as it's clear from the title. Uzbek national instruments include Karnai, which is a brass (sort of trumpet), Nai (flute), Sato (violin), Ud (sounds much like an acoustic guitar), some other stringed and wind instruments, and of course, multifarious percussions. Clarinet, trumpet, and trombone are traditional, but in most cases, they have a very specific sound too. Two tracks feature vocals and vocalizations. This CD offers you three bonus tracks, unavailable on the initial pressing, and all of them, The Heart Remix included, are vastly, in places radically, different from all the previous material. The music is a heavy, quite dark and hypnotic Jazz- and Space Fusion and Metal with only a few hints to Uzbek folk music, but is still free of any influences, to say the least.
Conclusion. Vladimir Badirov offers you real Prog, with plenty of its distinctive features. The music is unusual (I am almost certain that you have never heard anything like this) and is more than moderately complex, so you need a few successive listens to begin comprehending it. However, it is desirable to know at least the ABC of improvisational harmony, while the disposition for Jazz-Fusion is just necessary in my view. The reading the other reviews of the album will give you a more clear idea of it.
VM: January 12, 2005
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