Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fjodor- Riding through the Black Hole (2011)

 Fjodor are fromCroatia and been around since 2005 in various line ups and with quite a few different instruments going in and out but the core of bass, drums and guitar are pretty stable. Sometimes they have a synth player or sax or violin. I have had the pleasure to see them live twice here in Denmark and hang out with these nice guys. The band plays instrumental psychedelic groove rock and while they don’t have any physical releases out there are some digital albums available from the band and you can buy a memory stick from the band with both records and some live recording, including one that I made at Loppen in Christiania, Denmark in 2010.

          Riding through the Black Hole is the new record and quite different from their record from 2009 simply called 1. The album starts off with a long 13min and very cool track called Astral Erection and this one reminds me a bit of old Ozric Tentacles (at least the guitar style) and then the synths pad sounds build up and float in and out of the mix as the bass really starts to build. They have an excellent drummer live but this track has some very thin programmed drums to start and then the real drummer comes in (at least I think so?). This long groove repeats over for a long period of time and at 10 mins the guitar player really starts to intensify his playing with wah and delay and gets a really cool spaced out sound as it really flys! Drugs and Dragons starts off very intense and very much like the Croatian band, Seven that Spells. This track the drums sound real and not programmed but still very thin. It is a pretty complex track this one with lots of different parts. Cool stuff. The synths don’t come flying by until half way through. Dzinovi is next and is a more melodic track to start and then the riff changes and the energy really increases and builds in intensity and then the guitar player really takes off with a cool solo at 2 mins. The bass player is really pushing it as well. Pity the drum sound is so thin and distant. The synths also float in later. The Black Hole starts with a complex like jazz rock beginning and then it comes down and a guitar solo takes us to the next section and the synth sounds (he does not play lead stuff, just sounds, pads, floating textures) enter in as the bass and drums keep the intensity high. They revisit the earlier riff as well. Tsunami is the 18 min closer of the record and starts slowly with the band finding their space as a freakout guitar fades up from the left and water sounds flow over the soundscape before the drums and bass really kick in at 3½ mins and the ozrics like delay guitar starts off. The band really flies at times on this track. Very cool band, I just wish the sound of the recording was better as this does not really represent the band based on the live shows I have seen. We made a multitrack recording of their show from Kildemose Festival this summer and they played all of these songs live. Lets see how that comes out when it is mixed. Check the band out on the web. They plan to tour all over Europe in 2012.

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