|By Peter Hammil|
terça-feira, 28 de outubro de 2014
Er.J.Orchestra - Classical Prog Sounds from Ukraine
Er. J. Orchestra biography (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2833)
The decade of the 80's was ending, Ukraine was enjoying an artistic renaissance after decades in which more major Rock acts were almost illegal or at least underground, so it was time for musicians in Kiev to create their own musical scenario that not only embraced existing currents but also added part of their national identity into the sound. Already Eastern Europe had been developing a Symphonic style with strong Ethnic sounds for almost a decade and ER. J. ORCHESTRA followed the same path. If there's anything we must emphasize from the USSR years is their interest for Orchestras and Classical oriented musicians, so it wasn't hard for the classical trained pianist Alexis Aleksandrov to find enough capable musicians not only for a traditional 4 or 5 piece band but actually for a small Orchestra around 1989.
Alexi's intention was to blend not only Rock and Jazz but also Slavonic melodies with Ethnic instruments, as they say in their website: "music without boundaries.". The project was ambitious but not as solid as it may have been, because I believe they never defined a band identity, their sound kept wandering through all the styles and influences they took as their own, but never really embraced a 100% authentic and unique sound. Sometimes they sound very Symphonic, others close to Neo Prog, New Age, Folk/Prog, World Music or even Neo Classical with strong emphasis in the easy listening aspects, so it's a problem to locate them under a determined sub-genre, being that they are too light to be in Art Rock and too Prog to be ignored, so after several debates we decided to include them in Prog Archives as a Related band, being that their New Age/World component is strong. ER. J. ORCHESTRA has released three albums during their career, "Gabrielus" in 1998, "On the Hill Again" in 2002 and "Unicorn" in 2004, all in the same light Symphonic, Fusion, Folksy and New Age vein but all worth listening, at the end the classification of a band is only anecdotic, being that the most important component is quality and ER. J. ORCHESTRA has more than enough quality. The latest lineup includes Valery Koshman - guitar, Vladimir Sorochenko - bass, Viktor Krisko - violin, Alexei Alexandrov - flutes together with Oakman - vocal, music, lyrics, Vladimir Pysmenny - guitar, Usein Bekirov - keys and Sergey Jakson - drums. If you are searching for a complex and elaborate band, forget about them, but if you like to listen softer Pr...read more