There seems to be a trend these days for solitary and extremely talented musicians to embark on a route of independently composing and assembling their own musical masterpieces. Such aspirations only being realized after the work has been put together in a series of tuneful arrangements after which they subsequently surround themselves with a group of correspondingly talented and fitting musicians to hone and bring such individual ideas to full fruition within the technical sanctity of the recording studios. Antony Kalugin, keyboardist extraordinaire, is such a point in case having now put together eight albums under the Karfagen moniker. Indeed on this specific project no less than fifteen musicians, all with unfamiliar Russian sounding names, were drafted in for duty on this, his latest album “Spektra”. As for the quality of the overall composition it flows wonderfully well, the entire album being extremely melodic and encompassing many colourful routes through the whole range of the symphonic progressive rock spectrum. I imagine at the initial stages of composition everything would have been precisely worked out as a series of separate keyboard scores and then would follow the exacting task of segregating the various parts and assigning the various instrumental roles. This aspect of the project has been extremely well worked out because and besides the utilisation of lead guitar and keyboards much use has made of instruments such as accordion, bassoon, violin and flute. Even though this is very much a keyboard driven enterprise Antony Kalugin has certainly not monopolised all of the lead roles for himself but has, too a degree, fairly equally shared such responsibility. Overall, there are three separate phases to this entirely instrumental musical journey each of which exhibits a variety of different tempos and moods all with an emphasis on tuneful melody and according to his home page Inspired by the likes Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev, Edward Grig and Pyotr Chaikovskiy, Particulary nice is the use of the accordion which is spread out over certain sections of the album and which is indeed fascinating adding another very Soviet flavour to the proceedings.
Apparently “KARFAGEN” which means Carthago is a symbol of glory and wisdom and also a never-ending journey into the world of the forgotten past and unpredictable future.
Summary: An interesting collection of melodic well composed symphonic progressive rock styled keyboard led instrumental pieces which immediately accessible and very enjoyable particularly those sections employing an accordion lead.
Cover Art: An imaginative, very colourful and beautifully produced package with detailed information.
1.Spektra 2.Troy 3.Transaleatorica 4.TerraIncognita 5.Celebration 6.Homonymous 7.AngelTears
PHASE.2-8.Zeus 9.Dionis 10. Poseidon 11. Aurora 12. Homonymous
PHASE.3 13. Dios Pyros 14. Natural Charm 15. Eye Witness 16. Juggler AndTheCloud (StudioLive)
Line-up / Musicians
-Antony Kalugin / keys, percussion, arrangement, vocals
Max Velychko / electric, acoustic & 12 string guitars
Sergiy.Balalayev drums (1,4,5)
Ivan.Rubanchuk drums (8-11,14)
Kostya.Shepelenko drums (2,16)
Oleg.Prokhorov bass (1,2,4,5,16)
Kostya.Lonenko bass (8-11,14)
Olha.Rostovska keys, vocalis (2,11), Latin vocals(4)
Sergii.Kovalov-accordion (4,8-11,13) & Latin vocals(4)
Maria.Baranovska violin (1,2,4,8-10,14)
Alexandr.Pastuchov basson (8,9,11)
Roman.Gorielov Latin vocals tenor (4)
Oleg.Pashkovskiy grand-piano (14)
Lesya.Kofanova flute (14)
Michail.Sidorenko alto-sax (14)
Olga Vodolazhska / rainstick, shakers, triangle