ALBUM REVIEW: staraya derevnya – Boulder blues

The art collective staraya derevnya position themselves into the krautfolk aesthetics. But describing them is far from being an easy task. Any attempt to do so becomes quite paradoxical given the seemingly effortless creativity they’re pouring into their music. The five tracks on their latest album stand as proof of their originality, bringing authentic sounds together and creating unexpected surrealist imagery.

The album is the result of two years of artistic endeavor and was recorded from 2020 to 2022 in Israel, UK, Mexico and Germany. It reveals itself with Scythian nest, a playful song revolving around vocal and percussion effects on a recurring melodic background of same-paced rhythms. In contrast, on Boulder blues the vocals become regular and recurrent, a chanting of an intensity that grows with the moment while the melody evolves in its own way, filling the space, sparkling in the air and not stopping until the last drop of intensity is consumed.

Tangled hands is a different kind of journey, probably the most experimental track on the record. It mingles instrumental sounds, frequencies, rhythms, it benefits from both masculine and feminine vocals and goes on tenderly without any hint on how or when it would end.

Bubbling pelt is a recording performed at Tusk Festival in 2020. The piece de resistance of the album, running at almost 21 minutes, was built live with instrumental layering (cello, clarinet, synthesizer, flute) and vocal effects, ending with home-made instruments sounds, a good way of making sure you come back to reality after a mystifying trip. The compelling live performance can be still watched on the bands’ youtube channel.

Gallant spider is a little masterpiece in itself if you think about how the tune keeps on going while simultaneously trying to go off the beat but somehow manages to stay within timing boundaries. Like something broken but not beyond repairing, as the melody keeps coming back at the right moment, and not allowing you enough time to reason whether it has to be mended or not.

With Boulder blues staraya derevnya keeps pushing boundaries of an unlimited imagination by flying beyond any given reality in unexpected ways. The album is out on 5th of August 2022 on Ramble Records, followed by a gig on 10th of August in Cafe OTO. Until then, it can be pre-ordered via staraya derevnya’s bandcamp.


Gosha Hniu: objects, percussion, cries and whispers, marching band kazoo, wheel lyre
Ran Nahmias: silent cello, theremin
Maya Pik: synthesizer, flute
Grundik Kasyansky: feedback synthesizer
Miguel Pérez: guitars
Yoni Silver: bass clarinet
Andrea Serafino: drums
Tom Wheatley: double bass
Galya Chikiss: cries and whispers
Dasha and Masha Gerzon: choir, piano

Artwork by Danil Gertman. Design by Maya Pik.
Lyrics are based on the poems by Arthur Molev.

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. But also an important cause of tinnitus and hearing loss. If you’re a constant concertgoer, consider investing in your health and go for a pair or custom made earplugs. That’s right, the kind all cool musicians have. Once lost, the hearing does not come back. Search for a provider in your city right now.


Author: ywannish