Review

KUBIKMAGGI Things

Album · 2017 · (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion
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4/5 ·
snobb
Kubikmaggi are piano trio from St.Petersburg,most European Russian city founded on eastern Baltic shores by Peter the Great, most "European" of all Russian tsars to date. Built on former Sweden-controlled territories by best French and Italian architects of the time, it was a result of an ambitious czar's project "to cut the window to Europe" for Russia. The project itself has been always a big challenge never fulfilled in full, but it gave to Russia and the world one beautiful place with very specific atmosphere, true "east meets west"(Eurasia Meets Europe),true creative boiler where Nordic rationalism is mixed with Russian metaphysical spirituality.

Originally a piano trio (or sometimes quartet), Kubikmaggi are not only a product of few hundred years of intellectual exclusivity and grey St.Peterburg's sky but as well a continuation of modern Russian avant-rock tradition, similar to Western RIO movement. Nothing's strange - Kubikmaggi's pianist and vocalist Kseniya Fedorova is a daughter of Russian avant-rock cult figure Leonid Fedorov, leader of Auktyon band.

Kubikmaggi's evolution from their debut "Needless"(2008) music till now is very impressive. Started as alternative rock quartet (with guitarist) on their debut, band sounded as bunch of students singing pretentious lyrics and adding odd sound effects trying to be different and attract attention at the same time (don't even want to mention terrible "experimental" sound mix). Here on "Things" they sound much more mature. Sound is very soft and uncompressed, not a classic "Nordic" one though. There is lot of blood and groove in album's music,with successful addition of saxophone on one song(opener).

Paying main attention on music itself,Kseniya sings only in a few places (incl. reworked in reggae key Little Tiger's song "Laying Under The Sun" from popular Soviet times children cartoon). Sounding more jazzy (partially because of sound mix),new album's music is better balanced but still contains same components as before - alternative rock's energy, snippets of brilliant tunes, some jazzy arrangements and in whole accessible and crazy mix of rational and irrational (an obvious Fedorov's genetic roots in father/Auktyon's music).

Not as screaming,intimate and sharp as Auktyon, Kubikmaggi with their third album continue the honorable tradition of St.Peterburg's avant-garde rock (and around) musical scene, and they do it well.
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