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Album Review

Part of a long-running history of once-underground Eastern European art rock bands (Czechoslovakia's Plastic People of the Universe are probably the best known to Western audiences), Russia's Auktyon blend abrasive free jazz and prog rock (think of Henry Cow and the rest of the European "rock in opposition" scene) influences with loose, danceable rhythms that will be instantly familiar to anyone who's ever seen a jam band. The combination enhances both sides of the equation, giving the more experimental aspects an approachable context and making it harder to dismiss Pioneer as an album for recovering Deadheads to do the Awkward White Boy Wiggle to. This results in tracks like the bizarrely tuned "Son," which sounds like a mash-up of one of Robert Wyatt's acoustic tunes from the Soft Machine's Volume Two and a particularly noisy and lurching Residents track, alongside more familiarly Eastern European-sounding tunes like "It's Not Late," which slowly envelops a gypsy-style acoustic melody in waves of cacophony. Auktyon is not for the faint-hearted worldbeat listener — at the very least, some familiarity with Captain Beefheart will be a tremendous help, especially with co-lead singer Oleg Garkusha's bearish growl of a voice — but most of a musically adventurous bent will likely find it quite fascinating.

Customer Reviews

intensely original

Poetry in motion. If you don't know Russian, find translations, because you will be missing half the beauty. My favorites: "My Love" or "Victory Day"

Absolutely Real. Makes Life Better.

Leonid Fedorov's band plays the music that is both intensely melodic and avant-garde, poetic and explosive, sweet and tough. Auktsyon is highly indiosyncratic and complex but I have known plenty of young Americans (not to speak of Russians) who would not leave house without Fedorov's songs on their ipod. Fedorov's Romantic devotion to music, his firm refusal to sell out inspire a cult-like following among the brightest of Russian youth. His music is absolutely real. It makes life better.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Auktyon (Auction) are an idiosyncratic product of the Leningrad rock scene of the 1980s, and one of the few groups of the era to gain notice by the non-Russian-speaking world. Some would argue that Auktyon are Russia's answer to art rock, though their messy and loud sound, driven by an aggressive horn section, lacks the neat edges of most groups classified in that category. Unlike so many groups that came out of the last decade of the Soviet Union, Auktyon declined indiscriminate influence from every...
Full Bio
Pioneer, Auktyon
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Jazz
  • Released: Jun 06, 2006

Customer Ratings

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