Experimental pianist Sergei Kuryokhin was one of the leading lights of the Russian avant-garde until his death in 1996. Moving in between several experimental rock groups and more classically influenced material, Kuryokhin was a controversial figure in his time, once appearing on Russian television to prove that Lenin was not a human being, but rather a mushroom. His later switch to the ultra right-wing National Bolshevik Party caused a riff among the avant-garde Russian community who could not figure out if he was genuine or simply pulling off a satirical prank.
Kuryokhin was born in Murmansk on June 16, 1954, and moved to Leningrad in 1971. Although his early career was focused on classical piano, he slowly moved to experiment in other veins such as jazz and hard rock before becoming interested in free jazz and improvised avant-garde music. A member of the Leningrad Conservatory and Institute of Culture, he was later expelled for his musical interests. Over the course of his career, he was a member of several groups, including Post, Bol'shoi Zheleznyi, and Gol'fstrim. He came to prominence with Aquarium and most famously with Pop-Mekhanika, which he formed in 1985. That group featured an ever-changing lineup of underground rock musicians from Leningrad. Mixing together musical styles from classical to progressive rock to operetta, the group performed live concerts with performance artists and an array of domestic and exotic animals. Meanwhile, the composer continued his interest in composing avant-garde music of all sorts with collaborators and on his own until the time of his death.