Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kletka Red - Hybrid

One of my reasons to start writing these pages was to shed some light on music that somehow is overlooked and needs more attention.
Now and then I will be writing a few words giving my insights about these musical gems, direct people to more info and hopefully have some sound samples and links.

This time I'll start with a cd that is in my opinion one of the very best of the last years yet because of lack of promotion and other reasons hardly got any exposure.
Kletka Red is a multi international band originally conceived by Leonid Soybelman ( Ne Zhdali), one of my favorite musicians and guitarist. Kletka Red also includes Andy Moor (The Ex) on guitar,Tony Buck (The Necks,Peril etc.) on drums and newcomer Joe Williamson on bass. They play a unique mixture of a jerky fractured hybrid of hard piercing punk rock improvised noise with all sorts of of East European traditional music (Klezmer,Rembetika,Russian folk etc.) plus a dose of dissonant avant flavors to top it.
In 2000 Kletka Red released Hybrid the follow up to the Highjack debut cd released on John Zorn's Tzadik a few years back.
The playing on this recording is extremely live and energetic and give the listener the impression of spontaneity despite the intricate nature of the interplay involved.
The combination of Soybelman and Moor's guitars is impressive often coming up with explosive passages and telepathic like synchronization .Buck shows completely different side of his usual playing with The Necks and proves how much of a versatile player he is and Williamson blends naturally with him.
Most of the pieces have Leonid Soybelman's typical charming Russian Yiddish and his own invented vocals and texts that often add a sense of humor and authenticity .
There is a nice balance between those hard rocking bracing pieces and the more gentle poetic "acoustic" songs (mostly the rembetica inspired ones) giving the album depth and variety
Why this essential piece of music failed to reach its potential audience is a mystery.There was a lot of care and work put into into this record (nice sleeve art and digipack).
Sadly In recent years Leonid Soybelman has completely abandoned music and has no plans to return.He uploaded a low bit rate version of this album FOR FREE DOWNLOAD so one can listen and get a taste : Here
I hope this gives people the urge to go out and buy the album (it has been re released in 2006 ) and that Leonid returns from his retirement to make some new music.

Here is a A Video clip made from footage filmed on the bands last tour.Mostly in Venice.Featuring 2 songs from Hybrid -"Pardon Grand Merci" & "How I Forget"


Anonymous said...

Ooh, thanks for the info and video.
Incidently, I just added yesterday Ne Zhdali to the Prog database and I mentioned Klekta Red in the bio and I got intrigued as to how it sounded.

fromzero said...

absolutely, leonid soybelman is really all the ne zdhali music..kletka-hijack, hybrid, both are very creative ventures of passionately intelligent and witty people. never can understand why sometimes music of this caliber does not take off, commercially (but i'm not really surprised)

Anonymous said...

Well said.

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