Kruzenshtern I Parohod With Eugene S. Robinson - Hidden Album Volume IIKruzenshtern i Parohod are a four piece band from Tel Aviv, Israel who have been going for 10 years or so. Hidden Album Volume II is their 11th or so release, but this one features Oxbow's Eugene S. Robinson on vocals for 2 of the album's 3 tracks. Hidden Album Volume II was supported by a crowd funding Indiegogo campaign to cover costs, and it's been a good thing as Kruzenshtern I Parohod With Eugene S. Robinson are well worth investigating.
Kruzenshtern i Parohod are based around a quartet of musicians using bass, drums, clarinet and accordion and their sound combines hardcore, jazz and traditional Jewish music. So the result is going to be surprising, and naturally it is. Eugene S. Robinson is great at these unexpected collaborations. His work with Philippe Petit's experimental outfit Strings of Consciousness is fantastic. You can seek it out on their albums Our Moon Is Full (which also features JG Thirlwell, Barry Adamson) and From Beyond Love (featuring Cosey Fanni Tutti, Andria Degens, Lydia Lunch and Graham Lewis). Hidden Album Volume II is another story though.
Its combination of jazz, hardcore and traditional Jewish music, which I believe is called Klezmer, is a joy to behold. There's an energy and adventurousness that is infectious. The first track, '1.2.3.', opens to powerful crashing drums and low bass pummels as Robinson drawls his story based lyrics, as it picks up the flowing clarinet and Israeli accordion laced music creating an almost cabaret feel. With stop start jazz structures, it flows seamlessly from free form jazz to pumping celebratory music and back again. It's joyous and fun-filled, with Robinson acting as an interloper; an unexpected guest with vocal hysterics ranging from spoken word to exasperated wails.
'Mutabor' helps to set the tone. With fast paced traditional music of billowing free form clarinet and accordion chime it constantly switches style throwing up renditions of the French national anthem at points. There are even moments that inhabit atmospheric realms with wistful voices and some out and out weird voices. But for the most part 'Mutabor' veers between traditional music and rampant hardcore jazz.
Right from the get-go on 'Koshka' the breathless delivery of Robinson is almost playing catch-up to the pumping accordion, spirited drumming that carries the feel of Israel festivities. The music constantly falls apart and reappears, through passages of traditional Jewish music and rampaging hardcore jazz punk. Free-form clarinet, low slung basslines and accordion chime is the backdrop to Robinson's enraged howls, disturbed whispers and moaning vocal tones. At points, it's as chaotic as the anarchic outpourings of The Birthday Party. There are occasional passages of noodling bass with weird accompanying vocal warblings and more experimental moments where it collapses into warped accordion music. But with low bass tones and slow drawled vocals, accompanied by throat singing of sorts, it closes with Robinson's tones coming together with wafting opera styled laments over chiming keyboards before it implodes into a chaotic noise infested free-form climax. Throughout its 21-minute duration which spans the second side of this vinyl release, 'Koshka' is a crazy blast of experimental jazz punk.
Hidden Album Volume II from Kruzenshtern I Parohod With Eugene S. Robinson is unlike anything we've reviewed before. It is as Eugene S. Robinson declares on the first track, '1.2.3.' "Such a fucking blast ringing in my head". Comparisons? John Zorn is a name that immediately springs to mind as he combines jazz and hardcore with a Jewish flavour on his Tzadik label. But this is an album of infectious experimental hardcore and jazz mixed with traditional Jewish music. Oxbow fans wont want to miss this and other interested parties should check it out too. Hidden Album Volume II is released on vinyl in an edition of 300 copies by Auris Media. For more information go to Auris Media