Category Archives: Music

Phonat – Learn to Recycle

michele-balduzzi-phonat-learn-to-recycle
Phonat (Michele Balduzzi)

Back in 2009, I wrote a Skiddle review of the first album by this prodigious Italian composer. I’ve just rediscovered his awesome track, so I decided to share both the review and the album list and, of course, the track. So, please welcome: Phonat – Learn to Recycle.

The debut album by the prodigious Florentine Michele Balduzzi, Phonat, is a collection of 12 genre-spanning tracks. It boasts 80s-styled vocals, signature delayed intros, and a unique mix of dance and electronic music with rock-inspired guitar riffs. The album being released at the end of September, the Christmas club fame is practically guaranteed.

Continental European musicians somehow tend to be more universal and almost more innovative. Learn to Recycle should be the name and the homage to this ability to blend all the impossible trends together into something rather tasteful , to break the ground, and to overwhelm with the sheer passion for music.

Learn to Recycle is a six-minute masterclass in exploring the endless possibilities of playing the same routine in different styles. Yet this feat of a track doesn’t come until the second half of the album. The previous seven tracks are exquisite antipasti. Early songs, like A Warm Welcome and Get Down My Dirty Street, feature the signature delayed intro. Set Me Free and Ghetto Burning are praised for their vocal arrangements and collaboration with Yolanda. Ho Visto Un Quadro Verde reminds of soundtracks from 1970s Italian police dramas. Learn to Recycle draws the line under all the previous experiments by giving a complete piece of daring, experimental dance music. And, to judge by Zombie Army, Phonat’s got a good sense of humour.

Apart from his gigantic height and passion for music, Phonat’s biggest asset is the good taste. The album’s structure and contents only confirm it. Where another artist would fall into banality and repetition, Phonat always stops short and changes direction – just enough to make a critic gasp for breath. In the album’s last song he asks if his mother would get to listen to this album. Sure, she will, and she will be proud.

Score: 5/5.

Phonat – Learn to Recycle is at no. 8

More on Music

A Russian post

Sinatra And Crosby – Jingle Bells

A wintery streetlight shines the light on the new Christmas season (@Internet)

The magical time of the year has arrived, and finally, after two very English (=mild, rainy) winters we’re having a proper Russian one, with snow and temperatures below zero. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Jingle Bells suit the weather perfectly, even though I cannot yet put my feet up and rest. Instead, may I remind you about the Xmas labels on this blog, which you might want to flick through:

2006 Xmas, 2008 Xmas, 2009 Xmas, 2010 Xmas, 2011 Xmas, 2012 Xmas, 2013 Xmas, 2018 Xmas, 2019 Xmas.

Xmas 2020 is going to tell about the holidays as they are being celebrated in Moscow this year. To put it officially, they are not being celebrated due to pandemics; instead, each of us is getting into festive mood by himself. This looks almost like what two great artists were doing in this video. So, let Xmas 2020 begin with Sinatra and Crosby Jingle Bells!

About Christmas Songs by Sinatra.

Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin To Become a Trademark

Roscosmos has initiated the registration of several historic and seminal signs as trademarks “to protect the state corporation from unfair competition”. Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is to become a trademark – the world-famous word he said on his first flight to space, which means “let’s go”.

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Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is known all over the world as the first words of a man in space. It is set to become a trademark if registered by Pospatent. Image credit: fortuna-2014.livejournal.com

As we’re waiting to hear about further details, here’s a song about Yuri Gagarin, Do You Know What Man He Was, sung by Yuri Gulyaev. The video is a collage of Gagarin’s photos.

Nine years ago, when the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned Earth orbit, Anton Agarkov paid a visit to the Star City and shared lots of photos that I also featured on my blog. Read the article. To commemorate the same event, Attic Room Productions have made The First Orbit movie that you can watch below. It reconstructs Gagarin’s historic flight and helps to relive his experience – now almost 60 years on.

More posts on Space.

Happy Christmas!

Together with Gladys Knight I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Let you be blessed, in good health, and let peace and love reign in our hearts and in the world.

I posted Do You Hear What I Hear a few years ago, and I’ve always loved to sing it during the festive season. So this year I recorded my singing its final verse in the midst of the glorious snowfall in Moscow. ​

Saturday Music: Valeriy Obodzinsky – The Way

The English-speaking world usually believes nobody sang in English in the Soviet Union. Well, sometimes there were made films that required an English soundtrack – like The Silence of Dr. Evans, written and directed by Budimir Metalnikov and released in 1973.  I’ve not seen it myself, but as I’m going through a revival of my life-long love for Valeriy Obodzinsky, I’ve come across the song The Way, composed by a famous Russian composer and pioneer of electronic music Eduard Artemev. Artemev also composed music to Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky.

Saturday Music: Christie – Yellow River

I’ve heard many versions of this song, but the first time it was recorded for me by my father on an audio cassette. It was around 1994 or 1995. Mungo Jerry from last week’s Saturday Music was also on that cassette, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that both songs come as a sort of inseparable pair. It is perhaps a kind of song that doesn’t leave much room for an experiment, but the drive and rhythm are such that you want to go to that Yellow River… via a Yellow Brick Road

New Recordings

So, I have spent the past year translating, teaching, and writing. I narrowly managed to go anywhere past my own district not only because of work but also due to my gran’s illness. After she passed away on April 27, it’s been a bit of a downtime in our family, although this was something that could well be expected of an 89-year-old. We miss her nonetheless.

There are, therefore, very few photos to show BUT there are new poems, poetic translations, and… recordings. I must admit I didn’t do this cover especially because of Mr Aznavour’s anniversary this year. Rather, I rediscovered this song, and it downed on me that it could be changed ever so slightly. And so I changed it, and as I can see from SoundCloud stats two people have downloaded it. I’d certainly like to really sing it for  someone special one day (like Catherine Zeta-Jones sang another song for Michael Douglas), but right now it’s just a simple home cover of the famous song by Charles Aznavour that has now become He, not She.

Happy Easter!

Last year I was very lucky to attend an organ recital at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It also happened to be the Orthodox Easter, and later that evening I found myself at a Presbyterian Sunday sermon. I recorded a couple of pieces, one of which you may now hear.