Crohinga Well: Toomze

Ole Lukkoye – Toomze
(The Lollipop Shop / LSD 1)

Psychedelic music in Russia is a completely different story from that of most western countries (we'll come back to this in a major article we're still preparing). In the meantime: Russia doesn't have a lot of real psychedelic bands for the moment, or at least that we know of because communications are still not very easy due to various problems. The only acts now still in existence are Yat-Kha, Spring On K.U. Street and Ole Lukkoye. The latter were responsible (in 1994) for the formidable “Zapara” LP (reviewed in CW9, how time flies) an album that set standards for eastern European psychedelic music so high that only few others have managed even to get near (and I'm talking East AND West here!). Ole Lukkoye, meaning 'the name of the hero' (from a tale by H.C. Andersen), is a product of the Leningrad 80s underground. All Ole Lukkoye members were been in various bands during the last months of the old Communist (?) regime. The most important name here is that of Sezon Dozhdej, an ethnic ambient ensemble (also reviewed in CW9) that sheltered a few future Ole Lukkoye members. Founder of Ole Lukkoye and spiritual centre of the band is Boris Bardach, who studied ancient history and archaeology. He took part in a few archaeological expeditions in eastern Siberia, in Hakassia (near Tuvia and the Mongolian border). It seems Boris got confronted with thousands of standing stones, burial chambers and other relics of an ancient pre-Indo European race. This partly explains the very spiritual, almost hallucinatory atmosphere on their “Zapara” LP. The band wrote more material and by 1995 decided they had enough for a second album. They went on tour in Germany, Norway and Russia (where they performed for a local Muscovite TV station) and financed the recording of “Toomze” with the profits of their tour. Ole Lukkoye's musical expression abilities and songwritership have matured in the past few years and it shows: “Toomze” overclasses “Zapara” with a lot of points! Their music is more than ever a long stoned ethnical mushroom trip, evoking shamanistic rites and Oriental spiritual voyages. All nine tracks (65 mins.) have an ethnic repetitive percussion base over which you get layers of electric and acoustic instruments, Tuvian throat singing, mysteriously whispered Slavic vocals, drones, etc. Ole Lukkoye is Boris Bardach (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Andrej Lavrinenko (bass, ethnical string and percussion instruments), Alexander Frolov (oboe, flutes, cow horn, trumpet), Igor Kaim (banjo, guitar, effects) and . Shar (percussion), five musicians from St. Petersburg (as we now call Leningrad again) responsible for one of the best psychedelic albums of '96. The trance-like dreamy earth psychedelics of their “Toomze” CD are so enchanting and outstanding it would be a real shame if you missed this one. This very professionally made CD (housed in a beautiful digipack) comes with our high seal of approval. Essential! Contact see ad below.

Crohinga Well (Belgium), #13, April 1997