Prog Archives: Petroglyphs

Ole Lukkøye – Petroglyphs (Psychedelic/Space Rock)

This album was compiled due to the band's 20th anniversary and released on TRAIL Records, an exquisite US label which is focussed on high-quality re-issues and compilations with trippy psychedelic and spacey music. OLE LUKKØYE are rooted in St. Petersburgh/Russia consisting of core members Boris Bardash, Andrey Lavrinenko and Alexander Frolov (Frol) as well as many other collaborators during the years. By the way – some of their regular studio albums were produced, mixed and mastered in Germany by Joachim Irmler (Faust) who seemingly has a special relation to this band.

They have a clear bias towards ethno flavoured songs with a tribal percussion background. And at this they blend ancient and modern elements to something very unique. Some years ago – at the end of 2003 exactly – I could take the chance to enjoy one of their live events at my little hometown. This blend of trance, space, ethno, chill out and folk was simply impressing! While exploring the ten songs you will recognize that OLE LUKKØYE use an unexhaustible reservoir of instruments. Just take the opener Zapara where I decided to use my headphones after some rounds in order to capture all the fascinating details at best really.

A skillfully arranged song, provided with oriental touch, which showcases a wondrous hypnotic groove forced by Lavrinenko’s bass and diverse percussion instruments. Accordion, cello, diverse synthesizer impressions are smuggled in quite natural. The electric guitar is well placed sounding close to a saz but also psychedelic to the core... and the deep-toned vocals (more of recitative practically) are rather hypnotizing – a wonderful mood they create!

Melting is provided with a stoic stomping triphop rhythm, based on samples I’m sure, but never mind – my OLE LUKKØYE favourite since I've heard it for the first time – the band is also drifting towards a stronger spacey outfit in particular. This song bears an irresistible spirit – difficult to explain why exactly – including hypnotic bass, psychedelic guitar, cosmic voice samples. Zagoralos’ is dedicated to fill the dancefloor at your next progressive disco event for sure. Tatjana Kalmykova adds transcendental vocals here.

‘Petroglyphs’ offers great variety which probably not immediately becomes accessible, besides the cornucopia of instruments we have also a bunch of related styles included here which is simply amazing... psych/space, trance, dub, triphop, Klezmer, new electronica, folk, indo/raga, shamanism, native indian chanting aso aso... successfully mixed together as if this is the easiest thing in the world.

While mastered/edited in New York the label announces ‘Petroglyphs’ as provided with improved sound quality – and I agree with compliment – this is a sonic adventure. Although their style is very independent... if someone might be seriously interested to have a clue about some analogy to other bands... I would name Korai Öröm and ColorStar first due to this tribal groove all over... which means after a while several songs are simply provoking to get your feets off the table and to dance. One or two may have to make friends with this unusual vocals first... and then at the latest the door is open to enjoy something really special.

Review by Rivertree, January 13, 2011

The Russian outfit OLE LUKKOYE was formed back in 1989, initially consisting of Boris Bardasch, Andrei Lawrinenko and Alexander Frolov. The aim of this band was to combine psychedelic music with world music and ethnic compositional features, a blend that over time gave them a fan base in Western Europe following various festival performances over the years. The US label Trail Records decided that 2009, which marked the 20th anniversary of Ole Lukkoye’s founding, was a good time to present them to a US audience too. And the following year the compilation “Petroglyphs” was issued, and as customary with productions from this label features remastered and remixed tracks as well as a few token previously unreleased creations.

If a blend of psychedelic rock, ethnic music and space rock sounds enticing, and the band’s own description of their music as ethnic trance doesn’t put you off, chances are good that you’ll revel in the sophisticated exploits of Russian act Ole Lukkoye. Sporting a plethora of exotic sounds, keyboard layers and vocals either spoken or chanted in a shamanistic manner, their blend of folk-inspired space rock is of a kind that should have a broad appeal, with fans of acts such as Ozric Tentacles a likely key audience.

Review by Windhawk, April 06, 2011

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