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The FolkWorld Live Act Top Ten 1999.
“Likely to leave you appreciatively speechless!” Jim Foley, Roots World
“A bewitching concert in ‘Moments’ (Bremen, Germany) – The bass player’s grandiose performance is the constantly pulsating core of this ensemble. Kalachev connects the singer’s beguiling voice with the occasionally Celtic-like sounds of the reed instruments – bagpipes, clarinets and various flutes – and the multifaceted, rocky percussion. In the folk song arrangements and compositions by Zhelannaya and Kalachev, a delicate, sometimes even playful balance between the traditional and the modern is always perceivable. This makes the music of the FARLANDERS an original and refreshing experience – far beyond folk music pepped up with pop ingredients.” André Hesel, Weser Kurier, Bremen/Germany
Since she turned up on the Moscow music scene in the early 1990s, Inna Zhelannaya – Russia’s most well-known and successful singer and songwriter – has been lauded by folk and rock critics alike.
At a time when the boom of female singer-songwriters in the West – particularly from the U. S. – has generated a flood of sound-alike musical material, we witness the arrival of an Eastern counterpart who can hold her own every step of the way: With her powerful and highly individual voice, the attractive Muscovite draws attention to herself and her songs, many of which explore the subtleties between the lines of human relationships.
Zhelannaya often surprises us with her unbroken loyalty to the traditional culture of her homeland, revealed in her extremely original interpretations of old Russian folk songs. In her carefree fusion of Russian folk, rock and pop elements with contemporary jazz – Western strains are also welcome – Zhelannaya has the support of several experienced musicians:
Sergey Starostin, known to Europeans through his numerous appearances with the highly praised Moscow Art Trio, already collaborated with Inna Zhelannaya in Alliance, a successful Muscovite band of the early 90s. On this album he appears not only as a singer but as a clarinettist and master of various traditional wind instruments which he built himself. Along with Sergey Klevensky (clarinet, flutes, woodwinds) he is also responsible for the CD’s wide range of unusual sound effects. The not-to-be-overheard bass player Sergey Kalachev – whose six-string fretless bass is also home-made – laid the rhythmical foundation for what is probably Moscow’s most popular rock group to date, Auktion. Together he and drummer Pavel Timofeev produce a pulsing rock rhythm and ensure the bandâs musical precision and coherence.