Raznotravie "Katorga"
Label: Roff; Roff CD 026; 2001; Playing time: 60.04min (but the first 17min are without sound)
It is not to easy to find here in the most western part of Germany good Russian folk music, which is one of the reasons why I am very happy to got in touch with Mitya Kouznetsov of the Russian group Raznotravie. Raznotravie blends Russian folk music with influences of world music, ancient music, avantgarde and much more. The group was founded in 1997; almost all members have remained in the band since then. In 2000 multiinstrumentalist and folk musician Mitya Kouznetsov joined them. Together they found a new sound which is presented on this album.
Raznotravie come from Rybinsk in theYaroslavl region in Russia. The group consist of seven members: Mikhail Posadsky (vocal, jaw harp, folk-whistle), he writes most of the songs; Vyacheslav Kamenkov (acoustic guitar, domra, backing vocal) arranges a lot and also writes songs; Anna Kouznetsova (Kholodyakova) (hurdy-gurdy, backing vocal, folk winds, percussion); Mitya Kouznetsov (vocal, svirel [russian whistle], jaleika [russian reedpipe], flute, gusli [russian psaltery], mandolin, jaw harp, folk percussion) is the producer, composer and sound engenieer; Alexandra Nikitina (chello); Valery Ershov (acoustic bass-guitar, backing vocal) and finally Pavel Davydovich on drums and percussion.
I like their music a lot, it is unconventional and fresh, with a lot of variations. The album has a CD ROM part, where you can find out a bit more about the band, watch some pictures and some videos...
A great album; hopefully we will have the chance to see them live soon!

23/09/2002 FolkWorld CD Reviews

To the content of FolkWorld No. 23