Sunday, 15 October 2017

Staraya Derevnya performance at TUSK Festival 2017

Before the start of TUSK Festival 2017 I received an email from Gosha, one of the members of the collective, Staraya Derevnya, who was interested in The Drone Ensemble.

"Staraya Derevnya are a Russian/Israeli collective with a tangible feel of the steppe and the ice and a curious musical hybrid that suggests endless/lawless, hard-bitten territories but yet with submerged echoes of the Incredible String Band and MV+EE, or maybe Caroliner but with psychedelic stimulants forsaken in favour of eyesight-endangering homebrew hooch. Of course there are remnants of some kind of un-placeable folk music in there too, the ethno-musical signature of some imagined state long gone rotten, perhaps. And yes, fleetingly yet more than once there is a glimpse into what Comus would have sounded like had they been Russian. Staraya Derevnya make bewitching music that seems impossible to place in terms of direction and intention, like climbing into a cab only to realise its not a cab at all.."

Gosha explained that he was really excited about seeing The Drone Ensemble play as part of TUSK 2017, but that unfortunately the band had other commitments on Friday evening and so were going to miss our performance. We agreed to meet on the Saturday after Staraya Derevnya had performed in Sage 2.

I thoroughly enjoyed their performance, and found it very interesting talking to them about how they work together despite different members of the band being based in London, Moscow and Tel-Aviv. They play some of their own handmade instruments alongside sounds and noises and other instruments such as flutes, guitars, Theremin, Mbira, Shruti box and a kazoo. Vocals are in Russian. For their set at TUSK 2017 they worked with an artist to produce visuals for the performance. Hopefully The Drone Ensemble will get the opportunity to collaborate with Staraya Derevnya at some point in the future. Watch this space!

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