Siberian rock


Rock in the USSR, though almost unknown abroad, is being played for more than 20 years already by a great number of groups. The music was officialy prohibited till 1986, but in those years a lot of so-called «schools of rock» were being born and developed in Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, Moscow, in republics of Baltia, Ukraine, Siberia. Each of «schools» is characterized by its own styles of music and lyrics, philosophical concepts and even stage image.

Today rock from Siberia and the Far East, though remaining uncommercial rarely shown on TV, broadcasted or recorded on vinyl, is considered the main source of new musical ideas by critics and fans. Dmitry Revyakin, songwriter and vocalist of «Kalinov Most» folk-blues group, meets constant interest for almost five years.

Actually, in each city of Siberia — Novosibirsk, Omsk, Barnaul, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Magadan — there are popular young bands known to every rock fan. The recent years face worldwide the growing interest in ethnic music in all forms, and its alloy with rock. Nowadays «worlbeat» based on the Asian, African and «oceanic» musical tradition is believed to be the mainstream of rock-pop music of the 90s.

Siberian group, «Kalinov Most» (formed 1984, Novosibirsk), faces the Slavenic lyrical and musical tradition which is also genuine to the young Russians. Dmitry Revyakin, leader of the group, slightly resembles of rock-star on stage. In his image and «out-of-heart-and-soul- voice» and deeply national lyrics one surely feels pre-Christian Russia and polytheistic mysticism. Backed by guitarist Vassily Smolentsev, drummer Victor Chaplygin and Andrey Shennikov on bass, Dmitry narrates about dark grizzled «dubravas» and sunlighted virgin «steppes» (Russian for oak woods and prairies).

In his songs The Red Sun blinds our eyes, the water of the Don river is icily cold and hot blood of heroes floats down the black earth. And the ancient picture of The Red sun on the white (banner of the group and a symbol for their fans) seems to prove that Dmitry Revyakin, realizing today’s pain and fears, believes in his way out of the nation fatigue. This way fe in pre-Christian positive anger which makes our souls clear and full of Joy. Under the Eternal Red Sun all the sorrows and great problems of the end of the 20th century become less important; the only things really valuable are your human and national soul.

The concept of existence for «Kalinov Most» is a constant fight between Good and Evil. The lads have chosen the symbolic name for the group. In Russian folk ballads «the brige made of snow ball tree» («kalinov most» in Russian) lies across the waters of the Smo- rodina river: one bank is the Land of Good, another one — the Land of Evil. Brave knights fight evil wizards and dragons on «Kalinov Most».

The philosophy of the Good-Evil frontier results in the belief in a young «Ubermensh» full of will and power, who looks far into «Future» and arises over «Today». For Dmitry, «Yesterday» doesn’t exist, but prehistorical «it was» full of will and power when the soul of the nation and the one of an individual was young and clear.

One can consider the songs by «Kalinov Most» folk-blues group an attempt to step away from «Today», but this lack of interest in politics is not evident. «Tomorrow» is very important for the guys, and this is the reason of their fixed and attentive look into «the Past». Their songs purify the young people’s souls… well, isn’t that the way for the nation to revive?

Text and translation: Alexei Belikov, Editor of «Nsk» rock newspaper. («Sibirskaya Gazeta», a special issue for distributing in the USA, August 1991.)