From Foreign Glam to Domestic Sounds of Mu - What Brian Eno Saw in Russian Rock

So what did Brian see in Russian rock? Or... maybe in Russia itself?

How Brian Eno helped Russian rockers

Brian Eno - is definitely an interesting man. His knowledge of sound effects is enormous! He was once part of a band Roxy Music - one of the most phenomenal, influential and unique in its style. But despite all Ino's impulses, the leader of the band always remained Brian Ferry. Because of "creative disagreements" Eno left the lineup.

Later it would turn out that between him and Ferry there had been tough fight for leadership and public attention! But that, however, is another story.

Brian Eno
Brian Eno

After Roxy Music, Eno took up solo careerBut he also cooperated willingly with other musicians, including ours, domestic. So what did Brian see in Russian rock? Or... maybe in Russia itself?

The Inexplicable Sounds of Mu

"The Sounds of Mu.
"The Sounds of Mu.

In 1987, Eno visited the USSR. The first group our foreign guest met was the capital's "inexplicable but unique gang," called "The Sounds of Mu.. Today about the phenomenon Petra Mamonova critics note that unlike "Aquarium," this band is more original and unique:

"The influence of the West is felt, but it's minimal. "Sounds of Mu is a real Russian madness! Inexplicable, but unique and attractive..."

Brian got into the work of Sounds of Moo, and helped to release self-titled albumThe album was released in 1989 in Britain, but in Russia the process dragged on until 1998. The record was released in Britain in 1989, but in Russia the process dragged on until 1998. Here's what he recalled Alexander Lipnitsky about working with Ino:

"Brian is fantastically easy to work with! He won't dictate his rules, point or impose his vision on you. He gives you absolute creative freedom, only occasionally hinting softly how you can do better. So far, he is the best producer we have ever worked with.

Although Eno himself emphasized that on this album he hoped to see Insanitywhich began his acquaintance with the band. But as if it wasn't bad enough - Mamonov decided to approach the working process with all caution and seriousness. However, Peter made an indelible impression on the foreign "sound guru"! Ino later told a not unknown journalist Artemy Troitskythat Mamonov reminded him of some "ancient archetype":

"It's something creepy, as if he appeared in our world from the Middle Ages! But that's what his phenomenon is all about.

Peter Mamonov
Peter Mamonov

For a while, the Sounds of Moo toured in the WestBut their third album of the same name was not a success (except a very modest one...). When asked by a foreign journalist if he was thinking of starting to sing in EnglishMamonov replied that this was his way of popularizing his work abroad:

"For me, singing in English would be a compromise. Music is an unpredictable thing. I can't imagine writing songs in English, in any language other than Russian. Through the lyrics I share my thoughts and feelings."

Meet the Aquarium

Boris Grebenshchikov
Boris Grebenshchikov

In 1997, Eno lived for a time in St. Petersburg. Here he discovered many new phenomena of the domestic rock scene, such as Boris Grebenshchikov and his group "Aquarium". The two have developed a very good buddy relationship, and in 2018 Brian even played keyboards on the song "Bird Crusade.".

However, Grebenshchikov, with all due respect to Ino, is not ready to create any joint project. In his interview, the leader of Aquarium said:

"Brian played for me on the 'Time N' album, which was undoubtedly an honor. But I'm not considering any joint projects. I don't need any outside involvement at all. I write the songs, and I know how they should sound. I don't need any extra fights. I've worked with a lot of producers, and I've had to say goodbye to them, because there's this and that kind of "division" that goes like this. Thank you, but I can do it myself.

"Parallel Culture."

Brian Eno
Brian Eno

In the West, the media constantly touches on the subject of Ino's love to Russia. When asked why he wanted as many people abroad as possible to learn about Russian rock and St. Petersburg in particular, Brian answered:

"Russia is a very, very interesting place because for 70 years this country has developed as a kind of parallel culture. Not ours, independent of us, but a separate, highly cultured society. You know, sometimes I think there's a wrong point of view in the West about Russia, like, "Oh, we won the Cold War." I'm sure that if we don't start doing something, true history can be forgotten..."

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