Evolution: Bad Samurais, All Tomorrow's Parties, A Model Kit, and Nikomu.
(...) The same tricky interface of private and public goals has reemerged in a side-project of Nachalo Veka (from Volgograd), known as Nikomu. The vocalist for Nachalo Veka is Alena Sergievskaia, who recently announced the publication of a net-single, available through Kroogi. It came with a Russian-language text that spoke of Sergievskaia's ability to operate on both sides of a modern folk register - siding with primetime pop and/or a more lyrical, plaintive tone. She tried to assuage fans worried by the possible connection between a solo project and her band's supposed demise. Hopefully self-expression had not fallen victim to financial pressures in the outside world.
Nachalo Veka live at the "Wild Mint" folk festival
«Hi! We've got some news. We continue to adore folk songs - and we'll keep singing them, too, But that's not the point of this letter... Over the time that we've been in Nachalo Veka and making records, the world has changed a lot. Records themselves have become ancient history and people no longer listen to music as albums. We've stopped doing so, too, but - all things considered - that's absolutely fine. As a result, we've prepared a 'non-album' for you. You could also consider it the first chapter of our 'non-book'! We hope you like. We do!»
«Songs dispatched "to nobody"»
That single has now become an EP, with the addition of a third track, «She Dances» (Ona tantsuet). It comes with a few additional statements in Russian, too: «Times change, people change, and music refuses to stand still. That, of course, means that everything changes for the better!» Put simply, improvement is alteration - and vice versa. The experiences of All Tomorrow's Parties and Bad Samurais are colored by the local failings of a regionally specific market. The notion of some unidirectional musical «career» cannot always be taken seriously. As a result, both A Model Kit and Nikomu turn to a non-urban context for inspiration; places without people are more inspiring.
Likewise, those two latter projects also find philosophical solace and/or benefit in a folkloric heritage, seemingly for a range of reasons. That pre-modern, rural setting is home to a sung tradition of self-worth within the endless changes and challenges of northern nature. If modern musicians are looking for a heritage that speaks to their contemporary woes in an unpredictable world, then the places and people of Slavic folklore may be a fine place to start.
And we should not forget that the stage-name chosen by Alena Sergievskaia - Nikomu - means «To Nobody». The assumptions of social progress are questioned from the outset. (...)
Alena Sergievskaia (Volgograd) and the face of change