The man who stands behind Moscow-based instrumental bands THE RE-STONED and RUSHUS is a composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Ilya Lipkin whose interests, talents, experiences and crafts are manifold and diverse. He spent the early part of his career playing in various local bands including the legendary dark-folk act NEUTRAL and the defiant avant-core trio YARCHE-1000-SOLNTS, before forming his own acoustic neo-folk ensemble WALDSONNE in 2003.
Three years later, he launched an experimental-fusion project RUSHUS that featured a former member of the Tuvinian groups BIOSYNTES and YAT-KHA Evgeniy Tkachev on acoustic percussions and congas, and a jazz-master Vladimir Nikulin on electric bass. Their intelligent and elegant electro-acoustic softness and trance-induced shamanism made them more popular among lovers of neo-psychedelic and cafe-shop lobbyists than jazz and rock purists.
In 2008, Ilya Lipkin and Vladimir Nikulin formed a loud, fuzzy, and hard stomping power-trio THE RE-STONED. It was, as Ilya said, "a re-turn to the music I've always listened to and loved to play". Despite the band is not traditionally fronted by a lead singer and follows the completely instrumental path, they are arguably the most welcomed and popular live act among the Russian classic rock revivalists.
So it was February 2012, and Ilya Lipkin hosted in Moscow Glenda Pescado and Pete Bingham who were travelling in Russia as Sendelica. One night, he asked if his guests wanted to jam in the studio booked for THE RE-STONED upcoming sessions. Over three hours of live improvisations were recorded at the time by Ilya Lipkin (guitar, effects), Vasily Bartov (drums), Glenda Pescado (bass), and Pete Bingham (guitar). Four pieces were subsequently picked up by Ilya to produce the “Re-session” album which got completed in February 2013. All engineering, sound-producing, and artworking by Ilya Lipkin. (4 tracks - 47 min.)
The third studio album by renown heavy-psyche instrumentalists THE RE-STONED, Plasma finds axe-master Ilya Lipkin leading his band in new directions. It’s still the same sensual blues-influenced heavy psychedelic rock, but here they’re also rifling through various styles outside the realm of mind-boggling guitar riffs and rough jamming, for the first time incorporating songs with vocals (cover versions of Jefferson Airplane’s “Today” and Pink Floyd’s “Julia Dream” featuring Veronika Martynova on vocal) and even electro-acoustic meditations for solo guitar. Performed by Ilya Lipkin (guitars, bass, effects), Vasily Bartov and Pavel Voloshin (drums) with guest appearances of Veronika Martynova of WALDSONNE on vocals, Evgeny Tkachev of YAT-KHA on acoustic percussion, and Arkady Fedotov of VESPERO on synthesizer. Mixed by Ilya Lipkin. Mastered by Tobias Svensson. CD (8 tracks - 59 min.) is housed in a thick rough cardboard folder with silkprinted artwork.
"Plasma" album is also released as 12" LP by mighty Nasoni Records from Berlin (limited edition of 500 copies: 400 black and 100 color vinyl). This edition has different mastering, special full-color art-sleeve, and contains 6 tracks ("Grease" and "Acoustic" are not featured). Manufactured in Germany under exclusive license from RAIG to Nasoni Records.
"The riffs are tenacious, gritty and full of the requisite grind, but it’s in the dynamic-shifting cuts like Acoustic, the languid and nebulous Alpha Rhythm and two covers with breathy vocals from Veronika Martynova that Plasma not only gains depth, and girth, but gets the full effect and pay-off in contrast. That can be something sorely lacking in bands with the focus on the pummel and pound. The choice, and execution, of the covers say a lot about where The Re-Stoned and Plasma not only come from, but where they are going. Their take on Jefferson Airplane’s Today isn’t only faithful in spirit to the original, but ups the ante on the longing and slightly menaced sexuality of the source without hitting you over the head with the obvious. With Martynova in tow again, they do much the same with Floyd’s Julia Dream, spinning a wobbly hazy veil buoyed by the eider down. Does Plasma have the stones and good sense to get back to the basics? You bet. Grease is a flat-out scorching rocker that comes out of the gate at full gallop and keeps it pumping even when the tempo eases up on the gas pedal. Brother in arms Moon Dust greases the lunar module’s wheels with just the right amount of spiral to keep the heft easily in orbit. So above, so below with Faces of Earth and the Old Testament fury of The Clay God." – by Mr. Atavist at Sunrise Ocean Bender (USA) (January 2013).
"I must say this is hands down the best Re-Stoned album yet. These guys are really growing and progressing nicely. I’m especially impressed with the variety of music as the band explore acoustic and atmospheric realms and even include creatively interpreted covers." – by Jerry Kranitz at Aural Innovations (USA) (February 2013).
"The Re-Stoned and in particular Lipkin as the driving force behind the band impress on all fronts, and if it’s the package housing the CD that gets you to notice the album first, it’s one more thing to be thankful for after you’ve heard it later." – by H.p. Taskmaster at The Obelisk (USA) (February 2013).
The album was also reviewed at: Far From Moscow (USA), Rate Your Music (USA), New Underground Music (The Netherlands), Musikreviews.de (Germany), Rockblog-Bluesspot (Germany), Psychotropic Zone (Finland).
THE RE-STONED's second studio album, Analog took shape in just two weeks, in November-December 2010, when the band’s core duo of guitarist Ilya Lipkin and bassist Vladimir Nikulin teamed up with Vladimir Muchnov, a drummer for ARK OF PASSAGE and LORD OF DOUBTS. It demonstrated a somewhat different approach to creating music: all seven instrumentals were invented, improvised, and recorded live-in-studio with minimal guitar overdubs and a light doze of background studio trickery. There are no traditional song-structures here, though each piece is amazingly focused. This is heavily produced acid-rock at its best! You will be submerged into a shifting world of spacious grooves, fuzzy riffs, psychedelic obscurities, and pure musicianship on top of these. This carefully crafted and versatile album was mastered by Alisa Coral of PSI CORPS and SPACE MIRRORS. Artwork and layout by Ilya Lipkin. (7 tracks – 62 min.)
"Analog is the second installment from the great instrumental psychedelic jam machine known as The Re-Stoned. Rather than simply copy the formula established from their first album, they have produced something with a different vibe completely... Less metallic than 'Revealed Gravitation', this album is heavily rooted in psychedelic, sprawling jams that are breath-taking, free-flowing improvisations... The relaxed, acid-drenched atmosphere in combination with the warm production makes this album kind of sensual, strange to say that in relation with a psychedelic, stoner jam band but these tunes sound sexy (perfect f**king music) that still rocks at the same time. Songs are beautifully arranged even with the improvisatory attitude. They can go from slow, bluesy passages to stoner-metal riff rock to moments of spacey psychedelic acid rock and it is all done seamlessly... It is one of the 'must-haves' of 2011. (Score: 9/10)" – by Ed Barnard at Doommantia (USA) (May 2011).
"Music made by instrumental power trios rarely sound this good or are as engaging as what's been offered up here on Analog. The Re-Stoned are the real deal! (Score: 5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (May 2011).
"Analog is an album that will drag you right into their universe, an album that needs to be cranked right up, an album that is full of trance inducing shamanistic music that won’t leave you in a balance of stasis, music that has found its position in the chaotic universe of all things psychedelic and spacey... The appeal is still towards bands such as Karma To Burn, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizzard and Phased and any other top quality stoner band, being a perfect place to start the journey of discovery for this band, one which I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with. (Conclusion: 8 out of 10)" – by John O'Boyle at DPRP (UK) (July 2011).
"...This Russian power trio is one of the world's best heavy instrumental jam bands and 'Analog' confirms that statement." – by Klaus Kleinowski at Cosmic Lava (Germany) (May 2012).
THE RE-STONED are captured Live at the Vermel Club on August 19, 2010. The album includes the versions of 5 compositions from the debut Revealed Gravitation CD-album, and 2 non-album tracks, "Jam" and "Return". Performed and recorded by Ilya Lipkin (guitars), Vladimir Nikulin (bass), and Andrey Pankratov (drums). No overdubs! High quality sound resolution! The Vermel album is also available as a pro-duplicated CD-R. Limited to 100 copies and packaged in a cardboard folder with silkscreened, 2-color handprinting. Comes with 1" color button. (7 tracks - 43 min.).
"Riffing in a golden 70s' style... The group, holding the traditions of that decade high, pride themselves on two core virtues: an enduring display of top-notch musicianship and, conversely, the absence of overdubs. Skill and spontaneity predominate, each supporting the other. As a result, these stoner or southern rock compositions becomes a direct, no-nonsense statement in favor of an existing custom. Venerable conventions of forty years ago, performed live, need neither lyrical statement nor unmotivated innovation. The greatest respect for a rock canon is shown precisely by that stance - of insistent faith, rather than pointless (or profitable) novelty." – by David MacFadyen at Far From Moscow (USA) (December 2010).
"Keeping up the tradition of all-intrumental bands such as Karma To Burn, The Re-Stoned satisfy the listener with a ton of meaty stoner rock riffage, enough to appease your appetite until their next blue plate special is served." (by Reg Rykaczewski at Heavy Planet).
The Moscow-based instrumental power-trio THE RE-STONED is usually associated with the local “stoner rock” scene, not because their music can only be appreciated by inveterate weedeaters but because of its heavily fuzzed sound and reliance on muscular riffing in golden 70’s style. Ilya Lipkin (guitars), Vladimir Nikulin (bass) and Andrei Pankratov (drums) leans on a combination of bluesy guitar-drenched textures and spacy, almost psychedelic jam-meandering trips, but the most important thing is their great skill at creating melodies so that you get really caught without any vocal hooks. This one is a great thing, whether you are “stoned”, “re-stoned” or not. Riffing is the essential of each song, but the band are not shredders of the simple boogie rock power of raw. They care a lot about the arrangement and try to give individual flavor to each composition using voice-samples (like in an opener “Gravitation”), or acoustic percussion (jembe on “Oriental Doom”, “Eternal Search” and “Sleeping World” is played by Evgeny Tkachev of YAT-KHA), or keyboards (Hammond on “Moriarty’s Blues” is played by Pavel Panfilov), or acoustic guitar (“Eternal Search”). “Moriarty’s Blues” also features guest appearance of Sergey Hodnev, drummer of the early ARSENAL line-up). The album was mixed and mastered by Alisa Coral of PSI CORPS and SPACE MIRRORS. Classic rock, blues-rock, traditional doom and stoner enthusiasts, and everyone else who appreciates original and challenging hard-rock music will like THE RE-STONED offering. (11 tracks - 61 min.)
"Make no mistake when you play this music, play it loud, end of, no questions asked, that’s just the way it is. The band have used to great effect, copious amounts of flanged guitar work, phase pedals, tribal, solid, rhythmic drumming, dexterous, groovy bass work, all thrown into the melting pot and jammed out in their own inimitable laid back approach... As a band The Re-Stoned have really recorded a gutsy instrumental album with varying tones and differing approach’s, making each track individual. There’s no mistake where their heart lies on this album, which has allowed them to exercise their vision, creating an album that would appeal to fans of Karma To Burn, Black Sabbath, Electric Wizzard, Phased or any stoner band really. This is an album of quality and class, that doesn’t reinvent the genre, but does participate and contribute well. (Conclusion: 7 out of 10)" – by John O'Boyle at DPRP (UK) (September 2010).
"The cool thing about this band is the amount of ground they cover, from the instrumental sounds of The Atomic Bitchwax, Karma To Burn to space/psych rock sounds of Nebula to Desert Rock of Kyuss to all out 70's riff-rock worship in the style of early Fu Manchu and a lot in-between. The Re-Stoned also pull out its fair of psychedelia as well making this one of the better instrumental albums to be released in recent years. Rather than having some standout tracks and a few fillers, this album is solid throughout and flows wonderfully well so it comes off as an complete piece of work rather than just a collection of songs. The Re-Stoned are a excellent band and very diverse within the framework of instrumental Stoner meets Psychedelic Rock. (Score: 9/10)" – by Ed Barnard at Doommantia (USA) (September 2010).
"While the name of the instrumental Russian trio The Re-Stoned may or may not be some sort of allusion to the stoner rock genre, the fact of the matter is that the music offered up on their debut effort Revealed Gravitation contains significantly more depth than what you'd find on your typical stoner rock disc. This hard rock/ psych power trio specialize in epic jams laden with absolutely monstrous sounding riffs, catchy melodies and layer upon layer of acid soaked atmospherics... This is definitely one wild, sixty minute trip that you'll be glad to take over and over again. If challenging and flawlessly executed, instrumental hard rock, that places full emphasis on both killer riffs and grooves, are up your alley then The Re-Stoned are definitely going to be a band that you'll want to investigate further because Revealed Gravitation will deliver all of that and then some. (Score: 4.5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (November 2010).
"Their heavy sound is based on the 1970's covering a wide range of musical styles. And the best part of it all is that The Re-Stoned are able to channel all their influences in a multi-phased statement of true virtuosity. For example, 'Moriarty's Blues' is an organ-driven hardrock monster with a brilliant middle section where especially bassist Vladimir Nikultin demonstrates his funky bass skills that takes the song in a completely different direction. But guitarist Ilya Lipkin, too, shines with his excellent guitar work. Regardless whether he pulls out big rip-roaring riffs as, for example, in 'Gravitation' or invokes the spirit of Jimi Hendrix with the help of impeccably fluid guitar solos, his playing remains powerful and varied. Therefore it is only logical that The Re-Stoned do not need a vocalist, because he/she would only distract of the band's strengths. This is a power trio making a lot of noise, sounding big, jammy and hard-edged all at once. Even if they reveal their psychedelic and progressive leanings, this three guys stay focused and never lose their hard-hitting attitude. During such moments The Re-Stoned are situated close to heavy jam bands such as Iota or Earthless, because they also understand their craft. Additionally, there is no lack of ideas. There are a lot of carefully crafted arrangements, which knows how to constantly surprise the listener with another sonic detail. 'Orient of Doom' is refined with a strong Arabian flavor as well as an acoustic percussion instrument named jembe. This track is just one of many highlights on this album and it would take several hours to list them all here. The Re-Stoned can become a major figurehead for the Russian classic/heavy rock scene and 'Revealed Gravitation' is truly an amazing, diversified debut. So, don't let the band name fool you, because this is not the next mediocre stonerrock band." – by Klaus Kleinowski at Cosmic Lava (Germany) (December 2010).
The album was also reviewed at: Metal Library (Russia), Metal Library's interview with The Re-Stoned (Russia), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), Music Waves (France), Concrete Web (Belgium), Doommantia's interview with The Re-Stoned (USA), Prog Sphere (Serbia), Aural Innovations (USA), Something Sweet To Throw Away (Australia).
Recorded at the band’s rehearsal space, Return To The Reptiles is a debut EP by THE RE-STONED. It includes four instrumental tracks of which “Run” and “Return” are the EP exclusives while “Mountain Giant” and “Sleeping World” appear on the band’s debut full-length in completely re-arranged and re-recorded versions. The disc (4 tracks - 17 min.) comes inside a hand-numbered silkscreen (a white or green over black cardboard) folder. There were 100 copies manufactured.
Read about: The Obelisk (USA).
(related projects) RUSHUS / A FOGGY REALM
An accomplished composer and musician, Ilya Lipkin set up his A FOGGY REALM in the end of 2009 to explore the mysterious realms of ambient-and-drone electroacoustics played live with an electric guitar and a bunch of effect pedals. "Twilight" EP is a debut release by this project. Recorded in January 2010, it features five relatively short pieces consisting of thick multi-layered guitar ambiances ranging from the obscured psyched-out to the threat-suffused and doom-riffed. Strong and weirdly fascinating performance. (40+ mb - 5 tracks - 28 min.) A FOGGY REALM MyspaceMusic Page
The trio’s debut-set of nine tracks is a subtle, textured instrumental album that relies much on ambient music and improvisations. It unfolds slowly but logically, and displays a lot of inner heat with engaging and graceful guitar work, hypnotic and fluid synthesizer passes, shamanic djembe beat, and bass forging the bridge between rhythm and melody. Nine has a wonderful fluid meditative feel, and appeals to anyone interested in melodic improvisation and composition. Some tracks includes textures created by Jhonnie of KRATONG. The album was mixed and mastered by Alisa Coral of SPACE MIRRORS. Comes with artwork printed on various colored-papers (green, blue, red, yellow, etc.). (9 tracks - 68 min.)
"Searching for their own inner mounting flame they have opted for a glowing warmth and humaness in their sound, which sometimes evolves into a true burning fire. They never fall out of a basic melodiousness and their contrapoints and disharmonies never fall out of place. Whatever they do, they seem to have a certain plan and they follow it down... Currently I am fascinated by Rushus mainly because of their choice of percussion instruments, because Tkachev plays the congas. I haven’t heard a record where congas played an important role in a music that was progressive and forward bound in quite some time. Tkachev plays them like a half devil most of the time. Especially on the track 'sky horse' he makes the mentioned horses come alive by emulating a driving beat of a horse galopping in full force. A physical achievement in itself, it also sets an intriguing fundament for the screeching guitar sounds of Lipkin and the fleeting bass noises of Nikulin. Very important in this respect, to me at least, is to mention, that inspite of the congas they never once touch into the field that is generally described as ethno or world music... As any good prog-rock or fusion jazz band will, they want to show off as much of their music as possible, therefore they have filled this CD to the brim with 68 minutes of music. But the album stands its own time, does not get boring and if you let yourself fall into it, then you will welcome the evolvement of these nine lengthy as space to roam in freely." – by Georg Gartlgruber at Monochrom-Cracked (Austria) (March 2009).
"Nine is a richly layered and subtle foray that bends together elements of ambient, fusion, and world music with a slight nod towards the avant-garde. Tkachev's work on acoustic percussion and congas gives each of these nine compositions their warm organic feel as Lipkin weaves both his myriad of synthetic sounding space effects and carefully thought out, multi-textured solos. While Nikulin's bass work sounds distinctly absent from the first couple of numbers, his thick & meaty sound finally appears on 'View From Within' as he lays down a nice foundation for Lipkin's jazz tinged guitar work. Cohesiveness is the key word in describing Nine as each composition flows seamlessly into the next so the listener can revel in fully absorbing these trance inducing meditations from beginning to end. Nine comes across as completely natural and organic and Rushus have definitely delivered an impressive debut record, one that sees them already firmly in control of their musical vision. (Score: 4/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (April 2009).
The album was also reviewed at: Sulatron (Austria), MADZ-zine (Russia), DisAgreement (Luxembourg), Progwereld (The Netherlands), Progressive Area (France), Rate Your Music (USA), DPRP (UK), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), MerlinProg (Norway).
Performed by Ilya Lipkin (guitars), Evgeniy Tkachev (percussion) and Vladimir Nikulin (bass). Tracks 1, 2, 3 were recorded at the Rushus Studio by the band; mixed and mastered by Alisa Coral at the KZI Studios (Moscow, Autumn 2008). Tracks 4, 5 were recorded live at the Kostarev studios; mixed and mastered by Alexander Kostarev. "Stories" includes previously unpublished tracks. Original artwork by Ilya Lipkin. (48+ mb - 5 tracks - 26 min.). The album is also available as a pro-duplicated CD-R in slim-case w/ booklet.
|EP-CDR | MP3-file (Accessory Takes)||out-of-print | free download|
|MP3-file (Accessory Takes)||free download|
|pro-duplicated CD-R | MP3-file (Accessory Takes)||out-of-print | free download|
|CD (RAIG) | 12" LP (Nasoni Records)||$13.00|