"One listen to this musical outfit from Southern Russia known as Vespero was all it took to make me begin thinking about the great things that must be happening in Russia…" (by Ryan Sparks, Sea Of Tranquility).
"With each new release the Russian band Vespero further reinforce my feeling that they are one of the best instrumental bands on the contemporary Space Rock/Psychedelic scene…" (by Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations).
Formed in early 2003 in Astrakhan (Southern Russia), VESPERO went through numerous personnel changes, produced quite a few low budget recordings, and turned into a mainstay of local scene before releasing their official debut album in 2007. They spend most of the time diligently honing their musical craft and inventing their own fantasy world somewhere near the crossroads of psychedelic, space rock, progressive rock, kraut-rock, avant-garde poetry and live theatrical performance. The band's current lineup features: Ivan Fedotov (drums, percussions), Arkady Fedotov (bass, synths, flutes, voice), Alexander Kuzovlev (guitars, electronics), and Alexei Klabukov (synths, keyboards, accordion).
Leaving behind them satire, irony and kraut-extravaganza, Astrakhan’s VESPERO created an impressive lyrical work inspired by visions of their homeland. Stylistically, “Droga” (from Italian: herb, spice, fragrant, drug, etc.) marked a distinct shift to the progressive rock area. This is all instrumental eclectic prog-rock with traces of Southern Russia’s ethnic music and jazz-fusion, though the presence of space-kraut-psychedelic elements is still very strong. Whatever you label it, this is an astonishing musical journey through time and space which lovers of modern instrumental rock will enjoy. CD (9 tracks - 73 min.) is housed in a thick rough cardboard folder with silkprinted artwork.
Vespero / Droga + Liventures, etc (2013) / CD+CDR in progress
Limited to 100 units, this special two-disc set includes a regular "Droga" CD-album and "Liventures, etc" pro-duplicated CD-R (8 tracks - 68 min.). The latter is a satellite release to both the "Droga" and "Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier" albums. It captures VESPERO live and performing alternative versions of their favorite compositions, cover songs, compilation exclusives, and new songs. All tracks or versions are previously unreleased. "Liventures, etc" is not available as a separate disc-release.
"A German bird of prey had been carved into the rock above the submarine dock, but Morris had used a kosher salami to blast away the swastika in its talons. Likewise a yellowed banner announcing 'U-Boats Willkommen Hier' had been scorched with lasers, and a stack of crates and steel drums stamped with the SS thunderbolt had served as the bull's-eye for numerous whipped-cream targeting experiments." – from "Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy" by Matt Ruff (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997).
The 4th VESPERO's official album, "Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier" is a conceptual framework for six instrumental kraut-rock songs which are inspired by Russian Futurism of the early 20th century, German musical underground of the 70's, modern American fiction writers, as well as mysteries of the Great Ocean still not completely explained by mankind. The first pressing of CD (6 tracks – 67 min.) is limited to 500 units. 450 units are packaged in an oversized thick folder of rough cardboard with silkscreened cover-art; it contains a big full color submarine navigation map. Original graphics and artwork navigation by ZonderZond.
Free streaming or immediate digital download of the album (in your choice of MP3-320, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire) is available through Official R.A.I.G. Bandcamp.
Vespero / Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier - "Seebar" Edition (2012) / CD $56.00
50 units come as a handcrafted memorable "Seebar" Edition under the catalog number R073PG ("Piece Goods" line by RAIG | ZonderZond). Each set is packaged in a oversized foil stamped, hard cover case. In addition to the disc and navigation map of a basic edition, it contains a full color oversized booklet and postcards, special set of vintage photographs, hand-crafted replicas of U-Boat pennant, crew member dog-tag and cuff-title. The "Seebar" box-sets are individually numbered and available exclusively through RAIG's web-store (Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds). Original design navigation by ZonderZond.
"Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier" is also released as 2xLP by the German label Krauted Mind Records (limited edition of 500 copies: 250 black and 250 color vinyl; gatefold sleeve, poster). Sides A, B, C have a track-list similar to the CD-edition. Side D features two parts of previously unpublished 20-minute composition "Liventure N8" (vinyl-only bonus). Manufactured in Germany under exclusive license from RAIG to Krauted Mind Records.
"Loosely conceptual and firmly steered, Subkraut finds Vespero taking their progressive space rock to gravity-free watery depths with as much drive and surge as ships taking off in the other direction. And finding that infinite space isn’t just over your head." – by Mr. Atavist at Sunrise Ocean Bender (USA) (May 2012).
"For my money there are a scant few bands, instrumental or otherwise, that continue to push the sonic envelope further with each subsequent release as effectively as the Russian space rock outfit Vespero. Now four albums into their career, their latest opus entitled Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier is a concept disc of sorts that finds the band keeping the crux of their sound and many of their key musical ingredients firmly intact, and yet at the same time, it also see's them continuing their relentless affinity for self discovery by carving out new paths in the search for those missing layers required to take them to the next level... Containing six instrumental compositions and clocking in at around an hour, Vespero once again thrive on guiding the listener through yet another one of their multi- dimensional, kaleidoscope journey's through the cosmos, and also in this case the murky depths of uncharted oceans. Although comprised of six individual tracks, the music presented here is woven seamlessly together in the rich and dense warmth that can only be achieved through analog sources, not to mention it is also a welcome contrast from today's music culture, which still favors pushing individual 'tracks' as opposed to the complete album listening experience. The shimmering atmospherics, heaping amount of synth washes and innovative guitar textures and effects are on full display throughout, as they mesh perfectly with the ever shifting rhythms and complex percussive patterns. Their 70's inspired Krautrock approach is further complemented on a few tracks with the subtle addition of sax, flute and cello. When you put it all together it comes across as yet another masterpiece from these Russian pioneers. What continues to set Vespero apart from many of their contemporaries operating in similar musical territory, is their continued desire to explore new sounds, without sacrificing any of the main ingredients (for lack of a better word) of their sound. With each new release comes the spontaneous and subconscious desire for growth and until they prove incapable of delivering on their promise, they will continue to offer us masterpieces like Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier. (Score: 5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (May 2012).
"With each new release the Russian band Vespero further reinforce my feeling that they are one of the best instrumental bands on the contemporary Space Rock/Psychedelic scene… I don’t consider Vespero’s music to be Krautrock. To me they’re like a cross between early Korai Orom and Ozric Tentacles, with more emphasis on the former, though more overtly space rock than Korai Orom… In summary, this is a shoe-in for inclusion on my Best of 2012 list. Nuff said…" - by Jerry Kranitz at Aural Innovations (USA) (August 2012).
The album was also reviewed at: Deep Cycloid (Italy), Musikreviews.de (Germany), HeadBanger (Russia), AerialSounds (Russia), DPRP (UK), iO Pages (The Netherlands), New Underground Music (The Netherlands), Prog Sphere (Serbia), ProgArchives (USA), Musikreviews.de' interview with Vespero (Germany), Highlife (The Netherlands), Arlequins (Italy), Autopoietican (Peru), Esquizofrenia (Spain), Babyblauen Seiten (Germany).
VESPERO isn’t an easy band to pigeonhole. By The Waters Of Tomorrow, their third official studio album covers a diverse array of space-rock, kraut-rock, neo-psychedelia, and art-rock elements. But the group has a vision of their own, and continue to forge ahead on this completely instrumental album. The line-up features Ivan Fedotov (drums, percussion), Arkady Fedotov (bass, melodica, bass-synth, oscillations), Alexander Kuzovlev (guitar, electronics), Alexei Klabukov (keyboards, mellotron), Vladimir Belov (cello, keyboards) as well as a number of guests including synth-wizard Alisa Coral who is also a sound-producer of the album, and violinist Valentin Rulev, a past-member of the band. Full of synthesizers and strings, the music successfully links various stylistic areas with mysterious and a bit dark atmosphere. Another thing the release acknowledges is world music; elements of Near East music are quite prominent, though it is definitely a rock album. Vespero’s phenomena following will find a lot to appreciate in this challenging work. (9 tracks - 63 min.)
"They are able to retain a steady and unique sense of direction, drawing heavily from the flourishing wells of 60’s and 70’s suggestions while skilfully moulding their brand of elegant, romantic and mind-tripping Progressive/Neo-Psychedelic/Space-Kraut-Art Rock that also incorporates echoes of Middle Eastern music... About a hour of fluid and dynamic music, whose serpentine and jamming structures do not allow any sense of anticipation to creep into the listening experience, sounding almost as though the musicians simply picked up their instruments and let the Music flow freely in any direction it chose... Authentic, soulful and passionate music that manages to take us on a nostalgic trip back in time while keeping a hint of something individual, new and fresh. (Score: 9/10)" – by Stina at Elitarian Music (Italy) (November 2010).
"It’s hard to believe how they could have some up topping the incredible quality of their predecessor… but they did it! The nine song, all between four and nine minutes long, are brimming with ideas and yet are never losing themselves in self-indulgent vanity... There may be no vocals, but the balancing act between space, psychedelic, progressive and ambient rock is done with such dexterity that you’d think this is some long lost gem from way back when and not a brand new item by an obscure Russian band. The panoply of instruments is of course also amazing: next to your regular rock instruments, you’ll hear melodica, oscillations, electronic manipulations, all kinds of keyboards, cello, bubbles, waves, violin and flute. This all makes for a very rich and most of all warm sound, thanks to the production skills of Ms Alisa Coral, but more importantly, Vespero never sound as if they are trying forcefully to recreate an ancient sound, but rather that no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t sound any different. The songwriting is incredible, and even though one may have wanted one of those epic twenty minute pieces, the end result proves Vespero right. Bands like the aforementioned influences still release today new and often also very good albums, but let’s face it: Vespero do it with more ease. By The Waters Of Tomorrow is an excellent album whose only drawback might be for the band to surpass it once again. (Score: 9/10)" – by Alex Thiel at DisAgreement (Luxembourg) (November 2010).
"The band have built nine stunning musical interludes that are elegant, each unique in their approach, jammed out in their inimitable style, a journey through ones mind, presenting elements of psychedelia, progressive, space and Kraut rock of the highest order, that is both fluid, mesmerising and dynamic in approach, music that has been created from the soul. The total dynamic of the band is stunning, adept in presenting vibrant bass lines, acrobatic drum work, heady and swirly keyboard stages, fantastic guitar interludes which underpins the whole structure of the music... Vespero have really majestically created a somewhat powerful musical statement, which sees the band really manipulating differing sounds, bonding them as one; unifying them for the pleasure of their audience. (Conclusion: 8.5 out of 10)" – by John O'Boyle at DPRP (UK) (December 2010).
"By The Waters Of Tomorrow is yet another masterpiece from Vespero. The band has amazingly once again put together an absolutely enthralling, free flowing and complex sounding collection of music that will slowly reveal itself to you one glorious layer at a time. If you haven't yet heard what arguably has to be not only one of Russia's premium musical exports, but also one of the finest examples of what modern, psych/space rock should sound like, then Vespero definitely have to be on your musical radar. (Score: 5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (December 2010).
The album was also reviewed at: Progressive Area (France), Progwereld (The Netherlands), Inoi Lip (Russia), AerialSounds (Russia), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), Prog Sphere (Serbia), Aural Innovations (USA), iO Pages (The Netherlands), Muziek Reviews (The Netherlands), Canili d'Adda (Italy), Arlequins (Italy), ProgArchives (USA), Babyblauen Seiten (Germany).
Surpassing All Kings is the first album by VESPERO that resulted from completely new studio sessions instead of merely compiling the best tunes from earlier occasional recordings. Basic tracks were recorded in Astrakhan from November 2007 to November 2008, mixed and mastered in Moscow by Alisa Coral (of SPACE MIRRORS and PSI CORPS) in January 2009. Not surprisingly, this is not your usual progressive rock album. Full of fairy-light synthesizer washes, general sound leans towards experimental space rock with long, quirky but cohesive compositions that travel through several movements and time changes, and come across as perpetually progressing pieces, where ethereal voicing stand along with lyrics in the invented language. A charmingly blended fusion of various musical styles and ideas helps to make this album a true joy to experience. Music lovers with an open mind toward a symbiosis of progressive and psychedelic rock will find a lot to admire here. (7 tracks - 55 min.)
"What Vespero produce is music that manages to be both dark and ethereal at the same time, which sounds like a contradiction in itself, but in the sense that they have both prog-rock and avant-garde elements to their sound should start to make more sense." – by Ian Abrahams at Spacerock Reviews (UK) (August 2009).
"They recreate an organic progressive psychedelic sound that sets them on the same level as the artists who have inspired them. Russian music may still be quite an overlooked thing in Western Europe, but if you want to lay your hands on a really good piece of structured free-form music, this is definitely the place to start! (Grade: 9/10)" – by Pascal Thiel at DisAgreement (Luxembourg) (September 2009).
"The emphasis is back to delivering heaping amounts of long, spacey sounding instrumental passages and multi-shifting tempos, which are executed at the drop of a hat and with razor like precision, thus each composition feels like it's in a perpetual state of change. The light and shade element and how effectively they play the dark, brooding sections off of the lighter textures, is in my opinion the biggest reason why their music is so compelling and keeps the listener fully engaged from beginning to end. Surpassing All Kings proves that Rito wasn't a fluke and in all actuality it may be the stronger of the two albums. Once again these five supremely talented musicians have proven they are more than capable of giving you an hour's worth of stunningly complex and thought provoking music. (Score: 5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (September 2009).
The album was also reviewed at: Inoi Lip (Russia), ProgArchives (USA), Rate Your Music (USA), Progressive Area (France), Eclipsed (Germany), Metal Library (Russia), Progwereld (The Netherlands), Quebec Audio & Video (Canada), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), DPRP (UK), Darkside (Russia), Neformat (Ukraine), HeadBanger's interview with Vespero (Russia), Music Waves (France), iO Pages (The Netherlands), Metal Library (2) (Russia), Arlequins (Italy), Babyblauen Seiten (Germany).
Rito spends most of its time with sonic textures and elongated compositions based on the repetitive and sometimes dark pulses that characterize their earlier work. But it also retains a gentle, fairy-tale ambience colored with beautiful vocalizations by Natalya Tjurina and Arkady Fedotov, as well as elegant violin passages by Valentin Rulev and flute by Fedotov himself. Their sound – held together by Ivan Fedotov’s assertive drumming, Arkady Fedotov’s powerful bass and synthesizer work, and Alexander Kuzovlev guitar and sound effects – keep the proceedings moving no matter how spaced out the music gets. “Triptych”, “Inna’s Burst In Tears”, “Crabs Ashore”, and “Silence Breath Echo” – which one may know from the band’s earlier recordings – are all superior here, done clearly and louder, with a real edge to the playing (in many respects, thanks to excellent sound-production by Alisa Coral of PSI CORPS and SPACE MIRRORS). The album shows off a very potent group, able to create subtly textured music which evolves from art rock to space and kraut rock before turning up to neo psychodelia. (8 tracks - 66 min.)
"Rito bridges the gap between improvised music and composed art rock, with Vespero taking ingredients from genres such as space, psychedelic and progressive rock, turning it all into a cocktail that everyone should enjoy. (Grade: 8/10)" – by Pascal Thiel of DisAgreement (Luxembourg) (September 2007).
"There is so much great music to discover on Rito, and it’s one of the few discs I’ve consistently enjoyed playing from beginning to end, each and every time. Rito’s true allure is its power to lure the listener in with its splendid combination of bold and beautiful ambient atmospherics. To put it simply, this disc is nothing short of a masterpiece. (Score: 5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks at Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (October 2007).
"Rito is a constant, dark, layered mix of psychedelia, Kraut rockish elongated droning sound, and jazzy rhythms... This album will appeal to fans of psychedelic music, Kraut rock, early Pink Floyd, and experimental music in general. (Conclusion: 8 out of 10)" – by Jim Corcoran at DPRP (UK) (November 2007).
The album was also reviewed at: Nota-Bena (Russia), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), The Silent Ballet (USA), ProgArchives (USA), Leicester Bangs (UK), Aural Innovations (USA), Eclipsed (Germany), Progressive Area (France), MADZ-zine (Russia), Arlequins (Italy), Babyblauen Seiten (Germany).
|CD-R (self-released) | CD (Trail Records)||out-of-print|
|CD-R | MP3-file (Accessory Takes)||$7.00 | free download|
|MP3-file (Accessory Takes) | 12" LP (Golden Pavilion Records)||free download | N/A|
|CD | 12" LP (Transubstans Records)||$14.00|
|CD (RAIG) | DD | 12" 2LP (Krauted Mind Records)||$14.00 | $7.00|
|7" EP (Fruits de Mer Records)||N/A|
|pro-duplicated CD-R (RAIG) | DD||in progress|
|CD (RAIG) | DD||in progress|