:::Jazz Europe Express – Ukraine:::

Posted: Thursday, 2 December 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety:

Quite stunning debut from this project led by Ukraine musician Antony Kalugin. I heard he is behind several other similar one man works, but this is my first contact with his music and I´m quite impressed. Sansui9090 sent me a message saying I would love this album and he is right. Usually I don´t like those solo stuff: most likely than not they are just excuses for long self indulgent ego trips. Sunchild is one exception. Although Kalugin is obviously in charge here, writing, arranging, playing all the keyboards and even singing, he is also surrounded by several terrific musicians and vocalists that give the record a broad, collective feel, that works very well for the music.
Kalugin proves that his is, above all, a very good songwriter. The Gnomon is a double CD offering that shows his talents in writing great tunes with fine melodies and strong hooks. His musical influences are many: symphonic rock (Pink Floyd and early Genesis are the most obvious ones), classical music, neo prog, psychodelic/space rock, Canterbury sounds and even some local folk among others can be found on this very eclectic work. And, incredibly. it all sounds very coherent and strongly united in the middle of this variety of styles. A truly remarkable feat considering that Sunchild is basicly a solo work. But as I said before, there is no ego trip, everything here is for the music: every note, every instrument comes in and out at the right moment and there is absolutely no fat to be found, even if 4 out of the 9 songs clock over the 9 minute mark and that two are over 20 minutes long.
Production is quite good enhancing the exquisitely craft arrangements and fine playing. His voice may not be the strongest around but he has a nice tone and sings with true emotion. The additional female singers are also a plus. There are no fillers to be found and although some tracks are obviously better than others, they are all very good. Absolute highlight for me is the 26+ minute Sleepwalker. A great epic that won me over from the very first time I heard it, it has everything one migh t wnated from such massive prog opus: shifting moods, several tempo changes, great melody lines, fantastic guitar solos, orchestral keys, even a beautiful trumpet solo! This is truly one of those rare track-worth-the-price-of-the-CD examples.
Conclusion: a very nice surprise from the Ukraine! Very eclectic and yet very unified work that is a joy to hear over and over again. And with each time you´ll find another subtle, but very efficient, layer of sounds in this very well done work of art. I could talk for hours about The Gnomon. But you should just get it and judge for yourself. For me is one of the best records I found this year.
Rating: between 4,5 and 5 stars. Highly recommended!
:::Review by Tarcisio Moura:::

Sunchild - The Gnomon (2008)

CD 1
1. The Gnomon (2:05)
2. Astoria (9:59)
3. Sleepwalker (26:59)
4. The Prayer of the Broken Heart (6:14)
5. Adrift (2:51)

CD 2
6. Love Will Shine Like Gold (5:27)
7. Sunchild (16:06)
8. Midnight Train (5:39)
9. Wonderworld (20:46)

Antony Kalugin - all keys & programming, lead & background vocals, acoustic guitar (track 8)
Viktoria Osmachko - vocals (track 3, 7, 8, 9)
Timophey Sobolev - vocals (track 4, 9)
Sergey Balalaev - drums (track 2 - 9)
Kostya Ionenko - bass (track 2 - 9)
Vlad Annenkov - electric guitars (track 2 - 7, 9)
Alexey Khorolskiy - electric guitars (track 2 - 5, 9)
Roman Goloborda - electric guitars ( track 1 - 4, 7)
Sergey Kovalev - bayan (track 2, 3, 9), vocals (track 3, 8) , harmonica (track 8)
Helen Bour - oboe (track 3, 7 - 9)
Roman Vinskovskiy - sax (track 2, 3, 7)
Dmitry Bondarev - trumpet (track 2 - 4, 7)
Timophey Brahin - trombone (track 2 - 4, 7)
Oksana Podmarova - cello (track 2, 3, 6 - 9)
Lesya Kofanova - flute (track 1 - 3, 6)
Roman Gorelov - acoustic (track 2, 3, 8, 9), electric guitars (track 8)
Roman Philonenko - acoustic guitars (track 3, 4, 9)
Yuri Nemirovsky - Clarinet (track 5)

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