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ZGA/FIGS

SBZ099CD


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Zga vs Figs

ZGA is a unique phenomenon in Russian post-rock music. There’s never been a band that would for so long, so consistently and with such dogged perseverance and dedication pursue the non-compromised approach to music.

ZGA pretty much equals Nick Sudnick. Throughout countless personnel changes Nick has always been there - the mind, the heart, the soul, the creator and inventor of this unparalleled music.

We first met in the early 80s. The newly born Russian rock strived for lyrical freedom and new spirit, music hardly mattered and in most cases remained quite simple. I, however, craved for weirder and stranger textures. Sudnick was a connoisseur and avid collector of Rock in Opposition and industrial: Henry Cow, This Heat, Test Department, Universe Zero. That was the shape of sound ZGA was aiming at.

“Zga” is a very obsolete, obscure and peculiar Russian word. It means something really miniscule and in the contemporary language it survived only as a part of an expression ni zgi ne vidno - “pitch dark”. ZGA’s music when I first heard it was by no means sounded obsolete but obscure it very well was: asymmetrical rhythms, hardly any melody, distorted guitar paired with Nick’s homemade instruments. They lived in Riga, and in 1986 I was proud to bring this unusual band for their first ever gig in Leningrad, then capital of Russian rock.

In 1991 Sudnick and ZGA moved to St. Petersburg. His studio in the legendary artists commune at Pushkinskaya 10 is a mix between a scrap metal warehouse, where he builds, solders, puts together his countless homemade instruments, and a makeshift recording studio. He’s also a curator of GEZ 21 - Gallery of Experimental Sound, the hub for noise and industrial projects.

Living in Pushkinskaya 10 and working at GEZ exposed reclusive Sudnik to a whole new range of people and ideas. He works on a number of side projects, one is producing an all female band IvaNova. Its drummer Katya Fedorova became a full-fledged ZGA member and brought more accessible and less austere timbres of female vocals, violin and accordion of her fellow band members into ZGA’s later albums.

Katya Fedorova is also a member FIGS, another very special project that is featured on this compilation. FIGS is an acronym that stands for the names of four musicians: apart from Sudnick and Fedorova there are two drummers: Alexei Ivanov and Marcus Godwyn, a Brit who has lived in St. Petersburg for many years now. The resulting band - three percussionists and ever noisy Sudnick with his homemade instruments - is an apotheosis of rhythmic industrial sound.

ZGA/FIGS
OUT NOW!
ZZONKED UPDATE FOR SOME BIZARRE Zga/Figs ‘Who Has Stolen The Air’

To be release 31st March 08

“Zga” is a very obscure, obsolete, and peculiar Russian word. It means something really miniscule and in the contemporary language it survived only as a part of an expression ni zgi ne vidno - “pitch dark”.

PLAN B & Q

Plan B Dec 07 “It’s Nasty” is populated by a malodorous urban hybrid of Tom Waits and the shrieking telly-demon out of Aphex’s”

Q Jan 08 "An extreme form of avant garde dance, imagine Tom Waits fronting Einsturzine neubauten and your close"

NEW MAGAZINE CHART PLACES these reaction are club promotion of three tracks taken from the Album.
CLUB PROMO
Chasing Chart Compilers…
COMMENTS

Wow, this has got to be one of the releases of the year in the left field selection. I’ve actually played at the venue mentioned in St Petersburg. Far out and some bizarre indeed. reactionspersonal: nine reactionsaudience: five favouritetrack: a2 use: Warm Up chartplace: 3 (Jon Tye – Lo Recordings/Various – UK)