In anticipation for the release of Olga Bell's Krai on April 29, Pitchfork is streaming the entire album via Pitchfork Advance!
To be released next Tuesday, Krai is inspired by the lesser-known corners of Bell's homeland and written entirely in her native Russian, Krai is Bell's second LP and first large-scale composition. Pitchfork
Krai (край) is the Russian word for edge, limit, frontier or hinterland. Present-day Russia is divided into a myriad of 'federal subjects', including nine krais. In this capacity the term is a political designation, like 'territory', but for the earliest Russians these places represented both the promise and terror of the vast unknown.
While much has been written about Russia's major cities, Olga Bell's Krai is concerned with the rest of the map: the wilderness, the towns, the inhabitants and their stories. From the Cossack melodies of Krasnodar Krai in the West to the Chukchi drumming of Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East, Krai is a journey across the Eurasian landmass in forty minutes.
Scored for cello, electric guitar, bass, pitched drums, mallet percussion and electronics, Krai features a vocal ensemble of six Olgas (four female, two 'male') singing entirely in Russian. The texts of Krai are a mix of traditional, liturgical and original poetry Olga created with her mother, a former Radio Moscow broadcaster. Cossack fables, Orthodox chant and politically charged limericks collide in a dizzying mosaic of avant-garde and vernacular soundscapes.
Krai was recorded at Machines With Magnets, a Rhode Island studio where many like-minded musicians (Battles, Lightning Bolt) have created groundbreaking work. In February, the work was premiered to a sold-out Walker Art Center.
For more information and to pre-order on the album, click HERE.