The rebel hermit Mamonov


After the physical loss of Viktor Tsoi, the Russian and world stage lost another great poet and magician - Pyotr Mamonov. A true contemporary rebel and poet, idealist and cynic. A Muscovite in the St. Petersburg hatchery for independent music. Whether he is a poet or an actor, a visionary or a punk… Mamonov is a person who has left a huge mark not only the Russian-speaking world. All his film roles remain in history - but today we are talking about Mamonov the musician. And this retro, rebellious style that is present in the albums of his band Zvuki Mu. A band that is part of the revolution in Russian rock and sets new standards.

For fans of independent rock music, Zvuki Mu is an icon that stands on a par with Kino and Aquarium. If you want to get an idea of Mamonov as an actor, watch the unique films "Island" and "Tsar" - you will be amazed. On the other hand, you will see this same artist in a completely different light on his gigs with Zvuki Mu - one of the oldest and most authentic Russian rock bands. Here a huge emphasis is placed on the texts, which, as with Tsoi and BG, are sharp, painful, but also real.

Mamonov is an authentic icon and that is also how he leaves the mortal world. We are left with a huge legacy to explore. As a man of words (translated from Norwegian and English), for him words are those that weigh and remain. Continuity since the time of Chekhov, Yesenin and Mayakovsky seems alive when one is immersed in this art. And in the texts of Zvuki Mu, it is as if the cynic Daniel Harms is sitting at the next table. At the same time, there is a lot of blues in the music, and the guitar riffs and recitatives are reminiscent of Mark Ribot's plays, even Turkish psychedelic music. How connected everything can be. But the spirit of Dostoevsky does not let us forget that we are still in a different style. A little pessimistic, but also magical at the same time. On the edge. Mamonov himself, like any truly profound man of art, goes through extreme phases - from the underground to recognition, through rivers of alcohol and drugs to the Orthodox faith and hermitage. This way to humility and wisdom.

Today we listen to the music of Zvuki Mu and immerse ourselves in this literature in music. Aesthetics will dominate. Theatrical sketches and psychedelics - all this is the essence of Mamonov. A man decades ahead of his time. Where the theater intertwines with the music and each performance is an etude. And yes, even the ancient Greeks said - no one is a prophet in his own country.

This week, the world physically lost the huge talent Pyotr Mamonov, but won another classic in the Hall of Fame.

And it is no coincidence that Grebenshchikov, a little prophetic, before Mamonov's death, decided to record an album with eternal plays based on his lyrics, as well as that of Viktor Tsoi. Shortly before the great artist left. Manuscripts do not burn. Really!

We listen to three original plays by Zvuki Mu and for the final cover of the classic "Flowers in the garden" performed by BG.

 Zvuki mu - Can opener (Консервный нож)
Zvuki mu - Winter (Зима)
Zvuki mu - Rough Sunset (Грубый закат)
Zvuki mu - Flowers in the Garden (Цветы на огороде)

July 2021

Image ©MA