Russian-born, New York-based composer/producer Olga Bell’s new album Krai is now available world-wide.
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. Lead single “Perm Krai” is about a region in Russia’s interior and its 16th century Cossack inhabitants “crawling with tightly compressed activity, all of it separated by clear lines.”
Krai (край) is the Russian word for edge, limit, frontier or hinterland. 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 wilderness, the towns, the inhabitants and their stories. 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. 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.