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article imageThe latest from Russian pureveyors of electronica Kim & Buran Special

By Adrian Peel     Feb 23, 2016 in Music
The Saint Petersburg-based trio have been regulars on the Russian disco scene for the past 13 years. In three days' time, they will release their new album on Nang Records.
The brainchild of talented musician, composer and producer, Slava Zavyalov (ably assisted by Igor Makaronin and Roman Tolmachev), Kim & Buren were particularly active in the middle part of the last decade, releasing four albums in five years. Their latest is called Orbita and it's an enticing mix of disco, soul, funk and electronica.
"I didn't think for a long time about the title," explains Zavyalov. "I wanted it to be simple and related to space. It's kind of a '70s title close to space disco. Some tracks I recorded 10 years ago and some quite recently, but they have the same mood. Some tracks I recorded overnight, while some took a couple of years."
Kim & Buran:  Orbita
Kim & Buran: 'Orbita'
Quite Great PR
Shedding some light on the group dynamic and the way they work together, the bandleader states, "I write and record everything by myself - guitar, synthesisers, bass - and after that we play it live altogether with me on keyboards, Roman on bass guitar and Igor on drums. Mixing and mastering I also do by myself in not-so-popular Acid 7.0, but it's very handy and allows for fast editing."
Orbita is 15 tracks that drift effortlessly into pleasing flights of cosmic fancy (the artist cites "Breeze," "Fly to Sea," "Delayed Flight" and "Leaf Fall" as his standout moments) and I wondered how their creator would categorise his unique sound. "It's difficult for me to define my own music," he admits. "It's different for every person who listens to it.
"To say it simply, my music is mysterious and romantic space disco, but it's very broad because I have different tracks - grim and dark, joyful and optimistic, dance and slow and relaxed.
"It’s difficult for me to write music in one mood, but all of them are retro because I love vintage sounds and '70s atmospheres. My personal music themes are euphoria, mystery, melancholy, anxiety and looking for the light. But sometimes I write tracks as a stylisation without philosophy just because I like the sounds."
"I like different music from various ambient to rock," he says of his preferred styles. "Lately I prefer mostly ambient, '70s movie soundtracks and disco. Sometimes I enjoy retrowave, for example Com Truise and Mitch Murder. I also like synthpop.
"My favourites for now are Royksopp, Com Truise, Aphex Twin, Depeche Mode, Todd Terje. In my childhood I listened to Space, Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk.
"In the beginning, I wanted my records to be like the soundtrack to The Mystery of the Third Planet, a famous Soviet animated film about space adventures scored by Aleksandr Zatsepin. There were a lot of Moog-like sounds."
I asked Slava to give me the lowdown on the group's history. He was happy to oblige. "In the beginning it was me and my friend Igor Tsvetkov. I met him in 2003 and he was a punk musician," he recalls. "We became friends and when he listened to my demos, he suggested we play it live together.
"It was the origin of Kim and Buran. We played together - synthesisers and bass-guitar. Then he began to play noisy music and left the band. I gathered the band for live performances and at that time my music had more of a '60s twist. Disco and synthpop appeared later."
What are the artist's plans for the rest of 2016? "I'm going to finish my next album, buy several analogue synthesisers and do a European tour," he replies. "We're in the rehearsal process."
Orbita, Kim & Buran's fifth studio album, will be available to buy or download from February 26.
For more information on the band, visit their official Facebook page or their official Vimeo page.
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