Dr. Bajan • Sovietabilly (Russia / St. Petersburg, Berlin)
rock´n roll, klezmer, jazz, balkan, chanson, ska and folk
Dr. Bajan, Russia/ Saint Petersburg – Sovietabilly
– under the influence of klezmer, jazz, chanson and Folk music, plus rock ´n roll Sovietabilly came to be! (Balkan meets Charlie Parker, Manu Chao bumps into Gorky.) Emotional, raw, savagely passionate and virtuoso all at the same time: Sovietabilly is modern urban folk music Dr. Bajan style. Urban speed-folk? World music art rock? As soon as you too become enmeshed into Dr.Bajan’s orgiastic trance, you will know that all attempts to find a single term of description are in vain, any one too narrow to fully grasp the total experience. Sovietabilly is a highly individual hybrid of Russian and European musical languages, with the unmistakable stamp of an outstanding accordion (bayan).
|Dr. Bajan himself comes from Leningrad, where the electric guitar and rock music once represented the only way he could distance himself from the [hyperbolic?] facade that was Soviet existence at the time. Even back then it was already clear that he had a soft spot for fast solos. After a while, the guitar wasn't subversive enough for him and he turned - back to his roots - to the bayan, the accordion. A totally new perspective on his own musical tradition opened up for him. Up until then, the revolutionary anthems and Soviet pop hits of his musical environment provoked more eye-rolling than anything else, but now, exploring the roots of his musical heritage more deeply, he uncovered its connections to klezmer, jazz and folk music. Dr. Bajan drew on all of these influences - plus a hefty dose of rock'n roll - to create a totally original, contemporary new form: Sovietabilly, music that conveys an intimate view of the dry-eyed and playful take of one post-Soviet cosmopolitan on life, the universe and groove. Balkan meets Charlie Parker in the kitchen of a Berlin walk-up flat, Manu Chao meets Odessa pentatonic. From the covers of Deep Purple right up through the much-loved "Kasatschoks" - whatever he touches is transformed in the blink of an eye into Dr. Bajan.||
His wildly intensive stage presence, his gift for improvisation and his sheer charisma catch everyone up into his spell right from the start. Dr. Bajan plays his audience and himself into a form of ecstasy. In its present makeup for three years, the band has played numerous festivals in Germany and abroad, where they've performed with other World Music groups like "Fanfare Ciocarlia," "Di grine Kuzine," "Folkabestia," "Apparatschik," "Dikanda," and more.
“… resurrection of the ancient anarchic spirit of the Leningrad music scene in Germany.” W. Kaminer
“… an album containing SpeedFolkProgPunk for the new century.” Y. Gurzhy (Russendisko)
“… intoxicating mad humorous spectacle.” Taz 03/2006, Irene Hummel
“… a highlight of urban world music!” Ratinger Nachrichten 06/2005
“… they don’t play for the money or the audience but to shout out the rhythm.” M. Degen
“… more ardent than a drunken regiment of Cossacks … furious, funny and at the same time a perfect concert
concerning craftsmanship … the atmosphere tonight should exclusively be positive.” Gießener Zeitung
“… a crash course through the music cosmos. … Nasdrovje!” Florian Sedmak
“… no doubt about the ingenuity … Extremely highbrow complexity.” Christina Seiler, 02/1997
The Dr.Bajan Sovietabilly Band (formerly Dr.Bajan & Brain Drain) performs his unique music on traditional instruments. Aside from his stunning originals, composer Dr.Bajan also astonishes with brilliant cover-versions honouring favourite hits from throughout musical time. The words are in Russian, the band international - a Russian, a Ukrainian, an Italian Swiss and a German - drawing their experience from across a variety of European musical culture genres. The violinist from classical and gypsy music, the double-bassist from the avant-garde spiced with Italian folk music, the drummer with a passion for jazz. Together they create a fiery mix that infects your feet with dancing, simultaneously going straight to the brain.
With their unbelievably intensive stage presence Nikolai Fomin, Anton Teslia, Davide de Bernardi and Alf Schulze won the sixth „World Wide Music Award“ at the „Musica Vitale“ 2004 music festival competition.
Dr. Bajan – vocals, bajan
Bandleader, looks quite young and plays the bajan (accordion) for 15 years. He’s from St. Petersburg, Russia. Plays and composes what he likes as cool and vice versa. He predominantly sings in Russian. Influences of Soviet Russian culture (patriotic pioneer songs, hits from Odessa and mainly the alternative Russian Rock) have an effect on his music as well as contemporary styles like Balkan, Jazz, Reggae, Classics and others. His musical gifts are unrestrained live energy, fertile imagination and pliability while performing in the studio.
Anton Teslia – violin
Very young and delicate. Classical and diabolical violinist at once. Born in the Ukraine he grew up in St. Petersburg. He performed with gypsy bands in restaurants and clubs to earn his living during his studies at the Conservatory and to sharpen his outrageous skill for improvisation. Father of a little son. Enjoys his privacy as Metal addict and enthusiastic gambler of flight simulation.
Davide de Bernardi – double bass
He is of relatively young age, origin Locarno in Italian Switzerland. 15 years ago he came to Berlin to dedicate himself to playing the double bass. Has a lot of experience in different styles of Avantgarde to Freejazz and Balkan music. Fanatic vinyl collector with excellent music knowledge. He mostly prefers Progressive Music and discussion. Very humanistic, social and helpful oriented and bashful of being photographed. He’s a fantastic cook, specialised in Italian art of cooking. Father of a little son.
Alf Schulze – drums
Seems to look older than he really is. Brandenburgian. Nice, cheerful and open-minded. Still looking for the meaning of life. Eager to learn and ambitious. Always keeps his eyes and ears open for something new and much talented for keen nuances. Performs in different stylistic constellations from Classics to Metal. Hates borders, jazz police and the coolness of the Berlin scene. Recently he is as well father of a little son.
Berlin Jewish Museum
Berlin Tanzwirtschaft Kaffee Burger
7. International Accordion Festival Vienna
Freiberg (SS) Tivoli
Milano (Italien) Festival.
Limburg a.d.Lahn Festival
Belzig Altstadtsommer Festival
Kulturinsel Einsiedel Folklorum
Düsseldorf Mask off Festival
Berlin Kesselhaus CD release party!
Heidelberg Mediationskongress Universität Heidelberg
Berlin Tanzwirtschaft Kaffee Burger
Paderborn Hochstifttage, Rathausplatz
Bochum Kemnade International - Orient meets Occident, Wasserburg Haus Kemnade
Ratinger Kulturmeile, Marktplatz
Hattingen Hattinger Altstadtfest, Bühne Krämersdorf
Siegburg 10. Theater festival
Menden (Sauerland) Mendener Sommer
27. Gütersloher Sommer, Freilichtbühne Mohn’s Park
Brilon Open Air at the Marktplatz, Brilon
Unna Summertime, Stadtgarten
Schweiz: Steinhausen, bei Zürich
Waldstock Open Air Spektakel
Reichenstein Open Air
Micro! Festival für Weltmusik & internationales Strassentheater
Berlin Multikulti Völkerball, Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Belzig Stadtfest, Mittelmeerstrasse
Berlin Konzertreihe "Junge Meister
Schweiz, Chur werkstatt
Schweiz, Basel wagenmeister
Schweiz, Winterthur kraftfeld
Schweiz, Zug chollerhalle
Bonn Kunst-und Austellungshalle (KAH)
St.Petersburg Klub Gribojedov
Stockholm Midsummer fest
Gera Schwarzbiernacht, Downtown
Berlin Werkstatt der Kulturen: Musica Vitale
Hamburg Studio CO2,
Bad Doberan Kornhaus
Dresden Neue Mensa
Berlin Kaffee Burger
Berlin Party in Ministergärten
Berlin Kietzer Fest Berlin-2003
Feldkirch-Österreich Pool Bar
Pegnitz Waldstok Festival
Bruck an der Mur Festival
Kulturinsel EINSIEDEL FOLKLORUM
Leipzig Moritz Bastei
Berlin Kaffee Burger
Halle Objekt 5
Potsdam Al Globe
Offenbach ZAK Kulturkeller
Berlin Karnaval der Kultur
Jena Unifest, Rosenkeller
Berlin Kesselhaus, Fete de la Musique
Berlin Tempodrom, Fete de la Musique
Hohenlobbese Open air with Freygang
Bismark Hotel 'Weisser Schwan'
... and so on till 1994 ...