Vespero is an instrumental band from Russia who generally specializes in space-prog. This is the first full album I have heard from them and it is obvious from the album title and the music itself here that there is a strong Krautrock influence on this album. I think the title translates to “U-Boats Welcome Here” and two of the song titles sound like made-up German words. Basically you get your guitar, keyboards and a rhythm section but also some guest musicians adding percussion, cello and saxophone to the mix. The music genrally reminds me of Ozric Tentacles but sometimes also of Hawkwind, with a good dose of motorik style hypnotic Krautrock of course. The music here is not very complex but rather rhythmic and hypnotic; it’s music you get into, not music you want to impress you.
“The Strangest Thing In The Ocean” opens the album in an almost Ozrics fashion. Eventually a groove is established. I like the percussion in this track, it adds a lot. Great spacey guitar soloing in this song. “Anpeilen!” is more in Hawkwind territory with its modified sax playing. Unlike Hawkwind there is no guitar riffs dominating this track. The guitar here mostly stays in the background adding texture. Some altered talking and/or laughing can be heard. The drumming becomes much more motorik and hypnotic as the song progresses. Later the drums keep a steady beat while additional percussion work gives the music an added urgency.
“Underwater” begins with some classic electronic prog sounds including some bird-like sounds done on synth. Gradually a beat on drums enters the scene and turns into another beat as sparse guitar notes join it. The guitar plays more notes faster and then eventually sort of solos as the music gets spacier and the cymbal work on the drumkit makes everything more hypnotic. As the guitar does its own thing, the drums kind of stop and then come back again with the main synth almost playing a melody. Some fast percussion and just a constant bass drum thudding as the guitar goes into some rockin’ tones. The drums play a beat again as the guitar does some great spacey soloing.
“Target Selection” has a beginning that reminds me of some industrial music. Dark and spacey. Gradually things get spacier and noisier for awhile. Some nice cello here. Drums eventually appear, sounding low in the mix on purpose. “Angriff, Ran, Versenken!” opens with a very hypnotic sequencer pattern. This track has a Ozrics-meets-Hawkwind vibe with some motorik Krautrock elements as well. I like the beat the drummer goes into after 5 minutes with the Ozric-like flute playing over top. The guitar playing gets more rockin’ and the rest of the instruments get more intense sounding. The guitar plays a sort of melody at one point.
“Alarm…The Art Of Positive Thinking” has a hypnotic 3-note sequencer pattern lay the foundation for the other instruments. Basically every song here starts out this way with the original sequencer getting buried in the mix until you forget all about it. The drumming here comes and goes and the guitar is generally in solo mode, but not for the whole song. The drumming gets almost jazzy at one point. Gets into a nice groove towards the end with some great wah-soloing on guitar. This album is great modern space-prog with Krautrock influences. It’s fairly consistent with no one track standing out. The sound and production is good and the playing is more than competent for what the music requires.
1. The Strangest Thing In The Ocean
4. Target Selection
5. Angriff, Ran, Versenken!
6. Alarm … The Art Of Positive Thinking
* Ivan Fedotov – drums, percussion
* Arkady Fedotov – bass, effects, electronics, flute
* Alexei Klabukov – keyboards, mellotron, arpeggiator
* Alexander Kuzovlev – guitars, effects, electronics
* Vladimir Belov – cello
* Ilya Semyonov – percussion, drums
* Elena Belozyorova – arpeggiator
* Alexei Esin – soprano sax