Ego Eimi - "Transcendental Diseases"
From Aural Innovations #29 (October 2004)
Hailing from St. Petersburg, Russia, Ego Eimi aka multi-instrumentalist Alexander Skorobogatov cites his influences as including Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and King Crimson. I think he must mean in spirit, because to be honest with you, I donít necessarily hear a lot of these artists in his music.
What I do hear is a totally unique and original sounding progressive music that seems to draw on...well, I canít really say. There are folk influences in his music, so I can in some sense hear maybe the more acoustic side of the bands he cites as influences, as in the spacey but quite acoustic opening tracks Underground Earl Parts 1 and 2 and I hear a Zeppelin III kind of thing going on in the closing track, Lament for the Death of My Cat. But Skorobogatov throws in some really intense rhythmic structures as well, that set his music apart, like in the extraordinary 13 Ĺ-minute Golem, which totally blew me away.
Skorobogatov plays all the instruments in Ego Eimi, which include acoustic and electric guitars, effects, and bayan (which he says is a special type of Russian accordion). He sings with a fervent intensity in Russian, so I didnít really know what the songs were about (apart from what the titles hinted at), but that didnít matter. The mood and energy of the pieces imbue them with their own meanings. Thereís also some absolutely mind blowing guitar work on the album, especially on the powerful and dramatic title track.
This is some pretty amazing music, but you donít have to take my word for it.
For more information and to listen to many tracks off the album you can visit the Ego Eimi web site at: http://www.realmusic.ru/egoeimi.
If you donít know Russian, just run it through the Babel fish translator at http://world.altavista.com for a decent translation. Or, just click on the links to the tracks and prepare to be blown away just like I was.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald