Sergei Kuryokhin | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Sergei Kuryokhin 

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The music of Leningrad-based Sergey Kuryokhin is still revealing itself to me. After first discovering his brilliantly hip twisty-fingered pianistics on recordings Kuryokhin made as a member of Boris Grebenschikov's rock band Aquarium (recordings that had to be smuggled out of the USSR by Westerners), I then moved on to his fascinating solo stuff, in which heartrending lyricism alternates with a convoluted percussive hammering sound reminiscent of Cecil Taylor. Now I'm getting knocked out by the music of Kuryokhin's big electric band, Pop Mechanics, which serves as a large-scale canvas for an explosive, theatrical consciousness that veers unpredictably from mutated folk music to free jazz to dissonant violin shrieks to a half dozen guys banging hammers on scrap metal. A legend on the Leningrad avant-garde scene, Kuryokhin was the subject of a PBS documentary a couple of years back, and at the time I assumed I'd never have a chance to see him live. But glasnost has apparently changed all that. Tonight, 8:30 PM, Southend Musicworks, 224 N. Desplaines; 283-0531.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Hans Kumpf.

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