TRIBAL LOGIC began in early 2006 in Chelyabinsk, the Ural city famous not only for manufacturing “Katyusha” and “T-34” during the WWII but also for its traditions in jazz-music. Not surprisingly, the majority of previous projects in which Anton Sheludko (keyboards, wind instruments), Alexei Savitsky (guitar), Konstantin Poptsov (bass) and Alexander Strashinsky (drums, percussions) got involved were jazz orchestras and ensembles. Discovering a unique chemistry of progressive rock, psychedelia with world-beat flavor, new-edged ambience, frenetic bluesy jams, and surreal instrumental soundtracks, the four decided to play together and push the frontiers of their own musical expressions. Their all instrumental music ranges from structured suites to extended improvisations with focus on melody, atmosphere, catchiness, and experimentation. While pensive and uneasy about the mixed reaction of local audience, the band relied on friends and family to spread the word about them. For direct contact and music samples please visit TRIBAL LOGIC page at MyspaceMusic.
Tribal Logic / Freaky Karma (2008) / CD $11.00
TRIBAL LOGIC’s first album stands as a high watermark for the Russian progressive rock music. Filled with stunning musicianship, Freaky Karma demonstrates both the historical roots of the local prog-scene and its future perspectives. The quartet – with substantial help from a few guest instrumentalists on violin, cello, slide guitar, and soprano saxophone – are carefully to avoid the symphonic pomposity and metallic bombasity of their better-known Russian prog-contemporaries; they plunged deeper into light and airy collective improvisations and jazz music, although this is fusion laced with hypnotic psychedelic soundscapes and spacy effects. Four long, complex and completely instrumental tracks, with several dissimilar sections, are sculpted around arcane rhythms, nimbly executed thematic passages and variations featuring accurately dozed soloing. Not necessary delving into areas previously unexplored, the album contains some fresh musical ideas that incorporate band’s humor within otherwise serious and challenging sonic structures. (4 tracks - 74 min.)
"Their label has released many freeform bands, but none as tight as Tribal Logic, who present two shorter tracks which are still a little longer than ten minutes, and two really monster pieces which make it over the twenty-five minute border. Although the core members play the typical rock instruments guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, they hired the services of guest musicians to add violin, cello, slide guitar and soprano saxophone, so that every track has at least one outside person giving their input. The opener Detective starts in a very ambient mood before the last few minutes play with avant prog and contemporary classical structures. The longer Wooden Rain starts more like a regular progressive rock song, due to the retro organ sounds, before an oriental rhythm takes over, and I swear I heard them even do a Tchaikovsky interpretation. The title track Freaky Karma is jazzier again and takes advantage of genial saxophone parts, before another magnum opus, Theoretical Vampirism, ends the album again on a more progressive note. Of course there is happening much more, especially during the monster tracks, but enumerating every detail would take the fun of discovery away from the audience. I am normally not that much into freeform music, but Tribal Logic have combined improvisation with composition elements in such a balanced way that Freaky Karma is full of surprises without ever sounding chaotic or haphazard. Fans of progressive rock who don’t mind the inclusion of foreign genres like jazz, avant-garde and contemporary music will have a field day with these long pieces full of discoverable ideas." (Grade: 9/10)" – by Alex Thiel of DisAgreement (Luxembourg) (July 2008).
"…At the core it is still jazz, but it may range from the Ulver-like death prog intro to the dynamic shifts and sounds of mid-eighties avantgarde music of for instance Minimal Compact. Within these ranges they take long and short detours with keyboards that sound like chimes or trumpets, atmospherical shifts that take the listener and players through music history, and then to some newly discovered places, that they are about to chart for the listener. Freaky Karma contains for long pieces that are too complex to be improvised and too loose and subconscious to be noted. It is mainly this unique fusion of mid-eighties jazz visions and post-modern liberties that make up the fascination of this rather strange record. And a good dose of ambient or even tribal or better yet world music rhythms... Overall it has to be said that Freaky Karma has a variety of moments, some sparkling with genius and some tedious with the rehashing of ideas that have long been chewed and spit out... Tribal Logic take ample space of the 75 minutes that are possible to contain inside a Compact Disc, and they take long ways in the various parts of their tracks. A jazzy night time standard might turn into a melodic line that is close to a military march which then turns into a easy and laid back solo on guitar and trumpet... All in all, a remarkable piece of music." – by Georg Gartlgruber of Monochrom-Cracked (Austria) (July 2008).
"As far as Russian progressive rock goes you'd be hard pressed to find a more adventurous sounding outfit than these four talented musicians who go by the name of Tribal Logic, with their fantastic debut release Freaky Karma delivering a hefty ROI here offering almost 75 minutes of total music stretched over four compositions. While the bands sound has been described as sort of meeting point of jazz fusion and psychedelia, make no mistake these aren't merely trance inducing psychedelic jams because Tribal Logic's sonic canvas, which draws liberally from not only jazz and fusion also incorporates elements of ambient, avant-garde and even world beat. Taken as a whole the thing that kept coming to mind while engaging in repeated listens of Freaky Karma was just how mature these young musicians sound. For a band that has been in existence for slightly under two years there is an incredible aura of cohesiveness running through these compositions. The music comes off as sounding remarkably structured and thought out yet there are clearly moments of sublime improvisation as well. Although this is certainly a team effort between all four musicians involved it's hard to deny just how integral the rhythm section of bassist Konstantin Poptsov and drummer Alexander Strashinsky are in shaping the overall framework of these songs. Strashinsky's adept, complex percussive work proves that he is clearly a jazz drummer at heart, as he tosses out one dazzling fill after another while Poptsov locks down the groove with his infectious, thick as molasses bass lines. Guitarist Alexei Savitsky's contribution while just as vital is rather subdued in the sense that his role here is one of a supportive nature as the vast amount of the music on Freaky Karma is centered around keyboardist Anton Sheludko. While there isn't one second of filler on Freaky Karma as each one of the four tracks yields its own unique, rich reward, two songs really stand out as far as the bands willingness to expand and experiment with different sounding suites of music. Clocking in at around twenty five minutes each 'Wooden Rain' and 'Theoretical Vampirism' really allows the band to stretch out further musically and by adding violin and cello into the mix it just expands upon the whole dynamic. Freaky Karma will prove to be a very worthwhile and enriching listening experience for people who appreciate not only killer musicianship where the players feed off each other with an almost telepathic sense of communion, but also to individuals who cherish music for what it really is, a gift. (Score: 4,5/5)" – by Ryan Sparks of Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (October 2008).
"Tribal Logic is a quartet who play a complex combination of jazz fusion and Rock In Opposition influenced prog that is cloaked in a dark, sometimes sinister atmopshere. Uh, yeah, the album title doesn't give off the best impression and rings of awful college-jam-band crap, but this is actually an excellent collection of chamber-jazz-prog that fans of the R.A.I.G./RIO school are going to love. The disc opens with super-heavy synths and spacey ambience that moves into a ten minute jam of heavy cosmic jazz improvisation and energetic, meandering guitar lines and percussion, sometimes sounding like King Crimson's jazz fusion stuff, especially when the cellos and violins come in later on. The twenty-six minute 'Wooden Rain' is a massive piece of orchestrated jazz-prog, with dreamily hypnotic keyboard/percussion interplay, dark saxophone lines and Spanish sounding horns, some almost Zeuhl-ish prog workouts, tons of cosmic synth woosh, backwards tape effects, and acid guitar leads. The first half of the title track is pure 70's/early 80's jazz fusion, a retro blast of emotive sax lines, funky basslines, Hammondesque keys, very reminiscent of British progressive rockers Gentle Giant, but then half way through the distorted guitar kicks in, and it shifts into darker Crimson territory. The final track on the album is my favorite of the bunch. 'Theoretical Vampirism' starts off all airy and light, pretty Hammond tones droning over spluttery percussion and bubbling basslines, forming into a a sunny prog jam that has that 70's British prog flavor of almost medieval melodies fused with electric rock. But after a few minutes of this brighter, more upbeat sound, it feels like a vast black cloud descends over the band as they move into an ominous prog jam that reaches out for nearly half and hour, dark strings and horns and piano notes all slowly entering the sound, becoming heavier and menacing as the track progresses, invoking shades of King Crimson and Univers Zero at their eeriest. So cool. Check this out if you're into any of that RIO-inspired stuff like Time Of Orchids and Kayo Dot, or classic 70's prog/fusion." – Crucial Blast (USA) (November 2008).
"…Not an album for the jazz purist and possibly a challenge for the average prog fan, Freaky Karma falls into that in-between world were often not many people are confident enough to tread… If one is in to the more improvisational aspects of KC, is a fan of jazz drumming or just fancies something a bit different to play late on a Saturday evening, then Tribal Logic might be the answer to your dreams. (Conclusion: 6 out of 10)" – by Mark Hughes of DPRP (UK) (November 2008).
The album was also reviewed at: ProgArchives (USA), ProgressiveEars (USA), Rate Your Music (USA), MADZ-zine (Russia), Psychotropic Zone (Finland), MerlinProg (Norway), Progressive Area (France), LowCut (Denmark).