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Mashina Vremeni, the Russian rock band that vindicates its name

Mashina Vremeni (Машина времени = Time Machine) is a Russian rock band founded in 1969. Mashina Vremeni was a pioneer of Soviet rock music, and remains one of the oldest still active rock bands in Russia. They have been one of the most influential bands to span both the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. The band’s music incorporates elements of classic rock, blues, and Russian folk music. Mashina vremeni is one of the bands to define Russian rock music. They have never been afraid to experiment, but always keep that Russian sound about them.

Mashina Vremeni’s best known members are Andrei Makarevich (Андрей Макаревич) – the founder, principal singer-songwriter and the band’s public persona, Alexander Kutikov (Александр Кутиков) – the bass player and producer/sound engineer, and guitarist/songwriter Evgeny Margulis (Евгений Маргулис).

Andrei Makarevich’s musical career can be traced to a school band called The Kids that was made up of two male guitarists and two female vocalists. The group sang mostly English-language folk songs and performed primarily at talent shows put on in Moscow schools. According to Makarevich, the momentous event in his musical career came when the Soviet group VIA Atlanty (ВИА «Атланты») visited his school and allowed him to play a couple of songs on their equipment during a break in the performance. On the heels of this experience, Makarevich joined with other musically talented students from his school and another school to form Mashiny Vremeni (Time Machines – in plural form imitating The Beatles, Rolling Stones etc.) The most significant founders included Sergey Kavagoe and Andrey Makarevich. The band’s repertoire consisted of eleven songs in English, now lost.

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Mashina Vremeni is considered to be one of the oldest Russian rock groups emerged at the crest of ‘beatlomania’ among Moscow students in 1968. A.Kutikov who joined the group in 1971 brought with him daring rock-n-roll drive into the group’s repertoir. It was also in that year when the first concert was given. By the middle 1970s the group developed its own unique style conditioned by the tastes of its musicians – from bard songs with romantic protest (Marionetky/Puppets) to lyrical and nostalgic folk (Svecha/Candle) to blues and rock-n-roll. The fame of the group was mainly enabled by semi-underground concerts and ‘magnitizdat’ records (albums Malenky Printz/Little Prince and Chuzhie sredi Chuzhikh /Aliens among Aliens). The hit Povorot/New Turn was acknowledged the rock song of the year 1981. In the mid 1980s the group firmly established itself as the ‘monster’ of Russian rock and became one of the first commercial rock groups with official records, tours and participation in cinema shooting. All the official albums of the group (from Reki i Mosty/Rivers and Bridges to the recent final Antology) have become ‘golden’.

 

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