Vasily Shumov, the father of Moscow new wave rock, with his 'Songs of the Alive and the Dead' resembles Pierre Menar, character of Borges' story. Menar've been rewriting 'Don Quixote' word by word. The result was stunning: it was a masterpiece like 'Don Quixote', but with totally different meaning. Patter of famous Bashlachev's 'Black Holes', mix of Tsoy's 'Trankvilisator' and 'Haven't got money', cheerful 'Railroad Water', touching 'rat-a-tat' of 'Ot vinta!" - excellent arrangements and idiotic Shumov's intonations easily convert rock-legends into dancing patterns. You can call it postmodern if you like, but 'shumovision', a word from the booklet, sounds much better. 'Shumovision' makes us remember an old story about a painter who said 'That's my vision of this horse'; 'shumovision' sounds like 'show my vision' or like a loud 'shoo!' to the old vision of these famous songs. Last but not least, the word 'shumovision' means Shumov himself. With his vision, naturally.
So you can find Shumov's vision in the booklet. Two white rays are passing through Shumov's sunglasses, disintegrating into all colors of the spectrum. This should probably symbolize the possibility of different visions of well-known songs. But it also reminds of 'Dark Side of the Moon' cover suffering of split personality.
There's a lot of 'alive' in this release, along with a lot of 'dead'. The arrangements, music an V.Shumov's voice are those of the 'dead' part. The lyrics are definitely 'alive', as well as the audience's astonishment: wow, our rock-n-roll is really dead. Rock-hymns, jammed with computer rhythms, are totally modified with those surprisingly funny tunes and impassive voice, and all this sounds staggering. That's the way Terminator-2000 would have looked standing by Terminator-101 - rather frightening, but fascinating.
Maybe soon someone will decide to re-sing Shumov's album once again. Without a computer, but accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar. And then we'll have even more fun.
23 марта 1960
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