The Rain Dogs:
Aleksandar Dobrev - clarinet
Hristo Hadzhiganchev - guitar, synthesizer
Yordan Geshakov - bass
Atanas Popov - drums
Tui Mamaki (New Zealand, from The Mamaku Project) - vocals (4, 9)
Kottarashky aka Nikola Gruev opened the door to hitherto undiscovered spaces of Balkan music with his first album "Opa Hey!" in 2009. His approach of using a collection of sounds taken from authentic field recordings is quite similar to artists like AMON TOBIN, the only difference being that Gruev found and recorded his sources in the Bulgarian countryside. Combining these, he initiated a tribal digital dance music that went far beyond either the mash up culture of contemporary global producers or the art collages of modern sound architects. He simply amazed with compositions that are extremely complexly woven, yet at the same time catchy, and full of joy or melancholy. At the time however, Kottarashky was unknown, even within his local scene in Bulgaria. It was all the more unbelievable that this dude, who was actually a full-time architect, was producing outstanding tunes and unique rhythms such as these in his back office that were completely unconnected with any popular scenes.
This coincided with a general trend in Sofia of creativity moving into the private sphere. It seems to have been a reflex to the current situation in Bulgaria today, where a group of neo-feudalists have consolidated their positions and their profits, at the same time however, maneuvering the scene in the country into torpor and oppressing all criticism through their domination of the media market. It is a situation where the mainstream outweighs everything else, yet this absence of diversified cultural channels has provided wide-ranging mental free space for the creative. It is clearly this environment that stimulates Kottarashky's innovative and profound style.
Triggered by the success of "Opa Hey!", it was obvious to Kottarashky that he now had to transform his tracks into live performances. Once again, he decided not to take the easy way out by playing as one-man laptop band or by surrounding himself with a group of session musicians from the folk scene. A....... więcej