April 29 marks the release of Krai, the second LP from Russian-born composer/producer Olga Bell. New York based Bell draws inspiration from her motherland as well as writing the entire album in her native tongue. Perm Krai is the first release and has been described that one could listen to the track “like you would peck at a fancy tasting plate, snacking on bright blobs and crunchy bits on a backing of white space.”
Krai (край) is an administrative territory of Russia and also has the wider meaning of edge/frontier. Bell shies away from writing about the major cities of her homeland instead exploring the lesser-known towns and their inhabitants culminating in a melodic journey across Russia.
The arrangements encompass; cello bass, percussion, electronics and six vocalists all singing in Russian. The narrative is derived from original poetry composed by Bell and her mother as well as political limericks and traditional dialect. In February, the work was premiered to a sold-out Walker Art Centre.
Bell was somewhat of a classical pianist prodigy graduating from the New England Conservatory at age 21 before moving to New York City to pursue electronic composition and song writing. The past nine years have seen Bell’s steady growth from impromptu shows around the city to performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre.
Bell makes original music, remixes and videos under her own name. She is also one half of British dance duo Nothankyou, with musician Tom Vek. Bell is also a keyboardist and singer with Dirty Projectors having joined the group for a project in 2012.
Край / Krai Track List:
1. Краснодарский Край / Krasnodar Krai
2. Алтайский Край / Altai Krai
3. Пермский Край / Perm Krai
4. Ставропольский Край / Stavropol Krai
5. Красноярский Край / Krasnoyarsk Krai
6. Приморский Край / Primorsky Krai
7. Забайкальский Край / Zabaikalsky Krai
8. Хабаровский Край / Khabarovsk Krai
9. Камчатский Край / Kamchatka Krai