II: Gold Vinyl LP
SOYUZ (COIO3)

II: Gold Vinyl LP

MRBLP300G
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Pre-Order Item. Release Date Subject to Change.
Label: Mr Bongo
Release Date: 22nd March

'II' is the album that came before the 2022 ROTY quality 'Force of the Wind', what may be the best Brazilian/MPB/Tropicalia/Psychedelic Soul and Funk record to not be from Brazil at all. Mr Bongo reissue this 2019 gem for fresh ears eager for more of those sweet Verocai inspired strings and soundtrack funk breaks.

SOYUZ stole our hearts back in 2022 when we released their album Force Of The Wind to critical acclaim

Here we proudly present the predecessor to that LP, the band's sophomore long player from 2019 that was previously only available digitally. It captures a pivotal evolving period in the band's career, the recordings giving a snapshot of what would become their sound on Force Of The Wind, yet with echoes of avant- psychedelic-pop footprints from yester years.

Produced at a time when band leader Alex Chumak had moved from Minsk to Kyiv, torn between the need to try something new and the homesickness it brought about. Travelling back to Minsk almost weekly, Alex joined fellow band members Mikita Arlou and Stanislav Murashko to lay down II at Studio 42. The album captures these transient feelings, contextualised through the broad scope of influences the band were nourished by. From MPB to Ethio-Jazz and the Italian library soundtracks of Piero Piccioni and Piero Umiliani, the album shines with touches of joy from across the globe.

The opening track 'Verocai' is a tribute to the Brazilian maestro and 'Mirouze', whilst being named after a French favourite of the band, Jean- Pierre Mirouze, pays clear homage to Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges. A ghostly sample and invisible connection to music made miles away in a different era that has influenced and become part of the band's lives. This is further reinforced in the album's enchanting closer, the aptly titled 'Nascimento', another nod to the great Brazilian musician and singer.

The beginnings of the cinematic, soul-laden jazz SOYUZ are now known for, are on display across the likes of 'Lyric' and 'Motive I'. The latter an orchestrated jazz instrumental with sensuous string sections, all of which were recorded on the warmth of a Studer reel-to-reel and waltzing Rhodes keys.

SOYUZ's wide- ranging palate is further demonstrated in tracks like 'Business Partners' with its Krauty, kosmische, new wave production featuring Inturist, and the oh-too-short Anatolian-influenced interlude 'Corrida'. Elsewhere, 'Tezeta' and 'ES-2 Jazz' hint at the psychedelic haze of soul-funk, with the former featuring verses from Serbian rapper Petar Martic.

For this new physical and digital release, the whole album was mixed from scratch by Ryan Power before Joker worked his magic on the remaster. More excellence is to come from SOYUZ, but in the meantime, we are thrilled to present this essential recording from the band's foundational years, mixed to a level that does it the justice it deserves.


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