RUDOLF - Prelude

Rudolf - Prelude

6 songs
20:16 minutes
***** *


It is difficult these days to create something truly new, but there is still the possibility to combine diametrically opposed genres that you wouldn’t have dreamt of that they could work together. Moscow three-piece Rudolf see their music within the triangle defined by sludge, powerviolence and… hip hop! The musicians play bass guitar, drums and… a turntable! One can’t blame the band for being unoriginal, because turntablism is usually heard in the context of soulful hip hop beats and not together with chaotic drums and bass antics.

Rudolf have been around at lease since 2014, which is when they were featured on a split album. Another split release followed two years later, and now they are back with their first EP where they don’t have to share the space with other artists. The modus operandi is still the same: mostly sludgy drum and bass parts, with occasional fierce outbursts, and the turntable scratching along as if we were still in the glorious Eighties.

But is it actually listenable? There are some really good moments, like on the second track Horse Racing which starts with a groovy hip hop sample, before the drum and bass join in, and then suddenly the bass guitar is playing some higher notes which make for a suspenseful break. Other songs also surprise with fun samples, like Nerudolf shamelessly sampling an old song from Russian rock musician Vladimir Presnyakov before falling back into their chaotic sludgy hip hop powerviolence. But what I do miss is more structure. It seems as if the musicians can all play nicely by themselves, but it’s getting the parts together where I would wish a more focused effort. While the recording of the EP is actually quite good – the turntable could maybe be a little louder in the mix – the songs still need that certain discipline which would ultimately give them an even more brutal – and less clownish – sound. Prelude is a six-track / twenty-minute EP, an appetizer for the upcoming longplayer.

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