Agata Kristi

Agata Kristi

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Агата Кристи


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Background = group_or_band
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Origin = USSR/Russia
Genre = Post-punk Industrial rock
Years_active = 1988–present
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URL =
Current_members = Dmitry Khakimov Gleb Samoylov Konstantin Bekrev Vadim Samoylov
Past_members =
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Agata Kristi (Cyrillic: "Агата Кристи", after Agatha Christie) is a Russian rock group led by brothers Vadim and Gleb Samoylov, that was established in Sverdlovsk in 1988.

History

The founders of the band - Vadim Samoylov (born in Sverdlovsk, October 3, 1964), Aleksandr Kozlov (born in Asbest, September 25, 1961) and Petr Mai -- were schoolmates, they played together in a school band. In 1985 they (together with Vadim's younger brother Gleb Samoylov, who was born in Asbest, August 4, 1970) created a music band named "ВИА РТФ УПИ" (which literally stands for: vocal-instrumental ensemble of Radioengineering faculty of Ural Polytechnical Institute). The original band comprises:
* Глеб Самойлов ("Gleb Samoylov") -- vocals, guitar, bass, lyrics, adaptation, keyboard
* Вадим Самойлов ("Vadim Samoylov") -- vocals, guitar, bass, lyrics, adaptation, keyboard
* Андрей Котов ("Andrey Kotov") -- drums, percussion
* Александр Козлов ("Aleksandr Kozlov") -- keyboard, composer/lyrics (now deceased)

They released several tape albums: "Если (If)", "Свет (Light)", and others. In the same year they changed the name of the band to "Agata Kristi," the way Agatha Christie's name is pronounced in Russian. The name was chosen allegedly as best reflecting the band's sound style, a mysterious, eccentric, and at times sadistically spooky mix of glam, goth rock, and techno-like electronics.

The official birthday of "Agata Kristi" is February 20, 1988, the day of their first concert and the release of the first official album "Второй Фронт" (Second Front). In 1988-1989 "Agata Kristi" played at several rock festivals and was noticed. Still, two more albums to follow -- "Коварство и любовь" (Craft and Love) and "Декаданс" (Decadence) -- seemed overly theatrical and pompous. There were also some internal tensions in the band. Petr Mai left and was replaced by Andrey Kotov (born in Sverdlovsk, April 3, 1963).

In 1993 the band released a much more focused and balanced album "Позорная Звезда" (Shameful Star), which marked a shift from the guitar-driven glam rock of the previous albums to synth-based post-punk with a more subdued vocal delivery. The next album "Опиум" (Opium) enjoyed considerable success. "Agata Kristi" quickly became a popular act. Two songs from "Opium" -- "Сказочная Тайга" (Fairy Taiga) and "Опиум для Никого" (Opium for Nobody) became hits. The next albums - "Ураган" (Hurricane) and "Чудеса" (Miracles) -- were gloomy, even depressive, and loaded with electronics, a move which was not welcomed by many of the band's fans. A 2000 "Майн Кайф?" (a word-play derived from "Mein Kampf" and the Russian word "Kaif", meaning 'bliss') featured sound no less gloomy and bleak than its predecessors, but received critical praise because of its unorthodox composition and song structures. In 2001 the founding keyboardist Alexander Kozlov died, which is said to be the reason for prolonged creative stagnation. It was only in 2004 that the Samoylovs released the next album: "Триллер Часть 1" (Thriller Part 1). Despite a significant stylistic deviation from the band's trademark murky electronic sound, this lean, heavier, hard rock-infused album was generally well received by both listeners and critics. Several songs from this album made to the top of charts in Russia.

While being less prolific in the 2000's, "Agata Kristi" have proved to be quite long-lasting a project. Over their history, the band explored a variety of styles, from the synth-pop of Depeche Mode and Freddie Mercury's extravaganza to the gloomy post-punk of The Cure and The Damned. Unlike the majority of the Russian rock scene, which historically adhered to the guitar-driven rock, "Agata Kristi" embraced a hefty share of synthesizer rhythms and drums, which, together with the characteristic vocals switching from suggestive whisper to hysterical shrieks, makes their style easily recognizable. "Agata Kristi" won the Grand-Prix of the festival of young European bands "Open du Rock" (France, 1991), "World Music Award" as the most popular Russian music band (Monte-Carlo, 1997), and four national "Овация (Ovation)" prizes .

Discography

(*) "collection of remixes"

(**) "concert recording"

External links

* [http://agata.ru Official website of Agata Kristi] (in Russian)
* [http://lib.ru/KSP/agata.txt Agata Kristi in the library Biblioteka Maksima Moshkova] (in Russian)
* [http://russmus.net/band.jsp?band=Agata_Kristi Agata Kristi on Russmus.net: Lyrics and English translations] (in English)


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