Wednesday 16 August 2017

The amazing Igor Bril (or Brill) and his Ensemble, 1978 to 1984

Hot on the heels of the Allegro, here is my favourite Russian composer after Nazaruk,  Igor Bril or Brill, who made three orchestral fusion albums which are absolute masterpieces of the genre.

Each of the albums appears with at least one more cover, some quite beautiful as you can see from the series below for the third album, Twilight from 1985.  The middle one is called An Orchestra Came and is the most well-known but all are worthy, with the first in my opinion being the best.

Here is the group discography, you can see Igor on his own did a few other records, which I don't know anything about, any info is welcome, and the fact it's written in cyrillic is highly annoying since it makes it impossible to search across the database or sometimes on google (e.g. to check ebay availability).

Unlike the case with the Allegro Ensemble, Igor packs a ton of ideas in each LP as if he had too much to say and too little time, there is a minimum of wanky improv, most of which is of high interest since it's usually some spacey synthesizer that rather than sounding extemporized actually sounds preprerared.  You can compare the first Brill album with any college LP and try to pull up your pants because the magnitude of the composition is seemingly out of this world, yes, as if it was written by brilliant aliens from a much more advanced (musically) planet, with its classical influence, as always, Strav and others, and its total mastery of music, every minute with a surprising 'twist' on some chord change or even just a well-thought out piano chord.

On the first album the long track is the title track ("Morning of the Earth," it seems to be called) and it bears very close resemblance to the aforementioned Forest Awakens of Igor Nazaruk which I'll reupload downstairs here.  When you listen you'll see there are turns and switches so that essentially a normal musician's entire 2-LP set has been zip-packed into a fifteen minute composition.  It just makes my jaw drop, particularly when Igor solos an improvisation that is almost otherworldly on the grand piano.

From the first album, And One Day:

Notice how original the unusual synthesizer or keyboard sounds are here, so much more interesting than our old college band LPs, not fair maybe to compare with those.

From the second, Today and Tomorrow:

From 1984's Twilight or Before Sunset. this is Silver Cloud:

Disappointingly perhaps, the long track on this last album (the title track) is somewhat short on ideas.  So soon, some six years following the first in 1978?  However Igor retained the (brilliant) use of unusual keyboard sounds, including in some places the signature Mike Ratledge fuzzboxed hammond.

Note always the heavy classical influence with Strav, Prokofieff, and even the Ravel 'impressionist' piano works popping up.


  1. 1978

    Same In Russian:



    My old favourite the Forest Awakens by Nazaruk:

      reup of the igor brill


  2. Excellent stuff, thank you Julian!
    On another note, would it be possible to repost "L'Art De Passage ‎– Sehnsucht Nach Ver√§nderung"? Totally missed this!

    Thanks and all the best,