THEODOR BASTARD is one of the most successful contemporary Russian music collectives. The history of the band goes from the late 1990’s. The band works between genres that can be defined as world music, darkwave and trip-hop. The trademark of the band is the unique voice of Yana Veva and unimprovable sound-producing by Fedor Svolotch.
Yana Veva has a rare vocal timbre and she uses a special vocal technique that refers to Arabic and Indian vocal tradition. Besides singing in THEODOR BASTARD Yana recorded an album with Stefan Hertrich (Darkseed, Betray my secrets) “Nour” in which all vocals were sung by Yana.
In 2004 the most famous album by THEODOR BASTARD “Pustota” was released by four labels: Fulldozer (Russia), Pandaimonium (Germany), Muzikal Yapim (Turkey), Art records (Mexico).
The official video for the album’s title track created by Kol Belov has got the first place at Newgrounds.com (one of the world’s biggest flash animation portals) rating with 118 000 viewers and 35 000 at Youtube.
To support the album THEODOR BASTARD went on tour around Russia, Belgium and Germany. Live performance is the strongest aspect of THEODOR BASTARD (totally there’ve been more than 300 concerts in band’s history). There are six musicians in the band who use plenty of electronic devices and special acoustic instruments like various ethnic percussions, kazu, saz and others.
As a result of that tour the band recorded a live album of previously unreleased songs - “Sueta” appeared in the end of 2006.
After that THEODOR BASTARD recorded a new album “Beloe” which has two versions – one is experimental electronic and the other is rhythmic world music.
This disc differs from the other works by this band – concerning aesthetics and sound: most of the compositions are far from the oriental theme, that’s been typical for the band, and from the “dark” direction often attributed to the musicians.
“Beloe” (in Russian it means ‘whiteness’) is about the inner purification – struggle with demons existing in all of us. The album is in Russian and filled with Russian folk motives. Maria Akimova plays gusli in some of the compositions. As the session musicians Mila Fedorova (cello). Eugene Fedotov (guitar), Elena Tishina (harp) and Boris Bardash from Ole Lukoye took part in recordings.
“I’ve been always fascinated with the idea of the combination of the acoustic instruments with microtonal electronics and noises,” – told the THEODOR BASTARD leader Fedor Svolotch, - “To be closer to this plan we had to revise our approach to sound and even to change the set of the instruments”.
All the month long musicians were searching for optimal sound of the acoustic guitar, and the cello was recorded in three different studios. Mila Fedorova bought an electrocello in USA. But finally musicians chose the Italian instrument that was made in the first half of the last century, its sound goes with electronic best of all.
Most of the songs were composed by singer Yana Veva. Besides her vocals there is her keyboard playing on the album.
“I didn’t make any changes in some of the tracks”. – told Fedor Svolotch, - “They were composed and recorded by Yana from the beginning to the end. In song “Beloe” I just made some corrections to vocal effects and in “Hunting for the fierce beasts” we recorded guitar and cello, all the rest was left without changes”.
Nevertheless, seemingly simple approach results in that musicians stayed in studio for almost an year, recording plenty of versions with different tonalities, tempo and instruments.
“It was like Fedor was working with many pieces constructing whole album as a jig-saw puzzle,” – commented Yana, - “I think that everything was done an year ago, but Fedor got the different picture in his head, so that we had to adapt to his manic approach.”
THEODOR BASTARD released the album on the flash-jet USB promo-single with various versions of “Budem jit” and video “Mir”. THEODOR BASTARD is the first band in Russia, maybe in whole world, released music on the alternative data medium.
The drawings by Fedor are seen at the bouqlet.
“We couldn’t find designer for long time”, - Yana told, - “But finally we all agree that Fedor drawings are the best. As our percussionist Kusas told, only mentally ill artist could draw it. So that we chose that artwork”.
Apart of recording their albums, THEODOR BASTARD are always keeping in touch with musicians from other countries: collaboration with Martin Attkins from Pigface who released a track by THEODOR BASTARD at his label Invisible/Underground Inc.; with Peter Christopherson of Coil – the band recorded a version of “Love's Secret Domain”; with Ethan Jordan, American saxophonist, playing live together in Brussel; and also THEODOR BASTARD was the support band for the Nine Inch Nails gig in St.Petersburg, August 2007.
Plenty of magazines wrote about the band, among them "Rolling stone", "Time
Out" and such European magazines as "Zillo", "Orkus" and "Sonic seducer". Songs by THEODOR BASTARD were on air of Austrian radio "FM 4". THEODOR BASTARD music was used by Brazilian film director Gustavo Santos, and it was presented at San Paolo film festival.