Don't understand, just listen

Kruzenshtern & Parohod's music has been pushed into various categories: experimental jazz, klezmercore, klezmerpunk and more. The band's founder hates all these definitions.

Kruzenshtern Parohod 88 (photo credit: )
Kruzenshtern Parohod 88
(photo credit: )
At the end of the interview with Igor Krutogolov, founder and composer of Kruzenshtern & Parohod, I asked him of the meaning to his band's name. "Don't try to understand the name," he replied, "the name is like our music, you can't really decipher it." Kruzenshtern & Parohod was founded in 2002 by bassist Krutogolov. "I started out playing experimental music. Then I realized I have to control the basics of harmony and notes before I go into the experimental level," he says. So, in 2002 Krutogolov met Ruslan Gross who was then playing guitar in a metal band. He heard that Gross played the clarinet and asked him to join his new band. Gross brought drummer Guy Schechter and later Boris joined them with his accordion. The band's music has been pushed into various categories: experimental jazz, klezmercore (a pun on hardcore), klezmerpunk (you get the idea) and more. But Krutogolov hates all these definitions. "How can you define a style?" he explains, "Just because we have clarinet, doesn't mean we play Jewish music. Eventually it doesn't matter what instruments we play. The instruments are just tools to give life to the music that's in my head." Yet it's important for Krutogolov to emphasize that the music would not exist without them. "I believe that the players in our band are the best in Israel. Together we explore the fields of experimental music. We are still not there. I'm not sure where there is, but that's great. Because once we get there, there is no reason to continue creating." The band's second album, The Craft of Primitive Klezmer, sold out - though only 1000 copies were manufactured. "I wish we could sell more," says Krutogolov admitting that,"our music is not easy. It's not music where you can sit at a bar, drink a beer and hear it in the background. You really have to listen to it. If I came to one of our shows I would probably leave half an hour into it." Kruzenshtern & Parohod take the stage at Tmuna Theatre (8 Schonzino St., Tel Aviv) on August 29 at 10 p.m. For more information call (03)562-9462 or visit the band's website at