Ocher Red

01/05/2024Siberian Brother Duo Herandu (Evgeny & Mikhail Gavrilov) Releases Mesmerising Jazz Fusion Debut On Hive Mind

Call it serendipity, but this unassuming release recently resurfaced in our feed, reminding us that we had previously received and flagged a promo in our inbox by the same name. As luck would have it, there it was and upon reading the release notes we quickly realised that this instrumental gem might just be our thing. Out on Brighton's Hive Mind imprint as of last Friday and titled "Ocher Red", this is the debut full-length of Herandu, the sonic alloy of sibling duo Evgeny and Mikhail Gavrilov. Hailing from Siberia's Novosibirsk, the two had collaborated in their youth, "forming the band FPRF in the mid 2000s," which eventually disbanded as the individual band members went on to pursue their own endeavours. Evgeny and Mikhail stayed in music, producing under the aliases of Dyad and Misha Sultan (ring a bell? read more here) respectively. 

Herandu (possibly a nod to the track "Herandnu" found on Weather Report's iconic "Black Market" album, characterised by a tricky time signature and described by Wayne Shorter as meaning "here and now") was formed in 2022, when the two brothers hit the studio during a joint visit to their native Siberia. It was there that they rediscovered a certain commonality in their approach that translated to a novel sound rooted in the sum of their individual musical ventures. They invited their friend Vladimir Luchansky and his saxophone to the mix and "Ocher Red" began to take shape. Channeling a deep appreciation of 'urban music'  inspired as much by "the gritty cityscapes of '70s TV cop thrillers" as by "21st century urbanism," Herandu have conjured a mesmerising eleven-track opus of aural plasticity, fusion in practice or, quite simply, musical alchemy. Combining elements from club and dance music with an 'anything goes' modus operandi in the spirit of jazz, this here is a special blend of electro-melodic experimentation. 

"...a little bit like Metalheadz meets Weather Report out in Siberia's post-industrial badlands...," the release notes read, which is a pretty good description, but the album title has us coming up with even more interpretations: Ocher is won from the ground, "an earthy clay coloured by iron oxide, usually yellow or reddish brown," and one of the world's oldest pigments, prominently featuring in cave art. In this case, however, "Ocher Red" might be a metaphor for these two brothers returning to their Siberian homeland (a topography rich in iron ore by the way) and finding common musical ground, resonating in a multitude of stunning ferric hues, ethereal but equally enduring from a listener's standpoint. Brimful of wit, there are most definitely levels to the vibe that is Herandu, yet all of them are thoroughly absorbing.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom