May 14, 2009

Pridyot Voda: Yanka's Tragically Prophetic Song About Drowning

Yanka.jpgSticking with the water theme, here's a classic song about its destructive power from the 80s/90s Siberian punk-folk scene, written and performed by a Yanka Dyagileva, a woman who's talent went sadly unrecognised outside that scene during her lifetime.

A native of Novosibirsk who began writing songs as a schoolgirl, Yanka drifted into the Siberian rock scene after meeting the Russian poet/rock musician, Alexander Bashlachev at a concert in 1985. Two years later, she met and fell in love with the godfather of Siberian punk-folk, Yegor Letev. The relationship that followed was creatively productive but ultimately rather toxic; with Letov acting as a petty tyrant at home and even going so far as to belittle her when they performed on stage together.

After her inspiration Bashlachev died in 1988, Yanka sank into a chronic depression. It didn't stop her from writing, but it no doubt contributed to the very dark cast of many of her songs. In 1991, she recorded her last song - Pridyot Voda - a wrenching 9 minute epic on the subject of drowning. The first half of the song consists of Yanka blurting out anguished tightly wound verses over racing rhythm guitar then, when it seems that a comfortable resolution has been reached, it's suddenly torn apart by a blistering dissonant organ solo that continues for 4 minutes.

Shortly after recording it, Yanka disappeared from her home and was found a week later drowned in the Ob River.

Yanka Dyagileva - Pridyot Voda

(Thanks to Brian Turner from WFMU for this. If you want to hear more from the Siberian underground check out this Vice Magazine profile or this article by Pink Reason frontman Kevin Debroux.)

Posted by Warren at May 14, 2009 07:30 PM | Rock