Beyond some "self-sufficiency" in face of Ken Hyder's own article in both "Jazz Forum" (6/90, in English) and Soviet Jazz Federation's "Jazz" (naturally...) magazine (#1, in Russian) (both prints are represented here), one more only - and the remarkable one! - published response to SHAMS tour is known (to me at least): from Vladivostok ...
It came from rather rock than jazz (or improvised music) audience and from "province" rather than from a heart of the country. So even when I proudly estimate it as both the confirmation of success of both my marketing formula (look "Marketing ..." here) for the tour and the quality/potential of the music represented, it equally mirrors much more complex social events/ processes/ changes of the topics resided too far beyond our current interests.
Vladivostok, bay city indeed, some Russian Liverpool as we see it now ... - much more open to international music influences, much more "packed" in terms of an access to fresh music andinstruments, with the army of agitated/generally self-undetermined, and pretty energetic and romantic/ passionate young people. At the same time, this people generally possessed with perceptibly more high (than others met ...) educational level and the incredible practicism to make their dreams happen (in fact, sea port, Vladi enjoyed with immigration of very adventurous people from the heart of the country for generations)... - say, in late 90ies already to give rise to the commercially noticeable (in essense, enhanced post-punk...) music trend known as "Vlad-pop", and even some pan-Russian hysteria etc in face of their (post-punk...) headliner MUMY TROLL since '98-'99 (when it was born somewhere in '85 - yet!).
It is not surprising they had their own underground press, the best of all represented by "DVR"1 magazine, B&W A4, 100(?) pages, plain thick yellowing paper, (illegal...) xerox duplication of under 1,000, underground distribution ... It incorporated skilful illustrations, (advanced to that times) computer typesetting andpin- (even laser/offset?) printing, elements of computer pagemaking maybe etc details showcasing qualified, dedicated and the passionate work - as well as the evident signs of wider circles of "youth" (maybe even those slightly over their 30ies...) patience andrebellion (against socio/music restrictions) and the poetic gifts of its The Unknown Editors.
Small article on SHAMS here is so characteristic (or "better than all of the rest", unrelated ones, from the same issue) and is so - once more - amazingly poetic, I bring it in full below - word in word, with some requisite comments (rather wide one - for the original is poetically (andslang...) encoded far beyond Western cultural tradition) and accents (slants, French etc) only.
The article is surely marked with the literary gift (what I can not surely compete with), and I can't stop loving it tender for the (unknown) author have guessed, showcased and propheted a lot of the hidden things indeed - as a true poet (at least within Russian cultural tradition - what equally permits for a poet to be not fully transparent to contemporaries and have his speeches rather somewhere dark). It is more evident 10 years later ...
What is more, I'm touched andproud andthankful to him for I surely know the content could almost not be overcomed by some other writer there in USSR by the sense at least. I'm not kidding, and I confirm all the things below are real truth.
"DVR" magazine #11
Ken Hyder and Tim Hodgkinson :
"IN SEARCH FOR THE SOVIET SHAM(an)S"
20/4/1990, Young Audience Theatre, "Century XXI"
No doubts, the musical event of the year - ROLLING STONES will all the same do not reach here through Abakan and the city named with letter "H" 2.
"Shamans who are playing together are swinging usually"3 - as egg-headed4 Boris Podkosov have told, spreading his wee wings5 over elderly trustees (I was told long ago already this eminent representative of "H" 2 jazz movement is a mudak6 (look "DVR #4"7), and it is only now that I have understood what had they meant exactly).
Under-mowed8.1 with Podkosov's8.1 organization of all the tour, unlucky avant-gardists have reached the hungry and believing in nothing already audience with the two days delay. Organizers, "people of the future century", busy with the strife with OVIR9 and KGB9, have not even care for the regular interpreter (when candidates where submitted). The resulting podkos8.2 turned even more steep"10: free-of-charge circus (for the one-hour-long performance of the duo have repaid four roubles a hundredfold) reminded talks to Chris Cutler (look "ContrCultHurra"11, #1, p.90). It was only the third part of questions to sound like this: "Well you have played jazz before, so how, blya12, have you rolled over to t h i s ?
Parolle d'honneur, I have never thought it could exist so much of urla13 (to that the concert have gathered as if "folks" only) in the city where each second meloman consider himself an avant-gardist. The very "friends of Pink Floyd" and "unofficial self-printers14 from Recommended Records" (those were the figures of speech from the poster15), as it is properly to the big friends of Soviet Union, have been talking nonsense in a firm and prefabricated manner... The intercourse with a seaside beggars16 have not succeeded ...
Well, what to talk to them about indeed? What does music begins from? If they have found notorious17 shamans? If they experience the feel of a bitterness towards their former colleagues of HENRY COW and "... Opposition"? What for is it all? Thank goodness, I saw those ones leaving the hall right after the musical part - they had enough for them (in both senses).
Indeed, in this unchainness withstanded to the stupid aggression and appraisal of the audience (when "A style is an enemy", as Tim told, though), in the unchainness limited with the physical abilities of the very music instrument and the definitive concrete stage of the concrete Young Audience Theatre with "Juvenile Sea" 18 scenery, it was all told already in it. "Spirit is the thing a human may become", and "may" modality was not realized in this case - and nothing more. As for us, we have just witnessed and participated in the very birth of music, sadly. And what more of some other words are for? ...
P.S. There are several other transparent motifs in the article. Some (hidden) kind of an envy to the - generally ridiculous - neighbouring city "by letter "Ha" and its - no less ridiculous ... - natives, some regret that it is not (rock, and "DVR"-related ...) people from Vladi who have indeed managed to realize the tour/concert ("to make it") - and some other ridiculous egg-head figure with its both incompetent andunreliable nature and impudent inventions instead ... some regret for the quality of the native rock community, etc etc.
It all turns into nothing indeed when the author discovers the other world (i.e."real Western music" the late generations of Soviet youth have fighted for so eagerly ...), so material one in sounds andmedia, is different - and even negative! - to the author's deeply personal picture of the World/ expectations ...
Leaving him here with this personal tragedy, I don't revenge - for I rather grateful to him for this stream of feelings: so masterful, poetical (at least in Russian, beyond my ugly interpreting), so honest ones indeed - and maybe even akin to some music related - unrealized yet up to now ... - ones of my own ...