Damo Suzuki with Magical Unicellular Music (V.O.M.3 + V.O.M.5 + V.O.M.23): Batman Electricity (Guitar), Dee (Guitar), Hamlet (Bass), Lampi (Sound Devices), Mitya (Bass), Stereochuvak (Guitar) and Tubbi (Drums)
There is a quite few direct flight from outside to Minsk, a capital of last communist country in Europe feeling, I’m going to very isolated place….near but so far. Took flight Cologne to Prague (has modern airport it’s like Western Europe, price here at airport is already level of West.)
Get to terminal to Minsk, not so many people were waiting for flight. Some 15 people? It’s not like international flight, much like island to island private jet. Minsk Airport placed around 40 km outside the city.
I was picked up by Sasha, 21 young guy, is organizing probably alone indie/alternative concerts in Minsk with Alexj after waiting some 10 minutes at meeting point airport. Shops (There were not much) were closed even exchange office..this time almost nobody is at airport. I didn’t check it but, I guess there are not that much flight start and land.
Belarus is isolated.. and one of most unknown countries for many people. I don’t have any idea to expect as this is absolutely exotic country for me. Drive into the city, you can find only field after another, sometimes there are small villages far from the road. On the way you may find parking place with communism propaganda stature. When car get into the city there are block apartment houses in typical communism building style. Somewhere between placed proud communism style official or party building (I imagine). Belarus is far as they don’t have any relationship to Europe for political reason, this country is ruled by a dictator. The city has around 2 million of population and the country has around 9 million people. All solutions are similar to all those communist countries before 1989.
They brought me to Antons apartment. There are many of these apartment house block, almost all buildings are bombed at WW2, so all building is exist after that period…after the war apartment complexes. Anton’s girlfriend who is one of organizer of this show cooked me Salmon and vegetable before I took rest. I slept quite well and deep. When I woke up it was already dark outside. I was invited by Minsk part of V.O.M. V.O.M. is kind of relationship of minimalist musicians since 1993 found here in Minsk then in Moscow. Actually, these people are doing what I am doing…connecting people with music. V.O.M. has different formations…Anything like 50 musicians under same name. From formation to formation they put no…..V.O.M. 4 is Moscow band, etc…..
In the evening we went to rehearsing room belongs to part of V.O.M. sound carriers, who will perform with me tomorrow. In very tiny room, tight to next people. After I, Sasha and the girl who cooked me went to their friend DJ, where I can internet access , She cooked me again food with goods just we bought on the way here in supermarket. Suddenly, I get tired and slept… One thing is so, if you go to foreigner country and you don’t understand speech, you get quite tired.
Next fresh morning we took walk through the city. Pedestrians way is so wide. I just wonder why so wide pedestrians way? I was asking them, what is traditional national food? They say there is not…….Food generally her is same like Russian food. We get into restaurant/bar. I order vodka and the dish a girl beside me recommended …and was good. At this point we were joined by two girls both are students and speaks English. One of both is girlfriend of Sasha, a cute friendly person. Sasha have to prepare for tonight’s concert. So, he let me alone with three nice girls for sightseeing. Then, took taxi to pick up all my stuff as I have to leave at midnight, 10 hours by train to Moscow then get airplane to St/Petersburg. On the way to the venue, I saw thousands of people in public viewing, watching soccer at square, buildings are like dream spotlight from low..many Russian cities has this kind of illumination.
The venue is at middle of main street, clean and modern… place with restaurant/bar upstairs. During sound check appeared Anton from Moscow (There are many Antons), who is organizing this Russian tour and also as sound carrier on guitar and an another Anton (from Minsk). I tell you, how stands this Russian tour… There is a guy called African who contacted me from Ukraine asking if I’m interesting to perform in Ukraine around two years ago via internet. For any reason (mainly financial part), i couldn’t meet the agreement. Later African asked me if I have interest to perform with Russian band he likes/ So, he forwarded my mails to Anton. Then everything went quickly, get visas for Russia and Belarus, etc….Then fixed, Moscow, St.Petersburg and Pskov.
After the show we went to restaurant before take train..we had quite enough time, also station is just few blocks. Eat fake Sushi..(now a days even you can get Sushi at place like here) which wasn’t that bad, was also cheap. Drink and talk, then we went to station through middle of the city in night air. At the platform, many other young people came to say “goodbye” to me and two Antons (one Anton, organiser/guitarist, an another Anton is founder of V.O.M. lives in Minsk).
Train didn’t start soon we had enough time to see each faces on platform and three in train through window. Very sentimental moment….when I’ll see them again?..hopefully take not long. The long train to Moscow carry his weight forwards, very slowly, but seculity. Young people is getting smaller and smaller in midnight.