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Kino – Master of Kamchatka (Кино – Начальник Камчатки)

St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Boston, Washington, San Francisco and, finally, San Jose… This was my way home, many hours of flight when I was holding this records on my laps, never taking my eyes of it. Best present I could get from my dear childhood friend. I’m talking about recently released LP record of Soviet rock band Kino (Кино). This vinyl was released by Moroz Records company to mark 50-th anniversary of the band’s leader Victor Tsoi (Виктор Цой) who unfortunately died in car accident in 1990 when he was only 28 years old.

In 1983 the Victor recorded the acoustic version of “Master of Kamchatka” album titled  “46”, which arrangements I really adore and would like to have also on vinyl. The album I currently hold in my hands was recorded in 1984 and is the third band’s album, but the first one came with electric sound.

Back in USSR times, there was no such occupation as rock musician, so people who tried to make rock music were not able to fully dedicate themselves to it, they had to have a “real job”. Tsoi worked in Kamchatka, one of the boiler rooms in St. Petersburg . Now, there is a Tsoi’s museum, where you can relax having some beer and listening to Kino, but back then he had to work really hard there.Victor was not the only rocker who worked in Kamchatka, so the place became very fast a rock musicians meeting spot.

This was my first visit to St. Petersburg since 1990 and my first visit to Kamchatka ever. On city streets I saw several posters of Victor Tsoi, installed to mark his 50-th anniversary.


Back to the album, originally it had 13 tracks, but the LP includes only 12. For some reason, they excluded a cover of “The Mister X Aria” from Emmerich Kalman’s operetta The Circus Princess. The album begins from “The Last Hero”, the song which Victror also included in the album “Night” (“Ночь“) and Kino Greatest Hits  compilation released in France in 1989, which was even titled by this song name .

The record sounds really good, considering the conditions it was recorded.

Other bands musicians helped Kino to record and to produce this album: Boris Grebenchikov (Борис Гребенщиков), Sergey Kurehin (Сергей Курёхин), Vsevolod Gakkel, Igor Butman. Sound engineer was Andrey Tropillo (Андрей Тропилло), who recorded and produced many Soviet/Russian rock bands .

Victor Tsoi was not only a musician, but also a good painter, so the vinyl design includes some of his art works.

Though the album comes on a single LP, it’s leaded with beautiful smooth gatefold sleeve. Its back side has a song list:

Inside, it has a big black and white band’s picture, the album short history and credentials:

My favorite songs on the album are “Guest” (“Гость”), “Rain For Us” (“Дождь для нас”) and “General” (“Генерал”):

A very cute song “Romantic’s Walk” (“Прогулка романтика”) finalizes the album:

This is not the only Kino album recently released to mark the anniversary, I already received two more and the rest will arrive in August, but this is the first one I got during my short St. Petersburg trip, it’s a memory of my visit to Kamchatka and a great present from my close friend. Very sad, that it took so long to make such a great work and to finally release the album on vinyl. Unfortunately, Victor will never know about it.





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