FromUz

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FROMUZ
Origin Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Genres Progressive rock, jazz fusion
Years active 2004–present
Labels 10T Records
Website www.fromuzband.com
Members Vitaly Popeloff
Albert Khalmurzaev
Evgeniy Popelov
Past members Andrew Mara-Novik
Vladimir Badirov
Surat Kasimov
Ali Izmailov
Igor Elizov

FROMUZ (also known briefly as FROM.UZ) is an Uzbek progressive rock band [1][2] formed in 2004 in Tashkent by Vitaly Popeloff and Andrew Mara-Novik. The name FROMUZ was borrowed from an early song title and is short for "from Uzbekistan". FROMUZ has become one of the most successful progressive rock/fusion bands in Central Asia. The band's sound is predominantly instrumental. FROM.UZ is well known for the high technical skills of its members.

History[edit]

FROMUZ was formed in Tashkent in 2004 when guitarist Vitaly Popeloff, bassist Andrew Mara-Novik, drummer Vladimir Badirov and keyboard player Albert Khalmurzaev decided to form a band. Their first test of playing together live was a concert dance in progressive rock style “Sodom & Gomorra XXI” composed by Albert Khalmurzaev for the Youth Theater of Uzbekistan. With this play the quartet performed at International Theatre Festival named by A.P. Chekhov in Moscow in 2006 and «Meetings in Russia» festival in St. Petersburg in 2008.

Their first "test" concert took place in April, 2005 in the hall of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan. Also in 2005, the band performed at The International Blues Music Festival, "Astana Blues 2005", and took part in series of ethnic music concerts, "Greeting from Nostradamus", by drummer V. Badirov. In 2006 FROMUZ became the owner of «Crystal Awards 2006» by Snob Collection as the best music project of the year in Uzbekistan.

In 2006 band attracted the attention of 10T Records. FROMUZ signed their first record contract with 10T on August 2006 and set out to record debut album based on concert at Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan in 2005. "Audio Diplomacy" was released in February 2007 as CD/DVD set. It is a live album consisting of 8 instrumental tracks. In 2008 FROMUZ released their second album "Overlook" via 10T Records. "Overlook" was recorded at Iosis studio in Tashkent and mixed at Charleston Sound. "Overlook" was the last album recorded by the original lineup. The 4th band album named Quartus Artifactus is released in May, 2011. It is an acoustic anthology of From.Uz music.[3]

In 2008 after Andrew Mara-Novik and Vladimir Badirov left the band to seek employment in another country Ali Izmailov and Surat Kasimov filled the drummers and bassist positions in FROMUZ. Also Igor Elizov was hired as the second keyboard player. In this membership FROM.uz entered Iosis Studio to work on their fresh material and "Seventh Story" album became the result of this collaboration. Besides the changes in lineup FROMUZ modified the structure of their compositions. The sound became more energetic and vocals appeared in several compositions. It was at this time that the dot/period was added to the name to differentiate from the original lineup. In support of the "Seventh story" album, FROM.UZ gave a series of concerts in September 2008 and March 2009 on the stages of Youth theatre of Uzbekistan and Ilkhom Theatre. In September 2010 band released second live DVD recorded and shot during FROM.UZ's live performance at the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan in September 2008.

Influences[edit]

The members of FROMUZ have told in their interviews that their music was inspired by various musicians such as King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes, Jethro Tull, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck.

Live performances[edit]

Concert activity of FROM.UZ includes report-concerts. It can be two or three concerts in the year. Each concert takes 2–3 days, the same stage as a rule. The first FROM.UZ concert was Playing the Imitation – live at the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan. The band was chosen to open the ceremony for Uzbekistan's first rock music awards, the 2009 IOSIS Fest.[4] Also there were 2 big conceptual shows in FROM.UZ history. They are «Quartus Artifactus» and «FROM.UZ Anthology». «Quartus Artifactus» gig took place on June 23, 2009 at the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent. The conception of this show was to play compositions using just acoustic instruments. At the beginning of 2010 FROM.UZ performed «Quartus Artifactus» concert, named so because of planned set list. It consisted of best tracks from all albums.

Throughout their career FROM.UZ performed at several progressive rock and blues festivals. In 2007 band was invited to The Baja Prog Festival in Mexico where they played on one stage with such famous progressive rock figures as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Universe Zero, Focus. In August 2007 FROMUZ participated in «Summer Nights» festival in Chimkent (Kazakhstan) where band performed compositions from their first album Audio Diplomacy.

Cover songs[edit]

FROMUZ has covered some other artists' work during their career. In 2009 FROMUZ participated in 10T: Undercover album where they performed their cover version on King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black. Also in summer 2010 FROM.UZ started working on Jeff Beck «Brush with the blues».

Band members[edit]

There have been four different lineups of FROMUZ. The original lineup of guitarist Vitaly Popeloff, keyboardist Albert Khalmurzaev, drummer Vladimir Badirov, and bassist Andrew Mara-Novik released two albums. Then in May 2008 Mara-Novik and Badirov were replaced by Surat Kasimov and Ali Izmailov, also Igor Elizov was hired as the second keyboard player. After leaving of Surat Kasimov in July 2009, Albert Khalmurzaev started playing bass. And finally in September 2010 Ali Izmailov left the group. Nowadays there is no constant drummer in FROMUZ and for every concert band invites different session drummers.

Current members[edit]

  • Vitaly Popeloff – guitars, lead vocals
  • Albert Khalmurzaev – bass, backing vocals
  • Evgeniy Popelov – keyboards, backing vocals

Former members[edit]

  • Andrew Mara-Novik – bass (2004–2008)
  • Vladimir Badirov –drums (2004–2008)
  • Surat Kasimov – bass (2008–2009)
  • Ali Izmailov – drums (2008–2010)
  • Igor Elizov - piano, keyboards (2008-2011)
  • Evegeniy Popelov - keyboards (session in 2007)[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Overlook (2008)[6]
  • Seventh Story (2010)[7]
  • Quartus Artifactus (2011) [8]
  • Sodom and Gomorrah (2013) [9]

Live albums[edit]

  • Audio diplomacy (2007)

Live DVD releases[edit]

  • Playing the Imitation (2007)
  • Inside Seventh Story (2010)[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]