N.R.M.

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N.R.M.
N.R.M. 02.jpg
N.R.M. at concert wRock for freedom, Wrocław
Background information
Also known as Mroya
Origin Minsk, Belarus
Genres Rock
Years active 1981–present
Members Oleg Demidovich
Yury Levkov
Pete Pavlov
Past members Lavon Volski
Vladimir Davidovsky
Benedict Konev-Petushkovich
Oleg Pipin
Leonid Shirin
Victor Smolsky
Viktor Shot
Yury Tsyankevich

N.R.M. (Niezaležnaya Respublika Mroya, "Independent Republic of Dreams" in English) are a rock band from Minsk, Belarus, founded in 1981 as Mroya (Belarusian: Мроя). They are considered to be the most popular rock band in the country. They perform in the Belarusian language, and are a rallying point for political opposition to the Belarusian government, despite being the target of a performance ban from 2006 to 2009.

Biography[edit]

Lavon Volsky

N.R.M. were founded as Mroja in 1981 at Alexei Glebov University in Minsk by Lavon Volsky (keys, vocals) and Vladimir Davidovsky (guitar). They held their first gig on 7 November 1981. Through the 1980s, there were several lineup changes. A few albums were also released. On 24 September 1989, the group played the Chervona Ruta festival in Chernovtsy, playing the songs "Šmat", "Australijskaja polka", "Mama - Mafija" and "Ziamla". In 1989, they recorded eight songs with producer Alexander Shtilman, released the following year as Dvaccać vośmaja zorka (28th Star) on Melodiya, the group's only release with the label. The lineup on DVZ was: Lavon Volsky – keyboards and lead vocals, Benedict Konev-Petushkovich – guitars, Yury Levkov – bass and Oleg Demidovich – drums and backing vocals. Davidovsky had left the group that year and was replaced by Konev-Petushkovich, who stayed on until 1992. He was replaced by Oleg Pipin and a couple of others before settling with Pete Pavlov in 1993. The Volsky-Pavlov-Levkov-Demidovich lineup would rename itself to NRM in late 1994.

Their music tends toward melodic hard rock with witty and often indirectly political lyrics. The band's albums and publicity materials generally use the Łacinka alphabet, the Belarusian version of the Latin alphabet that was widely used alongside Cyrillic prior to the establishment of the Soviet Union. Some songs from NRM's debut album, LaLaLaLa, were performed by Mroja as early as 1990.

Like several other bands that sing in Belarus, they have expressed their opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko, although they have never mentioned him by name in their lyrics. N.R.M.'s largest crowd was in Kiev in 2004, when they played in support of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, with band members expressing their hope that something similar would happen in their own country.

In the following years N.R.M.—along with many other Belarusian bands—was unofficially banned from FM station broadcast in Belarus. There was no written blacklist, but FM station managers said they received unofficial "recommendations" from the authorities.

Pete Pavlov and Yury Levkov, N.R.M. in Horki, 2011

Despite this unofficial three-year ban, the group continued its concert activity. Numerous performances abroad took place in Poland, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden. In their homeland, however, the group remained on the forbidden list, therefore they seldom held public concerts and played in underground conditions.

In 2007, the long-awaited sixth studio album "06" was released. It was recorded, according to Lavon Volski, under the influence of political events of spring 2006 in Belarus. The album "06" is compiled with songs of different styles. The Violoncello, mandoline, and keyboard were used, all of which were new instruments for the group. For the first time songs were sung not only by Lavon Volski, but also by other participants of the group and even a children's choir.

After a late-2007 meeting of Belarusian rock-musicians with the deputy head of the Presidential Administration on Ideology Aleh Pralyaskouski the band was removed from the banned list.[1]

In 2010, Volsky left the group. N.R.M. continued playing as a three-piece band. Their next album D.P.B.Č was released in 2013.

Albums[edit]

Year of release Original title Title Label
1986 Stary chram Old Temple
1987 Zrok Vision
1989 Studyja BM Studio BM
1990 Dvaccać vośmaja zorka 28th Star Melodiya
1991 Bijapolie Biofield
1992 Lepšyja peśni z albomau 1988–1990 The Best Songs from the Albums 1988–1990 Kovčeg
1993 Vybranyja peśni 1989–1993 Selected Songs 1989–1993 ZBS
1995 ŁaŁaŁaŁa LaLaLaLa
1996 Odzirydzidzina Odzirydzidzina
1997 Made in N.R.M. Made in N.R.M.
1998 Pašpart hramadzianina N.R.M. The Passport of N.R.M Citizen
1999 Akustyčnyja kancerty kanca 20-ha stahodździa Acoustic Concerts at the End of the 20th Century West Records
2000 Samotnik Single West Records
2000 Try čarapachi Three Turtles West Records
2002 Dom kultury Palace of Culture West Records
2004 Spravazdača 1994–2004 Report of 1994–2004 West Records
2007 06 06
2013 Д.П.Б.Ч. D.P.B.C. PetePaff Inc.

Other projects[edit]

  • Peśniarok (1997), tribute to Pesniary
  • Narodny albom (Folk Album) (1997)
  • Serca Eǔropy in rock (Heart of Europe in Rock) (2001)
  • Personal Depeche (2002), Belarusian tribute to Depeche Mode
  • Generały ajčynnaha roku (Generals of Domestic Rock) (2004)
  • NiezałežnyJa (IndependentMe) (2008)

Line-up[edit]

Oleg Demidovich
  • Yury Levkov - lead vocals (since 2010), bass
  • Pete Pavlov - guitar (since 1993)
  • Oleg Demidovich - drums

Past members[edit]

  • Lavon Volsky - lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (1981–2010)
  • Vladimir Davidovsky - guitar (1981–1989)
  • Sergei Loskutov - rhythm guitar (1981)
  • Benedict Konev-Petushkovich - guitar (1989–1992)
  • Oleg Pipin - guitar (1992)
  • Leonid Shirin - guitar (June–September 1992)
  • Viktor Shot - guitar (September 1992–1993)
  • Yury Tsyankevich - percussion (1992–1994)
  • Viktor Smolsky - guitar (1993)

Timeline[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

The band appeared during one of their concerts at an opposition rally in 2006, which was featured in the documentary, A Lesson of Belarusian

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Viktar Dziatlikovič. Ich Mroja, ich NRM. Minsk: Sučasny litaratar, 2005.

External links[edit]