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CD Feature/ Oksana Kolesnikova: "Free Floating"

img  Tobias

When Oksana Kolesnikova came to the USA, she had virtually nothing but an enormous amount of talent and a clear vision of what she wanted out of life: – her “director’s cut”, the freedom to do exactly what she wanted to. Which is why none of her releases carry the name of a major label. And it has to be said: They’re all the better for it. “Free Floating”, especially, benefits from this idiosyncratic approach.

After all, we still have to find that record company executive, who would agree to publish an album combining classically-inspired originals, sensitive new age dreams and beat box experiments. Yet it’s all here and it works perfectly as a seamless mix of moods and musical styles. On top of that, “Free Floating” is possibly Oksana’s most personal album, a document and a reflection of her childhood in Russia and her budding career as a concert pianist. It is also the first album featuring nothing but her own compositions and her courage to step firmly into the light has certainly paid off. As a Classical interpreter, she already stood out for her powerful playing and a decided will to take piece to places they had never been before. In her role as a performer of her own repertoire, she shows more of her introvert side and a strong affinity to 19th century salon-music Which translates to some memorable melodies, swooning inside a sweet, romantically perfumed garden and a constant ebb and flow of dynamics. “Aurora” and “Winter Swan” must be the greatest pieces Chopin never wrote and the influence of the Polish master can be felt throughout, delicately merging with the beautifully sad melancholia exclusive to the Russian soul. But there’s more – “Gypsy’s Dance” is decidedly more up-beat and the floating Synthesizer tracks “Ocean Story” and “A Child’s Dream” make for peaceful oases amidst a fiery storm of emotions.

Two remixes are placed at the end of this exuberantly eclectic journey and while we don’t expect any disco-aficionados to go wild to them all that soon, they perfectly show the distance this artist will go to realize something unique and yet immediately appealing. And still it doesn’t, not even for one second, sound forced. Better things were yet to come, but “Free Floating” goes a great length at explaining Oksana’s rapid rise to fame.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Oksana Kolesnikova

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