Over the last few years, Yekaterinburg's Sansara have proven themselves to be one of Russia's most important and consistently surprising bands. That statement is justifiable not only in qualitative terms, but also because many other projects have either grown from within Sansara or simply collaborated - in remarkably productive ways. Put briefly, the members of this ensemble form the center of a significant and vibrant network. Names within that growing constellation include Galya Chikiss, 7he Myriads, Obe Dve, Mars Needs Lovers, Red Samara Automobile Club, Elochnye Igrushki, Pes i Gruppa, Gornostay.... and, therefore, Ilya Lagutenko of Mumii Troll.
The title - "Igla" (Needle) carries a specific meaning in the context of Russian rock - it's a reference to a prior generation and therefore to any (ongoing) hope of building meaningful linkages today. For audiences across Russia, that simple noun will undoubtedly suggest a famous cinematic melodrama of 1988, in which rock legend Viktor Tsoi played a young man whose life is tragically shackled to the local drug trade.
He is killed seconds before the credits roll.
As the narrative unfolds, both moral and physical collapse seem unavoidable - and Tsoi himself would die in a car crash within two years of the film's release. Such was the demise of a leading light in Russian rock, a figure very prominent in late Soviet history, when songs were key to the creation or networking of liberal voices. A title such as "Igla" is, therefore, a most serious and risky choice - one that makes unflattering parallels a genuine possibility. Tsoi's status as a social commentator - and catalyst - is almost beyond reproach in his homeland.
Sansara build upon that dramаtic heritage.