Mashina Vremeni (Машина времени, Russian for Time Machine),
which formed in Moscow in the late 1960's, is recognized as one of the
two "patriarchs" of Russian rock music (the other one being Aquarium).
This indirectly dates the Russian rock-n-roll tradition: the leaders of
both bands (Andrei Makarevich
and Boris Grebenshchikov, who share a career-long friendship) were born
in 1953 and admitted to getting into rock-n-roll due a high-school
fascination with The Beatles. Despite the influence, Mashina never
sounded much like the Beatles: their rock anthems, which are a staple
of Russian pop-culture, somewhat resemble Creedence Clearwater Revival,
and over the course of their career they've recorded songs in every
tint of 70's rock music, in addition to outright blues numbers. Just
like with Aquarium, Mashina has tried to incorporate Eastern European
and Asian folk influences, although to a lesser degree. Mashina
Vremeni's best known members are Andrei Makarevich - the founder, principal singer-songwriter and the band's public persona, and Alexander Kutikov
- the bass player and producer/sound engineer. Other members have come
and gone throughout the years, which contributed to the fact that
Mashina is a pluralistic band - on any given record one will hear songs
performed by at least two different singers (on the later records the
number is usually four).
The first band Andrei Makarevich was involved into was school band
which consisted of two guitars and two girls on vocals singing American
folk songs. Serious attempts began in 1968 when Andrei Makarevich heard
The Beatles songs. The band was reformed and called The Kids. After
some time the girls were removed from the squad and the band began to
be called Mashiny Vremeni (Time Machines - in plural form imitating The
Beatles, Rolling Stones etc.) The most significant founders included
Sergey Kavagoe and Andrei Makarevich. The band's repertoire consisted
of eleven songs in English language, now lost.
1971 - Alexander Kutikov becomes the bass player, introducing more of buoyant rock-n-roll into the band's material
1972 - Line-up losses in the band; several members are drafted into service (which to this day is compulsory in Russia)
1973 - Due to tensions between Sergey Kavagoe and Alexander Kutikov the
latter leaves the band for a hard rock outfit Visokosnoe Leto (Leap
1974 - Sergey Kavagoe leaves, Alexander Kutikov returns. However,
Kavagoe returns after about a half-year. The band performs with the
following line-up - Andrei Makarevich, Alexander Kutikov, Sergey
Kavagoe, and Alexey Romanov (future leader of another prominent Russian
band Voskresenie (The Resurrection))
1975 - Romanov and Kutikov suddenly depart. Evgeny Margulis joins on guitar
1976 - Mashina Vremeni is invited to a festival "Songs of youth in
Tallinn - 76" and performed there with a great success. Many people
join (including couple of violinists) and leave after some time during
1978 - The first studio record of Mashina Vremeni. Alexander Kutikov
while playing in Visokosnoe Leto was also working in sound-recording
studio in order to help the band gain access to good equipment. The
record is now known as "Eto bylo tak davno" ("That was so long ago").
1979 - A crisis of the band. Sergey Kavagoe and Evgeny Margulis leaves
the band joining Voskresenie of Alexey Romanov. This time one of the
most popular songs of the band was written by Andrei Makarevich - "Poka
gorit svecha" ("While the candle burns") as a sign of his not giving
up. After some time of frustration Alexander Kutikov saves the
situation leaving the Visokosnoe Leto band and bringing Valeriy Efremov
(also from Visokosnoe Leto) as drummer and Petr Podgorodetskiy on the
1980 - The beginning of the golden era of Mashina Vremeni. The band
wins the festival "Spring Rhythms 80" main award and continues its
concert tour. However, that was allowed only because of music freedom
indulgences given in light of Olympic Games 1980 in Moscow.
1981 - The song "Povorot" ("The turning point") stays on the top of charts for 18 monthes.
1982 - Repressions starts again with a slashing article "Ragout out of
Blue bird" ("Blue Bird" was a popular song of the band) noting
depressive and non-ideological songs of the band. However country-wide
wave of protest against those repressions raised and thousands letters
are sent to the editores of the newspapers. Petr Podgorodetskiy leaves
and Alexandr Zaitsev substitutes him.
1986 - "Best songs 1979-1985" compilation is recorded. Album "V dobriy chas" ("Good Luck") is recorded.
1987 - "Reki i Mosty" ("Rivers and Bridges") album is issued. That
album is considered as first released album (all the previous were just
recorded for the underground distribution. First appearances on the
television. The band performs at Live Aid 2 festival in Japan.
1988 - First international tours - USA, Canada, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria.
1989 - "V kruge sveta" ("In the circle of light") album is released.
1990 - Alexandr Zaitsev leaves and well-known Evgeny Margulis and Petr Podgorodetsky join the band once again.
1991 - "Medlennaya khoroshaya muzyka" ("Slow good music") album is released.
1993 - Alexander Kutikov's company "Sintez Records" releases retro
albums "Best songs 1979-1985" and "That was so long ago". Album
"Vneshtatniy komandir Zemli" ("Part-time commander of the Earth") is
1994 - Accustic live album "Unplugged" is recorded and released. 25th
anniversary is celebrated in 7 hours concert on the Red Square
1995 - Compilation of old unpublished songs is released. This
compilation is known as "Kogo ty khotel udivit?" ("Whom did you want to
surprise?"). It was called after one of the most successful songs of
1996 - "Kartonniye krylia lubvi" ("Paper wings of love") album is released.
1996 - "20 let spustya" ("20 years after") album is released.
1997 - "Otryvayas" ("Breaking away") album is released.
1999 - The 30th anniversary of the band. Great concert, which is
usually considered to be the best concert of Mashina Vremeni, is
carried out in the main stadium of "sport-complex Olympiyskiy" im
Moscow. "Chasy i znaki" ("Hours and signs") album is released. Petr
Podgorodetskiy leaves due to tensions. Andrey Derzhavin takes his place
on the keyboard.
2001 - "Mesto gde svet" ("The place with a light") album is released.
2004 - 35th anniversary of the band. Great concert consisting of 35
selected songs is played at the Red Square. "Mashinalno"
("Mechanically") album is released.
2005 - Live album "Kremlin rocks" was released. The band performed with chamber orchestra "Kremlin".
2006 - Sintez Records releases a compliation called "Mashina vremeni -
chast' 1" ("Time Machine - Part 1"). The band records a new album
(which is called in English "Time machine") at famous Studio 2 at Abbey
2007 - The group releases the Time machine album.
Although presented as a rock band, Mashina Vremeni incorporates many
different genres. Through the stages in its development band played in
many styles, beginning with imitations of Western rock leaders and
ending with the unique Mashina's style. However, experiments are
welcomed even now at the end of fourth decade of the band's existence.
The last album "Mashinalno" reflects the devotion of band members to
the music of 1970s with the sound of the 21st century. Album included
some Beatles-like songs, punk composition, some blues and some slow
ballads. Actually, each album includes songs of many genres. Blues of
Petr Podgorodetskiy and Evgeny Margulis, variety of genres by Andrei
Makarevich and hard rock and fiery rock-n-roll of Alexandr Kutikov. And
yet, this can not be called a rule - all authors contributed almost to
every genre. Most of the charm of their songs is in melody and
lyrics - many of the most popular songs in the repertoire are played
only with guitar beats or with only one simple guitar solo. But that
doesn't reduce their popularity among all ages. It is probably one of
couple Russian rock bands on the concert of which one can watch
50-years old bearded The Beatles fan-from-the-early 1960s as well as
teenagers in the crowd.