(E-E) Ev.g.e.n.i.j ..K.o.z.l.o.v Berlin
(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov: ART>> Leningrad 80s • No.109 >>
(Е-Е) ЕВГЕНИЙ КОЗЛОВ • (E-E) EVGENIJ KOZLOV
Oбложкa альбома группы КИНО (1984)
Hannelore Fobo, April 2022
AnTrop’s 2021 Release, by Hannelore Fobo (in English)
In early 2020, Oleg Kovriga, founder of the Moscow record label “Отделение Выход” (Otdelenie vykhod / Branch Exit», approached (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, asking him for permission to use Kozlov's original cover for a re-release of KINO's 1984 album Nachalnik Kamchatki (The Chief of Kamchatki), which he intended to produce with additional material from the 1984 recording at Andrey Tropillo's studio on Tropillo’s label АнТроп / AnTrop.
However, Viktor Tsoy‘ heirs, who own the copyright on Tsoy's compositions (music and lyrics), did not wish to grant or sell Kovriga the right to produce the LP. In 2018, they won proceedings against Moroz Records, which they had claimed not to be the rightful owner of Tsoy's copyrights, and after that started collaborating with another label, Maschina Records. Maschina Records also possesses digitalised material of the Nachalnik Kamchatki recording and, for their part, doesn't recognise Tropillo's ownership on the sound-recording copyright. Concerning this copyright conflict, detailed statements of all parties are available on the website of Институт музыкальных инициатив / Institute of Musical Initiatives, dated 25 January 2021 external link >>.
Yet the copyright dispute about the Nachalnik Kamchatki songs wasn't the only problem to be considered. E-E Kozlov was no longer in possession of the original album cover, and his attempt to buy it back from Guryanov's heirs had failed: when, some years ago, Guryanov's sisters finally decided to sell it to him in, they found that it was no longer where they expected it to be – it had already been sold right under their noses, but this is another story. E-E Kozlov had archival pictures of both sides of the sleeve dating to 2006 see previous page >>, but the poor quality of the photograph would have demanded a major digital restauration, "re-inventing" over-exposed spots. In view of the circumstances, he decided to not to join the project.
Almost two years later, at the end of 2021, Oleg Kovriga wrote E-E Kozlov again – this time with a more specific question. Earlier that year, Kovriga and Andrey Tropillo had released two other KINO albums: 45 (1982) and НОЧЬ / Night (1985). Like Nachnalnik Kamchatki, they had been recorded at Tropillo’s studio and were first released by AnTrop as magnitizdat or reel-to-reel albums see previous page >>. Both albums came out on AnTrop without the required copyrights.
Realising that no lawsuit ensued, Kovriga and Tropillo came to the conclusion that the risk of entering a legal dispute with Tsoy's heirs should also be minimal for Nachalnik Kamchatki. While Evgeny Gapaev was re-mastering Tropillo's original material, Kovriga was able to buy scans of the front and reverse of E-E Kozlov's Nachalnik Kamchatki LP sleeve from the new owner. Designer Alexei Voropanov scrupulously restaured these scans digitally. Put differently, when Oleg Kovriga asked (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov in December 2021 to give him an addtional picture for the album booklet, the album was practically ready to be released.
E-E Kozlov and I understood that the record was to be released without copyrights on the music – and without copyrights on the cover, if the artist didn't immediately negotiate them.
Luckily, the designer's work was well done. The touch of workmanship was no longer present, as Voropanov had completed the missing parts of the collage, smoothened the surfaces and enhanced contrasts, but it looked rather trendy, and our general impression was positive. Thus, pushing aside frustration, Kozlov settled the copyright question with Kovriga, and we decided to join in the final phase of the production. There was already a booklet with a text by Alexander Kushnir describing the history of the music and its recording. We therefore contributed with a second booklet dedicated to the history of the album cover, for which E-E quickly wrote the text. Together, we created the layout for his booklet, which was printed just before the end of 2021.
Two booklets from the double album KINO Nachnalnik Kamchatki (AnTrop, 1984/2021, LP)
In January 2022, E-E Kozlov and I received our first three copies of the double album. The album was indeed professionally produced, and we were rather pleased with the result.
One of the records includes the songs as they were released earlier, while the other one includes demo-material. The records, pressed in Germany, come with different colours. Apart from a box containing a set of two conventional black vinyl records, there is a box with a yellow LP for the classical version and blue one for the demo material.
Alexei Voropanov had kept the original colours of E-E Kozlov's work for the box as well as for the sleeve of yellow record, but changed them for the sleeve of the blue record. He also used E-E's back cover design for the reverse sides of the record sleeves, adding only some changes relating to the list of titles.
Because the label AnTrop doesn't own the copyright on the songs, the album cannot be sold through internet record shops nor distributed through record stores; hence they are sold by Oleg Kovriga and by other private sellers. But E-E Kozlov and I are not interested to compete with them: we intend to send the album to international institutions and museums related to the history of the Soviet underground. A parcel with some more albums was due to arrive in Berlin in March 2022. But just some days before the expected date, we were told that the records had been confiscated by Russian costums officers at the Latvian border: it turned out that the shipment lacked proper export documents. An article in the Saint Petersburg newspaper Fontanka.ru from 7 April 2022 gives some background information – the local customs experts fixed the estimated value of each double album at 12 000 rubles (135 €) external link>>. This is quite amazing, as private sellers sell them for 4.000 (black vinyl) to 6.000 rubles (yellow / blue vinyl). One way or another, we hope to recieve some more of these precious items with proper tax declarations so that we can send them out further.
Hannelore Fobo, 22 April 2022
KINO Nachalnik Kamchatki, AnTrop, 1984/2021.