That Was Propaganda was conceived while I was in London in August 1991. At the time, there was a coup going on in Russia. The first notes of the first track were inspired a little later when news came across of the decision to change the name of the historical old city from the oppressive "Leningrad" back to the historical "St. Petersburg." This deliberate change of identity seemed like a rebirth.
Serfdom didn't serve old Russia well. But the aftermath of the 1917 revolution brought the people of its rich and spiritual land to an even lower, communal depth of despair. Uniting for a common cause should not be confused with surrendering one's will and identity to a collective. This is the subject of That Was Propaganda.
That Was Propaganda owes a great deal of whatever musical power it has to Bill Pohl. He contributed an enormous amount of time, energy and gear during the first recordings and re-recordings. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his seemingly inexhaustible patience, for his belief in the message and the music, and of course for his incredibly expressive guitar playing.
The recording of the first version of That Was Propaganda took place during 1991 and 1992. Most of the arrangements were realized with a Kurzweil K2000 keyboard, sequenced with Voyetra's Sequencer Plus Gold. Yamaha SY22 is featured more prominently in "Valutnaya" and especially "Kira." "Leningrad" uses a Roland JX8P (the main keyboard used on my previous album Book in Hand) and Alesis HR-16B drum machine . When the album was finished in 1992, I spent a great deal of time mixing and mastering the recordings, but the mix remained stubbornly unacceptable after several tries. In 1993, I essentially gave up on the project as I was financially unable to gain access to a good studio where I could finish the mixing work. Eventually, digital editing software and hardware made it possible to clean up the worst EQ problems of the original recordings. In addition, , as I found time between other projects, part of "St. Petersburg" and the entire "Valutnaya" were rerecorded.
First released on CD May 10, 2000 by Mellow Records.
"It's easily one of the best progressive releases of the year, maybe of all time. No kidding... If you like complex symphonic keyboard work, I think you'll agree with me that this is the greatest." - Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock.
"Ultimately recommended to every profound music lover, particularly to those considering the most complex manifestations of symphonic Art-Rock and both classical and avant-garde forms of Academic music." - ProgressoR
""...an exceptional album in every way. Rongey has produced a masterpiece, terribly complex, totally demanding... The rare combination of creative genius and technical expertise finds full expression here." - Mitkadem
released May 10, 2000
Kurt Rongey: vocals, keyboards, drum programming.
Bill Pohl: guitars.
All music and lyrics by Kurt Rongey except "The
Produced and engineered by Kurt Rongey.
all rights reserved