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Ridges of Zangezur

Margenrot presents an eclectic personal podcast in anticipation of a debut album release.

Margenrot is the solo project of Moscow-based musician Lusia Kazaryan-Topchyan, who also used to sing and play keys for the iconic post-punk band Fanny Kaplan. Her solo endeavor explores more intriguing sonic territories by merging Eastern flavors with gloomy industrial rhythms and atmospheres. The mix illustrates her search for a new eclectic sound, one that not only reflects her own musical influences, but also explores broader cultural contexts. “The texture of the mix is diverse – a sort of exchange between Eastern and Western cultures,” explains Lusia. “It’s like a leisurely hike along a Zangezur ridge in search for meaning every step of the way. Like the upcoming album, the mix thrusts forth uneasy questions by placing a ‘forgotten’ pop ballad next to an Easter canon.”

The album shares its name with a conflict-ridden historical region in southeast Armenia. Margenrot’s inspiration, however, goes beyond geopolitics, and is rooted in the myth of the region’s name. According to Armenian folklore, the name Zangezur came into use after Timur’s conquest, who conquered the Syunik province after a renegade Armenian prince sabotaged the area’s alarm bells. As the province fell, its inhabitants wondered why the bells never rang, giving birth to the phrase “the ring is in vain,” or “zange zur” in Armenian. 

Originally from Omsk, Siberia, Lusia explains why she chose Armenian culture for musical inspiration: “My trips to Armenia influenced me greatly — they were filled with a warmth and a love that the pale Omsk lacked. I became interested in Armenian culture – its music and art, while also studying Occidental culture. My art teacher even compared my work with the work Martiros Saryan, despite the fact that I never tried to mimic him. My affection for Armenia deepened several years later when I began to monitor the 2015 protests in Yerevan and Gyumri for a civil rights group. My heart raced, and I cried for the Armenian people. Only then did I begin to feel a conscious devotion for the Homeland. It’s been a long way.”

Margenrot’s will showcase her album “Zangezur” on May 11 at the NII venue. The album will be available on vinyl via Klammklang records and on cassette tape via Akoazm.