Фёдор Юрьевич Лавров
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|Born||August 18, 1965|
|Other names||Begemot and Feddy|
|Known for||Known as a founder of the first underground and DIY recording studio and label called 'Begemotion Records' based in Leningrad|
Fedor Lavrov (born 18 August 1965), Russian name Фёдор Юрьевич Лавров, also known as Begemot and Feddy, is a Russian musician best known as a founder of the first underground and DIY recording studio and label called 'Begemotion Records' based in Leningrad, USSR, which lasted from 1982 to 1986, which released on 1/4" tape copies and MC's most of the early Soviet Punk records.
Feddy's first New Wave/Anarcho Punk band 'Selferadication Dpt' (Отдел Самоискоренения) was banned by the KGB for its anti-Soviet, anti-military, anti-totalitarian message in 1984. Feddy is also known as a music composer and sound producer, as well as a recording and performing artist. 'Begemotion Records' is still an umbrella name to release every project associated with Fedor Lavrov as an author. Other bands formed by Feddy were 'People's Army' (Народное Ополчение), 'Brigadny Podryad' (Бригадный подряд) 'Inst-Inct', 'Somnambula', Power-trio 'Begemot', solo-project 'FEDDY', 'NoRedux'. His latest artistic incarnation is 'FLOOR IS LAVA'.
Early life: 1965-1977
Feddy was born on the 18 of August, 1965 in Leningrad, USSR. His parents were visual artists, both worked at the Leningrad Art Glass Factory. Father Yury Byakov (1938-2000) and mother Alexandra Lavrova (born 1938) divorced when Feddy was 4 years old, which caused him and his younger sister Anna child's trauma. Both children remained with their mother while she started experiencing certain mental problems. During their childhood Feddy and his sister were grown up mostly by their grand mother Alexandra Mikhailova (1911-2000) who had obviously had Russian aristocracy roots but used to run an absolutely plain way of living, trying to hide her heritage during her entire life. She had a solid anti-Soviet way of thinking, having her relatives disappeared in Stalin's Gulag and probably killed there during the period of repressions known as the Red Terror. Since her childhood Feddy's grand mother had a nickname of Dolly. With her friends and small Feddy nearby she used to listen to and discuss the political news on Shortwave radio stations such as the BBC Russian Service, Voice Of America, Deutsche Welle and Radio Svoboda. This is how Feddy had learned about the Soviet dissidents, their protests against totalitarian regime of the Communist Party, discrimination of the Jews in the Soviet Union and heard such names of dissidents as Solzhenitsyn, Sakharov. By the age of 12 Feddy has developed a clear Anti-Soviet way of thinking. Censorship in the USSR was the main reason why the youth could not get to hear the fast emerging Western Rock music. Propaganda tried to control what the citizens were allowed to listen to. Most of the music programs airing Top-charts on the Shortwave radio stations could be jammed so that Feddy, who was sincerely fallen in love with the American Jazz and Fusion first, and then with the Western Rock music, had all reasons to hate the country he had to live in. All the music he could have was in tape copies from other copies made on home 1/4" reel recorders by other music fans.
Music School and Punk Rock: 1977-1982
At the age of 12 Feddy decided that Music should become his life and told his mother that he wants to enter a Music school to study drums. Have t the age of 15 he became a graduate of percussion, Music Theory and History of Music. The music school turned out the only professional education which Feddy have achieved during his life. In the 1977 Feddy read a small article about a new fashion in London called 'punk', another news block featured punks in the streets of London on the Soviet TV. At first the Soviet propaganda welcomed the new generation as protesters against the Western Capitalism. Some other magazine followed up with articles about the New Wave bands, such as The Clash. By his graduation from his regular school he replaced all his Hard Rock and Prog Rock collection with New Wave and Punk records. His schoolmate was Alexander Aksenov, who soon became another Leningrad Punk legend and a founder of 'Object of Ridicule' (Объект насмешек). In the 1982 Feddy and Alexander formed their first school band called 'Rubber Ricochet', Ricochet then became Alexander's punk monicker. The first and only record made by 'Rubber Ricochet' at the new studio just set up in Feddy's bedroom is supposedly the very first punk record ever made in the USSR / Russia and kept ever since 1982. Ricochet introduced Feddy to the small community of Leningrad punks leaded by Andrey Swine, leader of a notorious 'first Soviet punk band' 'Automatic Satisfiers' (Автоматические удовлетворители).
Begemotion Studio: 1982-1986
In the 1982 at the age of 17 Feddy met Alex Ogoltely (Frantic), nurse at the mental hospital. The two decided to form two bands to keep their musical preferences separated. Feddy's Anarcho-Punk and New Wave act 'Selferadication Dpt' was aimed to express Feddy's most radical political point of view. Alex's Ska-Punk 'Peoples Army' became the megaphone for his joyful craze. Having random friends recruited for session recordings the two bands started recording live jams. Most of the songs were made during practices and were never performed live afterwards. The punk scene in Leningrad was limited by Begemotion Records and unplugged home shows. These underground shows were illegal and their organisers and visitors could be arrested and prosecuted. On the other hand there was a certain lack of equipment to factually make such a show happen. All studio gear was collected and brought in by the members of the punk community, mostly Swine. The very motivation to start making records for Feddy and friends was the fact that even having this gear in a room it was rather hard to hear anything behind the loud drum kit. It took balancing instruments with a linked chain of small three-channel mixers to a single monophonic channel to finally record the mixed sound on a home tape recorder Nota-304. Some of his records Feddy made solo by overdubbing instruments one by one while using two of these recorders. In the early 1980's Begemotion Records had released "Rubber Ricochet', two albums by 'Selferadication Dpt', six albums by 'Peoples Army', few compilations, one record by a proto-'Brigadny Podriad' band called "Belomor' and the very first record by a cult punk band 'Brigadny Podriad' and some other Feddy's solo and instrumental records. In 2015 Feddy's startup called SDNO (Crazy Days of People's Army) raised funds for remastering all original master tapes ever kept. In his texts written to promote the project Feddy told the story of Begemotion Records. Now all these records are available. The entire archive of Begemotion Records collected by the 2019 was accepted by and carefully passed to the Music Library of the Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. This includes all original master tapes, master copies, original designs and art work as well as ready fo release photographic cover art, photographs, manuscripts and lyrics printed on a typewriter back in the 1980's. The rest of the studio archive is being kept at the KGB.
Selferadication Dpt: 1982-1984
As the most of Anarcho-Punk formations it had rather been a 'family' of people sharing similar points of view than a musical group. The only remaining member was Feddy. Alex Ogoltely took part in recording songs, but even bold and mindless Alex sometimes would resist to sing hooks along, 'The KGB will recognise my voice and I'll have problems'. The main message of Feddy's lyrics was protest against the aggressive military arms race on both sides of the Cold War front. This message Feddy has also borrowed from his grandfather Peter Lavrov, artist. He was a WWII veteran traumatised by horrors of war. A series of posters made by Peter Lavrov and dedicated to express his pacifism once entered the zone of interests by the KGB and were refused exposition. Feddy saw these 'forbidden' works and heard his grandfather say that he was an anarchist standing against any governments. Feddy's own creativity would lead him further across the limits, lyrics to main songs were about two leaders, the American president Raegan and the Soviet leader Andropov (former head of the KGB), who'd make sexual intercourse with rockets as phallic symbols penetrating (female) Europe from two sides. His lyrics also consisted of very rude Russian words, which were then forbidden for usage in literature. By its innovative and free approach Feddy's writing style could be attached to the Post-Russian Futurism. As a song-writer Feddy was brave (or naive) enough not to care about the control of the secret service, informers and any troubles that he can face. His studio and label could be considered illegal and forbidden even though the studio was making no money. Everything made at the Begemotion Records was a free-will DIY activity, from writing songs to distribution among friends. This is how records by 'Selferadication Dpt.' reached as distant corners of the country as the Far East and Vladivostok. However Feddy was not at all acknowledged about the tapes move across the country. Nor Feddy was aware about come-and-go informers spying and collecting 'evidences' at his studio. In May 1984 Feddy was called for a Service in the Soviet Army. He was married and his wife was pregnant and was asking for a postpone. However, upon his arrival to the recruiting station he was forcefully locked away and sent to the service. While in the army Feddy refused to take an oath and therefore could be either considered as a criminal act or a symptom of being 'not normal'. Feddy's Anti-Soviet political behavior, being outspoken in opposition to the fellow soldiers, was defined as being a symptom, and a diagnosis ("sluggish schizophrenia") issued by a mental house where he spend 1,5 of month. Back in Leningrad in the summer 1984 'Selferadication Dpt' was banned by the KGB after a brief investigation and interrogation of the band members at the KGB offices. A box of evidences was shown full of tapes, photographs, lyrics. The only resolution was offered: to sign an agreement that Feddy should quit writing songs against the Soviet policy, government and state and 'Selferadication Dpt' should no longer exist. With his diagnosis Feddy had little chances to find good job or enter a study upon return. However he managed to get a very cheap job of a stage carpenter at the Mariinski Theater. For the years Feddy felt himself under control of the KGB, however Begemotion Records remained active until 1986 and then was also closed.
With Glasnost and Perestroika announced by Gorbachev the Iron Curtain fell, the Berlin Wall fell down too. Freedom of speech came to the USSR and every band became punk. Feddy went into opposition to the mainstream, grew long hair and formed a new glam metal band 'Inst-Inct' to be soon re-called 'Somnambula'. 'Somnambula' survived two band lineups and a crucial change of style from Glam Metal to Funk Metal and Grunge, but still was unsuccessful due to high requirements to recordings now absolutely unaffordable and impossible to achieve in a DIY studio. In 1988-1989 Feddy took a well-paid job of a miner for the Subway Builders Company. When he lost his left hand middle finger in a saw accident he returned to the theater. In 1994 Feddy went on the European tour with Mariinsky Opera and stayed in Paris as a refugee. During immigration in France Feddy joined a cover band, played solo, suddenly caught interest by the Virgin Records A&R by sending them a 'Somnambula' demo-tape. However under family obligations he had to return to Russia, where he immediately formed a new band, Power-trio 'Begemot'.
Begemot was a successful Indie-Rock and Power trio, which self-released five albums during five years of activity and remained unsigned in despite to sincere wish to find a label. The band had a fanbase and cult following. Begemot invented a guitar based Indie Rock or Brit Pop, the style was new to Russia then. However financial default of the 1998 brought the most of the Russian music industry to collapse, labels to closure. The money invested in two last albums was lost and the band decided to split. All records by Begemot are now digitally remastered and available on Begemotion Records and other music platforms. 
Feddy and music for films: 2001-2019
Since 2001 Feddy works as a solo-artist, music composer and producer. He recorded and released his first solo album 'Daddy's Old Drum' as FEDDY in 2001. In 2006 he released EP 'Ts'U'N'Me & Tsunami' which started a new era of Nu Rave in St.Petersburg. FEDDY's next LP album was called 'Futuristic Figure' and was entirely recorded at Feddy's new home-studio. The Electronic mix of the same album called 'Figuristic Future' was released in 2012. Feddy started composing music for TV and films, producing and writing songs for other artists. When in 2012 Feddy moved in Moscow he kept on working as a sound producer and a project artist for the Gallery of Contemporary Arts 'Triumph', such studios as Dobrolet (St.Petersburg), SI Records (Moscow) and Bari Alibasov Center. Since the 2004 Feddy remains the main music composer for D-Kvadrat video production studio. He produced music for TV 5-Channel, VTRK SPb, Saint Petersburg TV, Vmeste TV and other channels. 
Selferadication Dpt: 2014-2016
By the 30'st anniversary of the band's ban by the KGB Feddy released the entire back catalogue. St.Petersburg label VDV Records was named after the song 'Wars Are For Warriors' (Войны Для Воинов) recorded by 'Selferadication Dpt' and popularised by 'Brigadny Podryad'. In the 2014 VDV Records released 7" EP under the same title 'Wars Are For Warriors' (Войны Для Воинов) which had three most known tracks of 'Selferadication Dpt' recorded in 1984 right before the end. In the 2015 Siyanie Records released 2CD's anthology of 'Selferadication Dpt' called 'Antiall'. Feddy met Alexander Herbert and Tommy Dean, who were writing a book about the Russian punk. This inspired Feddy to call for punks to join 'Selferadication Dpt' and to book the very first live show in the band's life at the cult venue 'Kamchatka'. During the following two years 'Selferadication Dpt' was seen performing in various lineups. In the 2015 Feddy wrote a dozen of songs dedicated to the Maidan in Ukraine and protests against Russian aggression in Ukraine which led to annexation of Crimea. The songs were released as a new album by 'Selferadication Dpt' called 'OS ZLA' ('axe of evil', where OS is abbreviation for the band's name in Russian). Two more albums 'Friends' and 'Lenin on a Coin' were released within the next two years. In December 2015 the band went on the first tour abroad, the final gig of which was booked at the cult Anarcho-Punk squat in Kreuzberg, Berlin called Köpi. In the early 2016 Grigory Eniosov, drummer of the Moscow-based lineup, was found dead by comitting a suicide in his apartment in Berlin. In December of 2016 Feddy announced the end of the new era of 'Selferadication Dpt'.
'NoRedux' was a Synth-Punk group formed to intentionally re-record and perform songs by 'People's Army' (Народное Ополчение, abbreviated as NO in Russian) ever written by Feddy and Alex Ogoltely, when they were together. Feddy kept on remastering old tapes and after 'Selferadication Dpt'/'Antiall' all original tapes by 'People's Army' were published as nine digital albums. 'People's Army' was not existed since the leader's death in 2004. Formed in 2016 'NoRedux' was an instrument to promote releases and legacy of 'People's Army'.
FLOOR IS LAVA: 2020
Having remastered and released the entire back-catalogue of 'Begemotion Records', Feddy sold and gave away all his stuff and instruments, sent the Punk-studio archive to the USA and left Russia for Montenegro in the March of 2020. FLOOR IS LAVA was born to the world seized with the pandemic. The seven first tracks by FLOOR IS LAVA were mixed on the lockdown. While working on music videos and new tracks, Feddy is looking for a label deal.
In the media
- Crazy Days Of Narodnoye Opolchenie. https://sdno.tumblr.com/
- "What About Tomorrow?: An Oral History of Russian Punk from the Soviet Era to Pussy Riot". Microcosm Publishing. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Протест против застоя". lenta.ru. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "FEDOR LAVROV". official website.
- "Begemotion Records". Bandcamp Page.
- "FLOOR IS LAVA". floorislava.bandcamp.com.
- "Yuri Mikhailovich Byakov - Biography, Interesting Facts, Famous Artworks". Artchive.
- "Dissident Movement | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com.
- "Feddy Begemot active member of subculture, founder of first punk bands. Hooligans-80 | Хулиганы-80". m.vk.com.
- "Музыкальная газета :: Begemot :: трио на фоне британского флага". nestor.minsk.by. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Музыкальный Портал FUZZ FEDDY. По-русски вламываясь в дверь - Comin' Russian In". 2014-02-02. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- Рекордс, VDV Records / Войны Для Воинов. "Отдел Самоискоренения - Войны Для Воинов (7")". VDV Records / Войны Для Воинов Рекордс. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Антивсё (Полное Досье 1981-1984), by Отдел Самоискоренения". Siyanie. Retrieved 2020-10-05.
- "Умер основатель магазина винила Dig Григорий Ениосов". Афиша.
- "NOREDUX". m.vk.com.
- Feddy Lavrov on Instagram
- Fedor Lavrov on Facebook
- on 's channelYouTube
- Fedor Lavrov on soundcloud
- ABOUT | fedorlavrov
- Video Series: Fedor Lavrov - Russian Studies Workshop
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