Zvuki Mu founder and bass player Alexander Lipnitstky dies aged 68


Zvuki Mu founder and bass player Alexander Lipnitstky sadly passed away in a tragic accident on 25th March 2021.

The flamboyant bass player, art collector and music journalist fell through the ice with his dog T-Rex while skiing across the Moscow River.

Lipnitstky’s band Zvuki Mu were a unique late Soviet collective. Finding inspiration in Russian dissident art, poetry and rough pioneering US rock’n’roll, their own very special sound and style was described by Brian Eno as ‘maniacal minimalism’. Brian Eno produced one of the band’s most praised albums, and helped the band connect with Western audiences. The band toured the UK, Europe and the US in the late 80s, receiving critical acclaim, including prominent fans like Led Zeppelin, Thom York and The Residents, who they performed with.

In their hometown Moscow, Zvuki Mu gained popularity and appeared regularly on federal TV and at rock festivals. Famous for their sensational stage presence and provocative political lyrics, the band was fronted by the wildest Russian performer of all times, Petr Mamonov, however, at the peak of the band’s success, Mamonov announced the split of the collective. 

Sasha was a loving father of the Moscow underground scene of the 1980s and 1990s, providing his band with rare equipment, inviting friends to live, jam and work at his house, which became famous as the ‘Moscow Rock Saloon’ on Karetnyi St. He was a living symbol of friendship, togetherness, spreading knowledge about Russian rock music through his documentaries.

Alexander Lipnitsky’s funeral on 30 March 2021 was attended by thousands of people, many of them artists, painters, musicians and writers.

This is a big loss for the Russian music and art scene. A tragic event that took away a true originator.

Alexander Lipnitsky was a very close friend and neighbour of my parents, his son one of my best childhood friends. At the age of 12 he invited us to his studio and showed me the basics of the rhythm section. We would jam together for hours, him on the bass, his son on the guitar and me on drums. That’s how I learned music. In between the sessions, he showed us archive pictures of the tours he had with Zvuki Mu, films about music, like Woodstock and Stop Making Sense. All this inspired me to start producing my own rhythms and invent vocal techniques at a very young age.

I owe Sasha Lipnitsky all the inspiration I had in the first years of my life in music. Without Sasha, I would never have been able to attend world class concerts in Moscow: Suicide, Chuck Berry, Scissor Sisters, The White Stripes, Sonic Youth… and many more. He would just call us and say “hey, jump in my car, let’s listen to a cool band tonight!” All this was in my teenage years and I am endlessly grateful to this kind person, who spent all his life helping out people around him, sharing, educating and caring.

Watch Alexander’s funeral.