Fleur means flower in French. Balancing between rock, new age, and neo-classical music, this Odessa-based Russian-singing group sounds like a delicate flower itself. Rich female voices combined with classical strings and flutes as well as computers and hard rock guitars provide both tenderness and tension, present and eternal. Though the closest to Fleur's style is Enya, this Ukrainian band has its own distinguished sound with some gothic sense influenced also by Soviet movies soundtracks, Russian and Ukrainian folklore, and ethnic fusion (particularly Enigma).
Essentially Fleur is Olga Pulatova (piano, lead vocals) and Elena Voinarovskaya (guitar, lead vocals), who began their first joint rehearsals in February 2000. Little by little, the two poets, composers, and musicians became surrounded by flutist Yulia Zemlyanaya, cellist Ekaterina Serbina, and drummer Alexei Tkachevskii. After their first public appearances in Odessa, Fleur received backing from local musical journalist Dmitrii Vekov, who became the producer of the group. Early 2001 saw Fleur giving its first concert outside Odessa (in Kiev), obtaining Vitalii Didyk (contrabass) and Alexei Dovgalyov (sequencer), and working on its first album at Fortuna Studio (Odessa). In December 2001 the French label Prikosnovenie made an offer to publish it in France for worldwide distribution except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. In September 2002 the album with the same title, Prikosnovenie (Touch), was issued in France and only two months later in Ukraine. It's just strange and somewhat enigmatic how the French label, unlike Russian and Ukrainian ones, knew about Fleur.
As early as February 2002 Fleur began working on its second album, Volshebstvo (Magic), at Stolitsa Studio (Kiev). The sound of this unit was different due to new musicians who joined the band: Anastasia Kuzmina (violin) and Alexandra Didik (cello). Furthermore Alexey Dovgalyov on synthesizer was replaced by Ekaterina Kotelnikova. The album was issued in November 2003 in Ukraine along with the new edition of Prikosnovenie and in April 2004 in France. Month earlier Vladimir Filippov's Arts Fund became the patron of the group to solve all Fleur's material problems for benefit of creative work.
While Volshebstvo needed 13 months to work at, third album Siyanie (Radiance) was recorded in a single month (December 2003) and issued in August 2004 in Ukraine and in June 2005 in France. In May 2004 Alla Luzhetskaya occupied the place of flutist. Siyanie was the first Fleur album that was noticed by vast masses of critics and listeners both in Ukraine and Russia. While heretofore concerts have been sporadic, since summer 2004 Fleur was in great demand. In November 2004 band management went to Master U.O.R.T. Production Producer Center, attached to Vladimir Filippov's Arts Fund. Fleur started aggressive concert activity. In June 2005 first performances in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg took place.
In April 2006 Vsyo Vishlo Iz-Pod Kontrolya (Everything Is Out of Control) and in 2007 Fleurography were released. ~ Dmitriy Tselikov