Russia has, of course, had a big music scene for years.
Observers will point to some good bands popping up over the years but 2017 sees a sudden influx of great bands in the nation with a varied and brilliant mixture of young groups dealing in a myriad of styles from blackgaze to post hardcore to thrilling psychedelic tinged outfits. It’s a really exciting time for new Russian youth – so we have put together a useful list of our tips – but it’s only the tip of an exciting iceberg.
Andrey_Algorythmik is one of the prime movers in the new Russian underground – a wave of bands that are the strongest to ever come out of the country at any one time.
‘The scene in Russia is growing in geometrical progression, 10 years ago there was 5 good new bands, 5 years ago it was 20, now its 60. Also people have started to follow local music so for bands finding listeners, it’s a lot easier now.’
Imagine a band picking up Ludus’s baton and giving it a whole new, interesting twist. Let me tell you Russia’s Glintshake is that band. The singer literally bounces on, full of brio and verve as if she’s the entertainments manager on a North Sea ferry. She has an incredibly expressive face, too; but her gurns, smiles, fake frowns and strident calls to order just add to rock’s canon and never seem contrived. The playing is astonishing from the whole band; incredibly assured, sharp as a pin and full of long winding tracks with incredible drops and refrains, sometimes in 7 / 4 time, that hold everyone’s attention throughout. Sometimes things drop into sharp, Barrett-esque interludes that sound like lost passages of Interstellar Overdrive. This band are incredible. You have been warned.
With their second release Everything Else Matters, Russian five-piece Pinkshinyultrablast showcased their brand of ethereal shoe gaze…
The music of Shortparis combines irrational, spastic dance grooves with theatrical performances and exalted vocals in Russian, French and English. The band poses itself as an opposition to the modern musical scene.
7. Пасош (Pasosh in English)
WEIRD synth band with contentious lyrics…
‘The young punk-band Trud, directly invoke the language, imagery, and so forth of youth, then consider the likely outcome of any mature effort, “labor,” and social dreaming. Using the example or “proof” of an equally melancholy Soviet film, they conclude that the result does not look promising. Even if tradition and destiny can be sidestepped, human nature, it seems, looks set to quash any aspirations…’
10. Fanny Kaplan (bandcamp)
Watch out for the BRILLIANT young girl band called Fanny Kaplan; with seemingly a mad scene round them. LTW saw them at Incubate last year. They are an experimental / no wave / noise rock band formed in 2012 in Moscow . The follow-up to last year’s limited ‘Plastilin’ LP, this new 6-track MLP of spikey 2-3 minute songs hones their previous experimentations into a post-punk/no wave/krautrock mix, all underpinned with a punk urgency. Killer basslines that range from Rema-Rema style brutalism to a throbbing Metal Box-era Wobble metronome anchor with innovative, unorthodox drumming, topped off with bitter melodies and arcane, otherworldly synth lines. Self-confessed post-riot grrls in attitude rather than musical style, this is a unique, darkly subversive record with the tragic failure of their namesake always hovering in the background, simultaneously bleak and uplifting.’
11. Shaman Jungle
Imagine a band playing a straight mix of Collapsing-era Amon Düül and Hapshash and the Coloured Coat (resoundingly obvious chord changes and all), albeit looking like they’ve wandered out of the C17th. I understand why they dress like this, it’s tradition, and Belarus is nothing if not a country that likes to promote traditional, Belarusian values. Dmitri is at pains to point this out. The band also need to sort out their set and sound dynamics, but there is something in this hippy swirl that could be really special.
12. Naadya Naadya
Atmospheric, anthemic and ethereal…
13. ozyora / озера / https://soundcloud.com/ozeraozeraozera
14. trud / труд / https://trud.bandcamp.com/
15. pharaoh / https://soundcloud.com/pluxuryprince
16. EIMIC / https://soundcloud.com/eimicband
17. Хаски / Husky / https://soundcloud.com/user-374864482
18. mujuice / https://soundcloud.com/mujuice
19 Sonic Death
Tripped out grunge psyche