Monday, September 11, 2017

Игорь Лень - "Здесь..." [1989]

Artist: Игорь Лень
Title: Здесь...
Genre: Ambient, New Age
Country: USSR
Release date: 1989

Track List:
  1. Голос
  2. Приговор
  3. Тебе...
  4. Срыв
  5. Блюз
  6. Здесь...
Here'sthe one and only solo album of Igor Len, a Moscow Conservatory-educated composer and sound producer who was an important member of Николай Коперник. His music can quite fairly be termed "dark ambient" with its depressive atmosphere unusual for most early Soviet electronic music. Anyway, he had a luxury of having his album released on vinyl by Melodia in 1989. It contains material from two his earlier demo tapes, dedicated to the works of Arseny & Andrey Tarkovsky. Download link for the MP3 rip shamelessly stolen from this blog (which I already have credited several times on here):


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Николай Коперник - "Родина" [1986]

Artist: Николай Коперник
Title: Родина
Genre: Post-Punk, New Wave, Art Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1986

Track List:
  1. Горцы
  2. В небесах лазурных
  3. Дымки
  4. Музы
  5. Юкагиры
  6. Конники
  7. Там, вдали
  8. Руда
  9. Родина
Named in honour of Nicholaus Copernicus, this band was formed in 1981 by Moscow-based composers Yuri Orlov and Igor Len. Their music has very little in common with what's usually called "Russian rock", and to be honest, that's a good thing. They released only one full-length album on tape in 1986, and one more 7'' officially released by Melodia in 1988-89, but these releases were good enough to earn them a cult status in the Moscow underground scene. The band reformed in 2005 and released a new album (which is very good as well) in 2012.

As far as I know, they had chances to work with such musicians was Peter Gabriel and Frank Zappa, but they never became a particularly well-known band - likely because their music was too experimental for an average Russian rock listener. This album isn't an exception, yet the level of songwriting on it is well above many much better known Soviet rock bands. Interestingly enough, there's even a song dedicated to one small tribe in the far Northeastern Siberia that not everyone knows about :)



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Дурное Влияние - "Неподвижность" [1989]

Artist: Дурное Влияние
Title: Неподвижность
Genre: Post-Punk, Gothic Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1989

Track List:
  1. 24 часа
  2. Если я лгу
  3. Дай мне уйти
  4. Неподвижность
  5. Жизнь как болезнь
  6. Мёртвые смотрят вверх
  7. Сейчас
  8. Спать 
  9. 24 часа (видеомикс)
bonus:
  1. Неподвижность (2012 version)
  2. Дай мне уйти (2012 version)
  3. Кто здесь? (Петля Нестерова cover)
"Дурное Влияние (Bad Influence) was a Russian coldwave band featuring members from earlier band projects Механический Балет and Монумент Страха. The band released their debut album Неподвижность (Immobility) in 1989" (last.fm)

As far as I know, they were one of the most influental Soviet post-punk bands of that time, and they're widely credited as one of the first Russian gothic rock bands. The band existed from November 1987 to the summer of 1990 (according to other sources, 1991), and made a reunion during 2011-12. Their only full-length album was recorded in November 1989 at a home studio in Peterhof. The quality of production is unsurprisingly poor, but isn't it something to be expected from an obscure 80's post-punk band?..

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Der Golem - "Zmet" [1999]

Artist: Der Golem
Title: Zmet
Genre: Post-Punk, Noise Rock
Country: Russia
Release date: 1999

Track List:
  1. Нет
  2. Оригинальная мелодия
  3. Древние звёзды
  4. Bravo
  5. Солнце мёртвых
  6. Целуя твои корни
  7. Пан
  8. Птицы
  9. Исход 1
  10. Исход 2
Named after the best known work by Gustav Meyrink, Der Golem was a short-lived project formed by Roman Sidorov (Старуха Мха, Sedativ, Fatal) and Dmitry Zubov (Hypnoz, Zuboff Sex Shop) in a small town near Moscow. They have released two albums during 1999-2000, the first one (which is presented here) being mainly post-punk, while the second one is mostly industrial noise/drone.

Roman Sidorov committed suicide in September 2003, and Dmitry Zubov died in October 2011. Their legacy was mostly unknown beyond the most committed fans of underground music, until Der Golem was rediscovered by hipsters in early 2010s. Anyway, "Zmet" is very good (if not a masterpiece) and certainly doesn't deserve to be forgotten. The opening track, in particular, is one of the most depressive compositions I've heard in my life (and I've listened to quite a lot of depressive music)...

Миссия:Антициклон - "С миссией в Москве" [1990]

Artist: Миссия:Антициклон
Title: С миссией в Москве
Genre: Post-Punk, New Wave
Country: USSR
Release date: 1990

Track List:
  1. Вот и вся любовь
  2. Цветочки и ягодки
  3. В этом пальто
  4. Если это революция
  5. Будет время
  6. Что дальше?
  7. Дурацкий танец
  8. Эпитафия
This band was formed in 1986 in Magadan of all places. Even this very remote town in the Soviet Far East was experiencing a rock music "boom" at the time, and the local bands were known for their quite specific guitar sound. Initially, M:A were playing glam rock and something that was described by A.Kushnir as "some unknown sort of grunge", but this particular album sounds like typical post-punk/new wave from the 80s (not surprising, since the Magadan scene of that time was strongly influenced by such bands as Japan and Talking Heads).

The whole tape was recorded during 3 days in Moscow on a professional 24-channel tape recorder, and the quality of production is very good for a Soviet post-punk band. The best track on the whole album is undoubtedly #4, which would be a very fitting theme song for the late perestroika times. Interestingly, the band still exist in some form, although their Facebook page isn't very active.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Монумент Страха - "Весна" [1991]

Artist: Монумент Страха
Title: Весна
Genre: Post-Punk, Industrial Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1991

Track List:
  1. Ещё Есть Время
  2. Новогодняя Песня
  3. Jazz Как Ты
  4. Ино-о
  5. Я Скучаю
  6. О Дитя, Спи Спокойно
  7. Весна
  8. Эпилог
Here's a quite curious discovery I made just yesterday. I've never heard of this band before, but their sound is surprisingly close to that of the much better known industrial rock and no-wave bands of the 80s, to the point of being hard to believe it was recorded in Saint Petersburg (which was still called Leningrad back then).

According to Discogs, it was "recorded in February 1991 by Andrei 'Teacher' Nikolaev at Y.K.Home, Saint Petersburg. Edition of 30 copies". Apparently there were at least two more band members, one of which played such unconventional instruments as an electric saw and various metal objects. The end result is slow and repetitive post-punk/noise rock with distorted vocals. There's at least one more release from them, recorded in 1989-90, which I definitely will search for.


Мёртвые Уши - "Большое железо" [1978]

Artist: Мёртвые Уши
Title: Большое железо
Genre: Garage Rock, Proto-Punk
Country: USSR
Release date: 1978

Track List:
  1. Интро
  2. Амазонка
  3. Ковбой
  4. Дикий Jazz & Rock-n-Roll
  5. Solo 1
  6. Большое путешествие (фрагмент)
  7. Solo 2
  8. Большое путешествие
  9. Приезжайте к нам
  10. В дебрях
  11. Политинформация
  12. Верхом на осле
  13. Deutsches Lied
  14. Песня о неврастенике
  15. Дитя в раздумье
  16. Песня против нейтронной бомбы
  17. Бешеная овца
  18. Баллада о старом Джоне
  19. С одесского кичмана...
  20. Песня о пионерском галстуке
  21. Экспромт
  22. Всё!
Yes, that's a school band that would later (around 1981) become Облачный Край. It was recorded by S.Bogaev, O.Rautkin and the Lyskovski brothers when they all were in their teens. The only instruments they had back then were an acoustic guitar, a homemade 3-string bass, and a toy keyboard called "Mickey" (not counting various so-called "percussion" such as saucers and garbage cans). Strangely enough, the end result turned out to be much more listenable that you'd expect (at least listening to it isn't going to cause ear death, contrary to what the band's name would suggest). However, these tracks were never properly released until 2009, when this album (more like a collection of rehearsal demos) was included in the band's anthology.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Цыганята И Я С Ильича - "Гаубицы Лейтенанта Гурубы" [1989]

Artist: Цыганята И Я С Ильича
Title: Гаубицы Лейтенанта Гурубы
Genre: Noise Rock
Country: USSR
Release date: 1989

Track List:
  1. Гаубицы Лейтенанта Гурубы
  2. На Блаженном Острове Коммунизма
  3. Митрополит Ипполит
  4. Парики, Шиньоны, Косы
  5. Не Трожь!
  6. Импровизация На Тему Слов
  7. Песня Гвоздя
  8. Опоздавшая Молодёжь
  9. Хожу, Хожу
  10. Спать
  11. Русские
  12. Новый Год
  13. Ева, Адам
  14. Быстротечные Синьоры
  15. Письмо
  16. Гусар И Верка Зозуля
  17. Непобедимый
  18. На Острове Пасхи
  19. Кума
  20. Урбанизм-Детерминизм
  21. От Реальной Жизни К Мелодичному Мышлению
  22. Стачка Шахтеров В Кузбассе
This is a "supergroup" formed by some of the biggest figures in the Siberian punk scene (namely Egor Letov, Oleg "Manager" Sudakov and Konstantin "Kuzya UO" Ryabinin) in 1988. By that time, all kind of Russian rock already have broke into the mainstream, but Letov and his friends weren't happy about their sudden popularity at all. That was the main reason as to why their sound became more and more experimental by the end of 1980s, culminating in this project, which is considered by many people to be one of the first industrial rock bands in USSR/Russia.

They have recorded two albums in 1989 and 1990, the first of which has gained a cult status in the underground music circles. Well, here it is, and  it is definitely not the stuff for everyone. It's full of absurd lyrics sang in many different styles, from spoken word samples to aggressive schrieking, combined with the noisy wall of guitar sound. Truly something that only could be conceived and recorded in the atmosphere of late perestroika in the USSR. Not an easy listen for sure - but it wasn't intended to please the listener, after all.

БМ - "Конструкции Звуков" [1985]

Artist: БМ
Title: Конструкции Звуков
Genre: Minimal Electro, Synthpop, Experimental
Country: USSR
Release date: 1985 (2009 re-release)

Track List:
  1. В Машинный Мир
  2. Машинистка
  3. Постамент
  4. Деталь
  5. Завтра
  6. Автокоммутатор
  7. Звуковые Конструкции
БМ/BM was a moniker of Alexander Somov, the pioneer of Izhevsk electronic music scene (which was an unique cultural phenomenon, quite strong during the 1990s but unfortunately dead by now). He never received any sort of musical education, but it didn't stop him from recording 3 tape albums with the help of his friends at the discotheque he worked in. His traces were lost in the chaos of the post-Soviet 90s (there are rumors that he was murdered), but one of his tapes was unearthed and re-released on CD in 2009.

Musically, it strongly reminds me of some works by Kraftwerk, and I'd say that the title of this release is quite appropriate - it's indeed "sound design" or 'sound constructions" rather than music in the traditional meaning of this word. Of course you shouldn't expect much from a guy that was recording it at his home in 1985, using only two cheap tape recorders, yet it still is a very interesting artifact from the early days of Izhevsk scene.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

V/A - "Russische Hometapers (De Fabriek Records & Tapes)" [1985]

"Quite a curious compilation this one, released by De Fabriek on some trip to Russia in 1985. Not really indexed, so its hard to say who does what here..."
Yeah, that's the problem - it's very hard to say which parts of this (indeed very curious) tape were produced by Soviet experimental musicians, and which - by their Dutch colleagues. From what I could find on the net, those Soviet musicians seem to be S.L. Krutikov (an Ukrainian musician and avant-garde artist), G. Feigin (a well-known violinist now living in Tokyo) and A. Tselikovski (not much info on him). They porbably should be credited for all the samples of Soviet music and radio broadcasts, while the Dutch staff of De Fabriek is most likely responsible for the noise parts and the cut-up technique.

The material on this 40 minutes long tape is quite diverse, ranging from the samples of classical music and military marches (often very martial industrial-like) to the samples of radio & TV broadcasts in various languages, harsh noise, and minimal synth parts. The download link is available in a blog linked above (which is a great resourse for every fan of obscure early industrial music, I must say).