June 03, 2004

Russo-Ukrainian Skank: Red Army Favourites
(Originally aired 12th March 2004)

Oddio Overplay is another one of those high-minded net labels who release entire albums of mp3s on-line for free. In addition to work by individual artists, they have a series of compilations that include such diverse fare as 30’s jazz and blues, traditional music from Asia, and Red Army Favorites; a collection of songs from the former Soviet Union. This last compilation includes old Soviet republic anthems, traditional balalaika bands, cheesy pop, emo rock, dub, electronica, and something, which if it had a name, might be called Slavic folk-punk-ska. Here are a few examples…

Iva Nova - Aunt Marussya (Tyotya Marussya) - This track is from St Petersburg all-female band, Iva Nova. (Their claim to fame?... Their drummer was once invited to play with Kraut-rock legends Faust.) It starts off sounding like a plaintive ode to the Motherland but quickly transforms into an accordion and surf-guitar-fuelled stomp.
Leningrad - Crucified (Raspezdyai) - Leningrad write songs about “the important things in life – vodka and women”, occasionally perform nude, frequently get banned from performing mid-tour, and are one of the most popular underground bands in Russia.
Vopli Vidopliassova - Pidmanula - This is the most traditional sounding of the three and comes complete with keening female vocals typical of Ukrainian folk music. Once again, though, its given the full ska-punk treatment…

(And if you want to hear more of this, you might want to check out Russendisko, a compilation of contemporary Russian music on the Trikont label)

Posted by Warren at June 3, 2004 12:09 AM | World