Posts Tagged ‘1990s’

BONDZINSKIY – the almost forgotten hardcore pioneers.

February 2, 2010


BONDZINSKIY, named after some mate of theirs, were among my most favourite local hardcore bands as I was just getting into the whole scene. Their music (self-described as ‘mournful gnash’) displayed a rather bizarre mix of influences, with some jazz and reggae leanings, and song had seriously intelligent, pissed off lyrics. Between 1993 and 2003 they have had a whole lot of lineup changes, with only the drummer Igor Mosin and bassist Dima Petrov being the regular participants in their musical bacchanals – their Sly & Robbie act has formed back in the mid-1980s in DURNOYE VLIYANIYE and even featured a stint with the local punk legends BRIGADNIY PORDYAD.

I’ve found an interview with Dima (who also played with Sergey Kuryokhin’s POP-MEKHANIKA, Nick Sudnik’s ZGA and in SPITFIRE for a bit) from cca. 2006 which had rather silly questions, so I chucked them out and translated what he had to say:

The band history is incredibly complicated and complex, by lineup as well as by creative progression. The story of all this disgrace has to be started, after all, from DURNOYE VLIYANIYE, where I met the drummer Igor Mosin, with whom as a constant rhythm section we have gradually morphed from one musical hypostasis into another.
DURNOYE VLIYANIYE formed sometime cca. 1988-1989 and played gothic new wave, successfully gigging in St. Petersburg and at all sorts of regional festivals in the ex-USSR. The band got played on the popular John Peel show on BBC and supported the famous SONIC YOUTH in Moscow.
In 1990 DURNOYE VLIYANIYE were invited to tour West Germany – the Berlin Wall, by the way, was still safe and sound. The tour involved playing with German punk and hardcore bands in 10 West German cities. This was when we got introduced to the grandiose music school known as hardcore – from the inside and fully. It can be said that this trip made a fundamental influence on our musical outlook. After encountering new sound, new approach, the energy of this music, we were swept away, shocked, charmed. These were the new unfamiliar ways, new horizons, new possibilities.
We were particularly inspired by FUGAZI, BAD BRAINS, NO MEANS NO, VICTIMS FAMILY. After we got home, we necessarily got an urge to enflesh these new ideas but as it is known, new ideas do not blossom in old soil. So Igor and I started to play new material and also seek new musicians who could organically co-exist with us in this musical space. As a result, the collective called BONDZINSKIY came into being. Over the years we played music with the likes of Andy Kordyukov (ex-MLADSHIYE BRATYA, 17 PILOTOV V OGNE), Gennadiy Larichkin (now the leader of BER-LINN), Sergei Sokolov (now in PRAVDA), Andrei Mashnin (MASHNINBAND), Andrei Gradovich (JUGENDSTIL, now 2VA SAMALIOTA), Roman Boiko, Ilya Orlov, Dan Gutsenko (and about half a dozen more – translator’s note).
The 1990s will remain for me probably the brightest stage of St. Peterburg’s music life. Many musicians outgrew the boundaries of the Leningrad Rock Club which by then degenerated to all-sufficient, closed caste structure which stank of officialdom with elitism and conspiracy of silence inherent in such a system.
The Rock Club somehow faded away – the new epoch started. On the basis of the just opened TaMtAm club an entire scene of great bands appeared: BIROTSEFALY, KHIMERA, ZVONKI, SPITFIRE, THE PAUKI, DOLPHINS, TEQUILAJAZZZ, 5 UGLOV etc. (sorry if I forgot someone).
As it seemed to me, no one thought about making money, commercial success, we played for ourselves, for our friends, because there was internal need for that. It was an atmosphere in which experimenting and NOT looking like a snob was natural. Those who played hardcore in the early nineties were very close-knit – not so much musically, rather it was the shared attitude to life.
Music, especially rock music, cannot live in isolation, without exchanging creative ideas. Any movement gradually chokes up on its own foam. What can be more disgusting than mass producing your own past? For me making headway was always crucial. Henry Rollins once said that the past doesn’t exist and you have to prove to yourself that you are still alive every day.
I haven’t got the slightest desire to analyse the music of BONDZINSKIY. Because depending on the mood I could fall either into self-glorification or self-condemnation. One thing that could be noted was that the riff structure of songs played a bad joke on the band. We could have easily turned each piece into 5 or 6 separate songs but we were just throwing ideas away. And also, we have made a conscious decision not to limit ourselves with any concepts, for us it was natural to combine styles that were practically incompatible. Sometimes it looked forced, sometimes it was fun but it was never banal.
Like every positive passionate phenomenon, hardcore will not die in the foreseeable future. As long as there is social tension in the world, the hardcore will be refilled with fresh blood of radical and not indifferent young people.
The old generation goes – the new generation comes, the process continues – everything is logical. Not everyone manages to keep the active attitude. However I am saddened by the fact that the social pathos is reduced. When I see a bloke who works as a bank manager and plays in his hardcore band in the evenings (instead of blowing up said bank), I feel sad.
Also, it seems to me that rivalry in the so-called alternative music has to stop. Unite, and unite some more, no matter what the style is. It’s such a pity that the concept of “people of goodwill” has vanished. I long for positive counteraction and confrontation with all the glossy, glamourous scene.
Lately everyone has been literally going nuts over the external attributes, often forgetting the inner world. A desire to look trendy turns into a sort of general hysteria. Unfortunately these sentiments are projected on the musical material, the music gets castrated, completely glossed over, everything is so clean and smooth that it makes me sick. The inner nerve disappears, the admissible filth which makes rock music what it is.
To be honest, I do not know [who our listener is]. While BONDZINSKIY was around, I knew about ten people who really liked it, and all of them were musicians. That’s why I was so surprised to be asked about ‘the legendary BONDZINSKIY.’
After existing for about 6 years (more like 10 – translator’s note), playing a number of gigs in Russia and abroad, releasing two albums (the 2nd one was recorded but not released – translator’s note), the band ceased to exist. We have probably exhausted our inner potential, and we got pretty much sick of each other. Now I’m working on a new project called GRANDSHUTTLEBANDA.
Naturally, it has nothing to do with hardcore. For me it’s a totally different style but I was always interested in doing something new. At the moment we have recorded an album but we are still looking for someone to put it out.

The aforementioned first album, “Lobovoi Mainstream,” can be downloaded here.

The second one, which DJ DNA from URBAN DANCE SQUAD mixed ended up never coming out but you can hear some stuff on BONDZINSKIY’s RealMusic page.

Some more links:
St. Petersburg Times interview (in English)
Post-Bondzinsky interview in SPT (in English)
Knives & Forks interview, in Russian
Muzykalnaja Gazeta interview, in Russian

Bio in Russian

SA-SA “Paskutinės Dainos”

January 18, 2010

SA-SA tape front cover

Front cover


This Lithuanian band is a truly weird, excellent and, alas, somewhat obscure example of the coveted East European punk rock. Macabre and merry in approximately equal measures, it is rather garage yet effective sounding. Cue organic-sounding keyboards throughout and occasional terrace-choir singalongs. Catchy tunes get their commercial potential squashed by moribund artwork, and hailing from where they did, in 1994, of all years, was perhaps a surefire way to remain (garage punk) unknowns. The tape was released by Tundra Records, and I remain clueless as to whether they had any other releases. They didn’t really have to; this is a masterpiece. I have no clue as to what they sang about, my non-existent Lithuanian is enough to catch enough mentions of the words like ‘death’ and ‘dying’ to put most grind bands to shame. The kind people at hardcore.lt uploaded the mp3s (in 2002), and I scanned the cover and the insert (it’s double-sided).

TOVARISCH KARMA – “Umri, Kapitalizm” video.

April 5, 2008

TOVARISCH KARMA (“Comrade Karma”) was a short-lived anarchist hip hop project that emerged from a faction of Moscow underground in the late 1990s, recorded three tracks and made a comparable number of gigs (one was at an anti-nuclear protest camp on Kola peninsula though). The chief musical force, Pasha Shevchenko, has continued under the name TRYOP – there are three albums in existence, as well as an electronic off-shoot TRESK. He’s now a member of LISICHKIN KHLEB. Another TOVARISCH KARMA member, Vova “Jim” Korobeinikov, was also in LISICHKIN KHLEB at the time, and I’m not sure who’s the third guy (Zakhar Mukhin?). The video, made in 2000 by Andrei Stvolinskiy, is compiled from the footage of Moscow anarchist actions cca. the time “Umri, Kapitalizm” (“Capitalism Die”) was recorded. Stvolinskiy’s pretty dodgy from what I heard – he is said to have informed on his comrades during the New Revolutionary Alternative investigation (which was a lefty terrorist group in Moscow in the 1990s). Tevs. The song was issued on “Bei Po Vragu Kulturnoi Revolyutsii” solidarity CD in Germany, while the complete works of TOVARISCH KARMA ended up on some split tape in Moscow and later on a Belarussian bootleg TRYOP tape. It was covered by 777 BAKUNINA I think. What else is there? The lyrics are good.

Yegor Letov had died.

February 20, 2008

Legendary Siberian punk rocker Yegor Letov (GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA, YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE etc.) had died in his sleep from heart failure on February 19 at his home in Omsk. He was 43. Yegor has been an enormous influence on Russian punk scene, and his old songs are some of the most important anarchist propaganda ever produced in Russian language. The rage and desperation of the band’s music – which was, at its best, mindblowingly innovative yet raw – did reflect the times he lived in. Letov’s poetry, strongly influenced by early 20th century Russian futurists, has often been more important than even his music. The youthful punk rock nihilism, anarchist and antifascist politics, existential horror and breaking through to the other side were all expressed equally thrillingly. Letov’s legacy is without a doubt controversial (in part due to his political activities in the 1990s, and the morbid, suicidal shadows he cast over some fans and friends) but nevertheless great.

Yegor’s actual name and patronymic is Igor Fyodorovich. He’s the younger brother of famous avantgarde jazz saxophone player Sergei Letov (TRI-O, DK, GOSPLAN TRIO etc.) Yegor’s first bands started to form cca. 1982 or 1983 which makes him one of the pioneers of punk rock in the Soviet Union. POSEV (named after a dissident emigre publishing house) left some home-made recordings and gave way to GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA (civil defense) in late 1984. The band, led by Letov and guitarist Konstantin “Kuzya Uo” Ryabinov, was also initially orientated towards making home recordings in Letov’s “studio” GrOb Records. “We’ve staked mostly on making and distributing tape albums as we had reasons to think that live performances aren’t likely to come our way very soon, and at that particular moment they weren’t likely at all.” (Letov writing in Kontr Kult UR’a zine #3, 1991). In late Autumn 1985 after an intervention by one of the band member’s mother who was a Communist party apparatchik, G.O. was forcibly dissolved. After a series of interrogations at the local KGB, Letov was sent to a mental hospital (which was a favoured tactic of silencing dissidents at the time) – he has gone blind for a while from the drugs that he was given there. Uo, despite a heart condition, was drafted to the army and sent to serve at the space rocket launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Letov was let out of the mental hospital in March 1986 and started to record on his own. He also took part in the activities of the Omsk-based band PIK I KLAXON, also known as ADOLF GITLER.

In May – June 1987 Letov had recorded five half-hour samizdat tape albums which covered the material that GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA had by then (a selection of this stuff was compiled on Pops 2LP). Soon thereafter he had to run away from Omsk because following a scandalous gig with ADOLF GITLER in Novosibirsk there was further persecution from the authorities who tried to put him into a mental hospital again. He had hitch-hiked all over Soviet Union with his then-partner Yana “Yanka” Dyagileva (a very strong and important performer in her own right; Letov had produced and played on most of her recordings; she’d died in 1991, apparently a suicide). In January 1988, upon return to Omsk, Letov had recorded three more albums (the material was issued on Vsyo Idyot Po Planu 2LP), doing overdubs on crappy Soviet equipment. Uo, though demobbed by then, was unfit to play. GrOb Records had also recorded projects featuring POSEV’s Zhenya”Dabl” Deyev (P.O.G.O.), Vadim Kuzmin (SPINKI MENTA, CHORNIY LUKICH), Yanka, as well as Letov, Uo and Oleg “Managher” Sudakov’s long-running experimental outfit KOMMUNIZM.

In 1988 GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA started to play gigs, touring all over the country. The lineup remained unstable, but G.O. was recording prolifically, as were KOMMUNIZM, Yanka, Managher, Uo and Letov (as a solo performer). In Spring 1990 G.O. recorded an album of covers by another Siberian punk band INSTRUKTSUYA PO VYZHIVANIYU, and played its last gig on April 13 in Tallinn (now Estonia). Letov then broke up the band.

YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE (Yegor & the Cunted-Up) has recorded what is perhaps Letov’s biggest artistic achievement, Pryg-Skok LP, in 1990 – it combines garage punk, psychodelia and Russian folk into an enormously potent mixture, and Letov’s extreme, near-death experiences of the time (related to encephalitis he got hiking through the Ural mountains, and experiments with drugs and shamanism) have produced songs that are among the most incredible in Russian rock. It was followed by Sto Let Odinochestva 2LP, which is nearly as great.

In the mid-1990s Letov has come out of semi-retirement, reformed GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA and started touring under the aegis of various opposition groups, mostly of the Stalinist and Nationalist variety. Letov joined the National Bolshevik Party (NBP), and was among its most famous members for a while, along with writer Eduard Limonov, philosopher Alexander Dugin and pianist Sergei Kuryokhin. Letov, however, quit the NBP in 1998. He had later denounced the political games he played:

“I have been involved in the most extreme political camps, so I know the inner workings of that all. And I can report that all of it is very stupid and disgusting. All of it. It has to be experienced so as not to get involved in such stuff consciously, which is what I do.”

“I think that in order to live and be creative, which is the same thing, one has to be FREE. In my understanding, freedom means refusal from all the traps of this world. If I can use pompous language, I think that our civilization is a certain type of world order that is fed by certain energies – fear, pain, envy, destruction, the list could be endless. If all the NORMAL people would just get out of it, like out of a zoo, and live on a principle of self-sufficiency, self-freedom – not fighting them, not even contacting, creating our own squats, systems, labels, music, creative stuff etc. on a “do it yourself” principle – all the rest of the world will just DIE by itself. And it does, very visibly.”

“Just like we’ve been, we’ve remained a rebellious, superrebellious band. But the frontline is moving ever deeper and deeper, now it is beyond politics, ideology, religion.”
(from 2004-2006 fan-conducted interviews via the band’s official website).

In a 2007 Rolling Stone interview he claimed that he remains an anarchist, but is more interested in the environmental aspects of anarchism.

G.O. continued to record (though arguably never reaching the former heights) and tour internationally (Europe, USA, Israel, mostly playing to emigre audiences). They eventually reached a stadium rock band status. In the last few years Letov has busy reissuing the back catalogue in expanded and redone versions. He had also gotten involved in Russia’s underground garage scene. He produced and mixed a forthcoming full-length CD by St. Petersburg’s THE KING KONGS, as well as an EP by Moscow’s CAVESTOMPERS. GRAZHDANSKAYA OBORONA’s last full-length album, “Zachem Snyatsya Sny?”, was co-credited to YEGOR I OPIZDENEVSHIYE. Letov himself has considered it his greatest achievement. He is survived by his wife, G.O. bassist Natalya Chumakova.

On February 21 Yegor Letov was buried at Staro-Vostochnoye cemetery in Omsk, next to his mother’s grave.

Some tributes:

Artyom “Robot” Petrov (THE KING KONGS): “It’s a blow. Of course, it may sound high-blown, but really this is the end of a big story. He had influenced everyone. Turned everyone’s brains around, one way or another.”

Jason Flower (MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY, Canada): “This is very saddening news about Yegor; punks and anarchists around the world have lost perhaps the greatest legend of Soviet-era and post Soviet-era underground to have ever lived.”

Alexei Nikonov (PTVP): “It’s a pity about Letov. Who’s up next? For all his freakouts, he was a part of our lives.”

Liner notes from Optimizm CD reissue:
Poganaya Molodyozh / Optimizm is basically the first united lengthy G.O. album which was recorded several times during 1985 and at the same time regularly released under all sorts of exotic titles: “The Best of G.O.”, “Diarrhoea Sounds of G.O.” (double album, pt. 1 Poganaya Molodyozh, pt 2 Optimizm), “First and Last G.O. Album”, “Omsk Punk History”, simply “Grazhdanskaya Oborona” etc. Quality-wise, all these recordings were of varying horrendousness and absolutely inhumane towards the listener (instead of drums, played and recorded was anything from a suitcase to a young pioneer’s drum to a hi-hat that was nailed to a piece of wood, the words were exteremely hard to understand, absolute lack of tuning etc.) There were really strange versions: one of the albums was nearly completely played on a DIY keyboard synth (!), another one (which also didn’t survive, regretfully) was interperced with absurdist, extremely short speeches and insets in the spirit of concrete music a la mid and later period KOMMUNIZM. In these recordings, apart from me and Kuzma, an x number of all sorts of people took part, the names of some of them can’t even be remembered now. The whole thing ended in late 1985 when the band was mercilessly dispersed by the oppressive organs of the state, I was forced to go into a psychiatric asylum, Kuzma – to the army, and all this material sort of hung in the air for a couple of years. For the first time it has appeared with bearable sound quality on album / compilation “Red Album” which I recorded on my own in the Summer of 1987. What the so-called “first” G.O. albums are, known among the people as Poganaya Molodyozh and Optimizm – they are basically remakes of the material off the aforementioned first, very lengthy 1985 G.O. album, recorded largely between January 12 – 22 in 1988 after Kuzma Ryabinov came back from the army and rehabilitated. At the same time some songs were completely redone (just like we did a year later with POSEV album), some were remade using the ancient (1985) tracks. The albums thus completed were remixed and rearranged several times over the next few years. This time you have one of the first, original versions. We were dividing the material among albums based on these principles: Poganaya Molodyozh included songs by POSEV, as well as those written in the earliest period of G.O. existence (November 1984 – early Spring 1985). Optimizm has the later stuff, from Spring – Summer – Autumn 1985, apart from ones like “I’m an Illusion”, “Children’s World” etc. which were successfully played and included in Red Album.
The bonus tracks are previously unneeded, alternative takes and versions, as well as material that wasn’t used before at all.

Yegor Letov, July 4, 2005

A word-for-word translation of a song that Letov had written in the mid-1980s and later redone on “Sto Let Odinochestva”:

Traces in the Snow
he looked into my back clenching his teeth
everything was seemingly real
but as he looked more attentively he suddenly realised
that i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow
the ours thought that i’m a stranger
the strangers suspected that i’m fucked up
and all of them thought that i’m dangerous
since i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow
and the dead mouse rots in the pocket
and in the pocket the dead mouse rots
no one’s ever gonna find anyone now
since i don’t leave any traces in the snow
i would’ve long been buried in the snow
i would’ve long been driven into a hole
i would’ve long been traced by my steps
but i don’t leave any traces in the fresh snow

http://gr-oborona.ru

PIĈISMO – Esperantocore highlights.

January 19, 2008

I think Ukrainian hardcore scene isn’t very large or terribly interesting yet. I quite like the Rivne-based crust band ZALUPA (too bad they’ve split up), but the really crazy diamond there is PIĈISMO (or PICHISMO). Formed in 1993, they claim the title of the world’s first Esperantocore band. There were some punk songs in Esperanto before them but there wasn’t a whole band. With time, the band had diversified its approach and started using Ido, Volapük, Klingon and numerous other invented languages. The sound has grown quite as diverse, and various releases reflect the interest of the band’s leader Gleb Maltsev in noise, electronica, grindcore etc. He didn’t get stuck in his South Ukrainian hometown of Tsyurupinsk for very long, and various versions of the band existed in Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Latvia. Gleb’s now living in Kaunas, Lithuania, and gigs and records fairly often.
PIĈISMO is fairly prolific, as I’d mentioned. Just the tip of the iceberg, there you go.

“Ankoraŭ Unu Freneza Kanzono” live at Teen Wave festival in Yevpatoriya, Crimea, August 1994. Frenzied song this is, indeed. By the way, ta to Alex Volkov for making this available.

I like their first four albums the most:

“Subita Merdo” (1993; raw punk in Esperanto, original Ukrainian lineup, 4 songs released on a Darbouka Records 7″)

“Buĥtismo” (1994-1995; compilation of various punk / crust / noise recordings, various Ukrainian lineups)

“P.P.P.” (1997; crusty hardcore with members of Lithuanian band INVAZIJA)

“Esperantocore” (1998; also with INVAZIJA members)

I actually like early PIĈISMO enough to have released a tape covering their discography between 1993 and 1997. This post is a shameless plug innit?

http://www.myspace.com/pichismo
http://www.pichismo.narod.ru

P.S. E-punkoj, skribu min!

Gennady Bachinsky had died.

January 12, 2008

DEPUTAT BALTIKI 1991, Gena on the right

Russian radio and TV personality Gennady Bachinsky had died in a car crash in Kalyazin, Tver region, cca. 4 p.m. on January 12, aged 36. He left behind a wife and two children.

Gennady has played lead guitar in the Leningrad post punk band DEPUTAT BALTIKI (pictured, above; Gena is first on the left). After he quit in 1991, the band renamed itself CHIMERA. Bachinsky has remained involved in the band’s affairs as something of a manager. He also played bass on their 1994 European tour with STEINE FUER DEN FRIEDEN from Switzerland. He also played in MASHA I MEDVED, a project featuring CHIMERA members. He collaborated with Seva Gakkel, former AQUARIUM cello player who replaced him as a CHIMERA manager, on a CHIMERA cover that featured on a recent tribute compilation (“Totalny Dzhaz”, tape, Karma Mira / Outcry).

Bachinsky’s early 1990s activities have played a crucial role in hooking up St. Petersburg punks with DIY activists in Europe. He had distributed tapes by the likes of ACTIVE MINDS, HEALTH HAZARD, KITCHENER etc., and played them in his radio show on Radio Katyusha. His label Abdylda Records has released a couple of tapes by CHIMERA.

In St. Petersburg Bachinsky has worked on radio stations Polis, Katyusha and Modern. In 1997 he started a partnership with Sergei Stillavin. In 2001 “The Morning Show by Bachinsky & Stillavin” has moved to Moscow – Russkoye Radio, then Radio Maximum. In April 2007 the program was given a Radiomaniya-2007 award for Best Morning Show. For the last 6 months he worked on Radio Mayak co-hosting a morning show with Stillavin. He also worked as chief producer of radio directorate of the State TV and Radio Company (VGTRK).

Videos by DEPUTAT BALTIKI and CHIMERA featuring Gennady Bachinsky:

http://total-jazz.livejournal.com/126089.html

CHIMERA – Control (Studio 1996).

December 26, 2007

The video which I think was filmed for Alexander Rozanov’s feature-length documentary film “Stop Your Steam Train” (“Tormozi Svoi Parovoz”) shows St. Petersburg’s greatest band CHIMERA recording their last album “Zudwa” at the Melodiya studio St. Petersburg. That was in the Summer of 1996. The tape was released in Spring 1997 but the singer / guitarist / trumpet player Eduard “Redt” Starkov has killed himself in February 1997.

Ta: Alex Volkov.

A few more hardcore vids.

December 26, 2007

Just to top it off, a couple more old school hardcore vids from Russia.

POSADIL DEREVO (Volgograd, Russia) “Antipatriot” – September 12, 1998 at Rodina Cinema in Volgograd – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–jR5yGKeYo (Former and future members of WHEEL OF DHARMA and BREAKWAR. One of the more important hardcore bands in that city in South Russia).

B’67 (Moscow, Russia) CORNERSTONE cover – 2000 at Jerry Rubin club, Moscow – http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZxU9ukKnTxA (THE old school sXe band. The singer, Sergei, is now doing Russia’s biggest hardcore label – Old Skool Kids Records. Other members were in SKYGRAIN, UNCONFORM, ARGUMENT 5.45 etc).

Ta: Alex Volkov and Mikly.

Videos from hardcore gigs in Russia.

December 26, 2007

And speaking of Alex Volkov: he followed up that DOLBI SISTEMU video with a bunch more of great live stuff from hardcore gigs in Russia in the last ten years or so, a lot of which he shot himself.

In a chronological order (all gigs in St. Petersburg unless noted otherwise):

‘TIL I DIE (St. Petersburg, Russia) “New Bloody Lesson” August 29, 2002 at Orlandina club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGa5kqQX9e0 (In retrospect, they are perhaps the band that’s most responsible for the current hardcore scene in this city).

HOPE DIES LAST (Valmiera, Latvia) September 13, 2002 at Moloko club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I22Mlnv0Mug (They were one of the first foreign hardcore bands to play in Russia).

8 HZ (St. Petersburg, Russia) 2 songs April 26, 2003 at the School 32 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUoK_b1cv_A (One of their very first gigs. First song features Shera on vocals).

YARCHE 1000 SOLNTS (Moscow, Russia) “My Favourite Things” April 26, 2003 at the School 32 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5AhmBxgwGg (Their first line up, all former SKYGRAIN members).

MARSCHAK (Moscow, Russia) “Apraxiya” April 26, 2003 at the School 32 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5iYnh9hbqs (They were perhaps the first screamo band here. Some achievement, eh).

CHANGES (Moscow, Russia) May 4, 2003 at Moloko club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6z7afB8uQ4 (They’ve just released their 2nd CD I’m told).

HERO DISHONEST (Helsinki, Finland) September 3, 2003 at Moloko club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unIK2WnueTI (Their 2nd trip to Russia. It was spectacular).

WHEN MY AUTHORITIES FALL (Riga, Latvia) November 27, 2003 at Moloko club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPKR4MdkOFA (Some of my most favourite people played in this band. Former and current members of CITA ATTIEKSME, V3V, TESA, IN.STORA, ZHURKIES, PEST OF A CHILD etc.)

SANDINISTA! (St. Petersburg, Russia) December 21, 2003 at Orlandina club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMy_hGcRZoQ ( This is one of their first gigs. Guitarist Timur was murdered by a gang of nazis in November 2005).

FOR THE CAUSE (Pushkin, Russia) March 23, 2004 at Moloko club – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84GdVjptAB8 (The singer, Pasha, had died in a car crash in the Summer of 2006. Guitar player Max later played in CUT ‘N’ RUN, while drummer Vaniok was in SANDINISTA!, DISTRESS and CUT ‘N’ RUN).

ECHO IS YOUR LOVE (Helsinki, Finland) February 19, 2005 at Kochegarka club in Vyborg – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUjq09r4qsw (Another big adventure involving our Finnish mates).

DOLBI SISTEMU – “Zvyozdam Vsyo Idyot” live 1998

December 24, 2007

St. Petersburg’s pioneering anarchopunks captured in all of their ragged glory in May 1998 at Lesopilka club. The song (“Everything fits you when you’re a star”) mocks rock stars, rather viciously. The band’s recordings were later compiled on “25 Songs” tape co-released by SzSS and NotLG Tapes.

Ta: Alex Volkov