Posts Tagged ‘post punk’

TEQUILAJAZZZ announce splitting up.

July 18, 2010

TEQUILAJAZZZ, cca 1997
Writing on the official website of St Petersburg’s alternative rock band TEQUILAJAZZZ, its singer and bass player Yevgeniy “Ay-Yay-Yay” Fyodorov announced that the band “has ceased to be active in the incarnation that you are all familiar with, and many of you love. RIP.”
Fyodorov added that the decision was made following the end of TEQUILAJAZZZ’s last tour in December 2009 and that the gig at St Petersburg’s Zoccolo club on March 25, 2010, was their last. A planned appearance at Kubana festival in August was cancelled. Fyodorov promised that further questions related to the band’s demise will be answered in a future in-depth interview. Fyodorov titled a similar post on the band’s download page “Open secret”.
He thanked everyone “who was with us and supported us on this thorny yet fun path for the last – it’s scary to say – 17 years. Your help and fidelity, altruism, idealism and other important and right things have made this time unforgettable,” Fyodorov added.
Cover of TEQUILAJAZZZ's first demo from 1993.
The band, formed in 1993 by Fyodorov with guitarist Konstantin “Balbes” Fyodorov (no relation) and drummer Alexandr “Duser” Voronov, featured three former member of pioneering Leningrad punk band OBYEKT NASMESHEK. Yevgeniy Fyodorov had also had stints in KSK and AVTOMATICHESKIYE UDOVLETVORITELI, while Voronov also drummed in NOL for a few months. After OBYEKT NASMESHEK split up circa 1991, future TEQUILAJAZZZ members played in one of Leningrad’s first hardcore punk bands, PUPSY. Their new project debuted at the TaMtAm club in 1993.
While initially influenced by the likes of NOMEANSNO, RAPEMAN, CRIME AND THE CITY SOLUTION or JESUS LIZARD, the band over the course of their career have significantly widened their palette. Their high ambition was noticeable early on, however, – even their first CD included lyrical nods to Serge Gainsbourg:

TEQUILAJAZZZ play “Rozenbom” at Art Clinic club in St Petersburg; lyrics are based on Gainsbourg’s “Chatterton”

The band signed with Moscow indie label FeeLee for their second full-length, “Virus”, which made the band one of the more popular alternative rock bands in Russia. The band’s biggest hit, “Winter Sun” (Rus: Zimneye Solntse) was featured on their third CD, “Celluloid”, released in 1998. “Journal of the Living” (Rus: Zhurnal Zhivogo) in 2009 was the band’s sixth full-length proper. There are also numerous singles, some self-released, live and compilation recordings; the band also backed KOLIBRI on their 1997 album “Sugar Demon” (Rus: Bes Sakhara).
The band’s lineup always included the core trio of Fyodorov, Fyodorov and Voronov but there were some extra members over the years, most notably guitar player Oleg Baranov (S.P.O.R.T, BONDZINSKIY etc.) from 1998 on. TEQUILAJAZZZ toured internationally, starting from a 1994 stint in France, although in the last few years of their existence they were not as active. They also opened for MOTORHEAD, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE etc.
In 2004 Yevgeniy Fydorov formed a “supergroup” with several luminaries of St Petersburg music scene, OPTIMYSTICA ORCHESTRA, which now is likely to be his main band.

TEQUILAJAZZZ play a song by Yevgeniy Fyodorov’s cousin Andrey “Dyusha” Mikhailov written in 1982 for KSK, “Blyakha-Mukha”, at a St Petersburg TV studio

UPDATE: St Petersburg Times interview.

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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).

Grigoriy Sologub died.

February 27, 2009

sologub
The legendary St. Petersburg musician Grigoriy Grigoriyevich (Grikha) Sologub died in a local clinic on February 27, 2009 from heart failure. Born on July 19, 1961 in Leningrad, he was one of the pioneers of the new wave / punk movement in the city. He started out playing guitar, accordion and singing in ska / new wave band STRANNIYE IGRY (“Strange Games”) in which he joined his older brother Viktor in 1981 after a stint in hard rock band TEKH. POMOSHCH. They mostly used translations of French modernist poetry and chansons for lyrics (Brel, Brassens, Tzara, etc.) and combined them with inventive music that was devoid of cliches, innovative (for the Soviet scene of the era anyway) and alternately funny and sad, or bittersweet. They recorded two underground tape albums; “Metamorfozy” was issued on cassette in 1996 by Manchester Files, while their second, “Smotri V Oba” from 1986, was released on LP by Melodiya in 1988, one of the first Leningrad rock releases. Songs from both were also featured on “Red Wave” compilation 2LP. The band split up by 1986. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s STRANNIYE IGRY occasionally played reunion gigs – the most recent ones I can think of were in the Autumn of 2008. Local label Bomba-Piter works on a 3 CD set featuring STRANNIYE IGRY both studio albums and a live set from 1984. In early 1986 the Sologub brothers formed IGRY (“Games”). They were more guitar-orientated and heavier-sounding, more post-punk in approach. They toured internationally, recorded two albums in 1989 (one of which, “Krik V Zhizni,” was given a CD release in 1994 by Kontras) and mostly ceased activity in the 1990s. Both Viktor and Grigoriy Sologub played together in DOLPHINS which was one of the first hardcore bands in the city and existed between 1993 and 1995 (they released a self-titled tape on Kontras in 1996). Grigoriy also played in bands on his own. In 1992 he joined Alexandr “Alex Ogolteliy” Strogachov in ISRAIL who recorded an album which was issued on CD in 1998 – under the name NARODNOYE OPOLCHENIYE, because after a bit Strogachov gave the project the name of his most famous punk band. In 1994 Sologub joined MASHNINBAND, punk / alternative rock band with whom he recorded “Trezviye-Zliye” in 1995 (CD release in 2006 on Manchester Files) and then quit. He played in jazzcore band BONDZINSKIY for a short while – they had one song with ska bits and Sologub played it brilliantly, telling his bandmates that “no one plays ska in this city better than I do.” The alliance didn’t work out, and Sologub went to Canada to try and sober up through Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1997 he returned to musical activity becoming the new frontman of ska / pop band 2VA SAMALIOTA. That was probably one of the few projects that he was involved with which did release anything while he was actively involved (“Don Pedro, Gomez & Mamochka” CD on Zvezda Records). He was punk as fuck, a total nihilist, academically trained musician, and a true backbone of the local scene. It’s a pity that he lacked recognition in his lifetime. He always played in some of the best and most intense local outfits, and his music has been important for me throughout my life.

Eduard Nesterenko died.

November 17, 2008

Eduard Nesterenko, 2002, photo by Sveta Belikova
The world seems to have an unlimited supply of bad news sometimes.
Eduard Nesterenko had died after a long illness on October 31st, 2008, at Mariinskaya Hospital in St. Petersburg. He started out as a singer / guitarist in new wave band Kofe in 1984. In December 1987 three of its ex-members formed a new post punk band, PETLYA NESTEROVA, which was Nesterenko’s best-known project. Their debut album, “Kto Zdes?”, featuring members of IGRY and KINO, is recommended most highly. He also played in Durnoye Vliyaniye for a year or so. While he wasn’t as active musically in the nineties and noughties, he kept a version of PETLYA NESTEROVA going and sometimes moonlighted with other bands, e.g. dub band SAMOSAD BEND features him on 2007’s Digun 2CD.
Nesterenko was buried on November 3 in St. Petersburg.

DURNOYE VLIYANIYE – “24 Chasa” video.

October 13, 2008


Video for the DURNOYE VLIYANIYE song “24 Chasa” (“24 Hours”) by Andrius Ventslova, cca. 1988. The band was one of the leading lights of Leningrad post punk scene of its time; the members went on to play in BONDZINSKY, SPITFIRE, BRIGADNIY PODRYAD, JUGENDSTIL and GRANDSHUTTLEBAND. In 2003 SzSS and Karma Mira reissued their debut album, “Nepodvizhnost,” on tape. I still have copies available. English translation of the lyrics follows.

DURNOYE VLIYANIYE
24 hours

if there is a door i have to walk in
in dark rooms in ancient houses
for a long time i couldn’t pass by
nightmare dreams and horrible fear

i’d seen naked nerves more than once
but maybe i’ll do what ian curtis did
i pity your crying fading eyes
can i put them out before dying

24 hours of senseless scenes
24 hours of senseless words
walls with no windows apartments with no walls
it seems to me i’m long dead already

it seems to me that some stranger’s hand
the noose i have to put my neck through
i hear you tenderly whisper goodbye
24 hours to die

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

PTVP interview from St. Petersburg Times.

February 1, 2008

Exorcising the slave

Local punk band PTVP premiers what it says is its definitive album.

Staff Writer

Mikhail Lagotsky

Alexei Nikonov, frontman of punk band PTVP, says the band’s new album is its musical and lyrical manifesto.

Heavy on social and existential themes, PTVP’s new album, is the band’s manifesto, according to frontman Alexei Nikonov. Having mixed psychedelic rock and punk, the band, one of Russia’s best, came up with what Nikonov describes as “Jimi Hendrix playing in Joy Division.”

“I went to a concert today, and there was a guy singing how he was sick of [Russian music radio station] Nashe Radio and things like that, and I realised how petty it is,” said singer and lyricist Alexei Nikonov, whose punk band PTVP is premiering its new album, “Zerkalo” (Mirror), this weekend.

“The fact is we are witnessing a very serious situation, a historical process, and that’s what I wanted to reflect in this album. Of course, the title is not original, but after listening to the album, it will be clear what it’s about.”

PTVP, whose full name is Posledniye Tanki v Parizhe (Last Tanks in Paris), is known for its uncompromising criticism of the political and social situation in Russia, most famously on its 2001 album “Hexogen,” named after the explosives used in the terror attacks in Moscow preceding the Second Chechen War and, eventually, Vladimir Putin’s presidency.

According to Nikonov, PTVP, has finally come up with what he describes as “essentially our definitive album and our manifesto.”

“In a sense it’s a return to our roots, it’s the music we wanted to play when we were kids,” said Nikonov, who spoke to The St. Petersburg Times by phone this week.

“Now we had a chance to record this album. It’s dark, depressive music, not the short, upbeat songs that we have been playing all our lives for some reason.”

“Mirror,” the follow-up to last year’s self-produced album “Freedom of Speech,” is being released on the local alt-rock Kap-Kan label, which put out PTVP’s CD single “Usual Day” late last year. The 13-minute track is also available on the album.

“Because the CD is a dying form, we wanted to release the album — it might be our last CD album, so we wanted to have a large number of copies released,” said Nikonov.

Before settling on Kap-Kan, the band approached a number of other labels, but negotiations usually stopped when managers heard the opening track, “Million,” which, translated into English, goes:

“Good morning, Beslan / Good morning, Chechnya / Good morning to cops / Good morning, my country / My free country / A million kilometers of shit.”

“I used social topics, because the situation is amazing, it amazes me; everybody drops on their knees and cries ‘cool!’ Even if they are not endangered. Nothing threatens them, nobody seems to do anything to you, if you say ‘fuck off,’ but everybody cries ‘cool!,’ I can’t understand it. So I wanted to express my attitude to it on this album,” said Nikonov.

Nikonov said that he has been influenced by the existentialist philosophy of Nikolai Berdyayev and Lev Shestov as well as the history of Russia as a whole.

“Speaking of lyrics, I used to lower the standard a little, use some irony, like [in songs] ‘Deflower, Baby’ or ‘A Bullet for a Bourgeois,’ but I speak rather seriously here, in every song,” said Nikonov.

“This album’s lyrics could be used as poems, which I cannot say about any of our previous albums. It even scares me a little, because the album turned out to be perhaps too serious. But there could not be any other album now, because the social situation around is such that I have no desire to make a positive, entertaining album. I think it’s even inappropriate in the historical process that we’re going through now.”

Nikonov compares the promotion of First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as Putin’s “successor” to Ivan the Terrible who passed the formal power to baptized Khan Simeon Bekbulatovich, while restyling himself as “Ivan from Moscow,” to return to the throne 11 months later.

“We are present at exactly the same historical situation, only in a different guise, and I couldn’t help expressing this on the album,” he said.

Whatever official propaganda says, life in Russia has deteriorated, according to Nikonov.

“It’s a commonplace, it’s so obvious that it’s not even funny anymore,” he said.

“The hopes that Westerners had relied on in Europe didn’t come true, all in all. Churchill had his pictures taken with Stalin, despite the harshest criticism. The same happens now. Whatever regime there is in Russia, the West will never take any radical steps to help radical circles here.”

According to Nikonov, the clampdown on civil liberties and suppression of a political opposition can only lead to the emergence of radical groups, such as Narodnaya Volya, or People’s Will, responsible for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881.

“We have come to a situation when the creation of such parties as Narodnaya Volya is inevitable. This is not a call to violence, but a lesson from history,” he said.

“The preservation of the regime that the presidential bunch undertakes is parallel to the course of Tsar Alexander III, which only gave birth to a wave of terror. What form this terror will take, be it Islamic or social, is a different question, but it’s inevitable, because, when society is squeezed out of the legal process, the political struggle intensifies.

“That’s what I wanted to speak about on the album. If ‘Hexogen’ was rather detached, on this album we have made our social position clear from the start. We’re trying to establish ourselves in this historical situation.

“We don’t answer the question ‘What is to be done?,’ we’re just trying to understand how to remain human and free under slavish circumstances. In this sense, we reject Aesopian language as the language of the slave. The opening song is manifesto-like and social, as well a couple of others. The rest are existential.

“Because the fact of the matter is not Putin, it lies much deeper. That’s what we are trying to understand on this album, that’s why we called it ‘Mirror.’ We’re trying to look into ourselves on this album. Why we have remained the same slaves we were? An attempt to exorcise the slave from ourselves is perhaps what this album is.”

The tone of the lyrics has had a profound effect on PTVP’s music, Nikonov said.

“It has even influenced the chords. If we had everything in major on all the previous albums, all the songs on this album are in minor.”

Musically, “Mirror” is a blend of punk and psychedelic rock, according to Nikonov, who said it was influenced by the band’s early heroes, such as Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus, The Stooges and Television.

“It is an homage to all the bands we listened to as kids. It’s very different even from our earlier albums, that all sounded different. Everybody who heard it in its early stages were a little shocked that it was us. But it is us, whatever it is.

“Our attitude to the sound has fully changed; we recorded it even more live than before, on purpose — it took us four hours. We didn’t use any overdubs; we only had a guitar, bass and drums, three instruments, a classic lineup. There’s a lot of guitar psychedelia, which is not typical for Russian punk, but we still tried to play punk — how we understand it.

“We wanted to make an album the likes of which nobody has made in Russia before; a genuinely garage album. We even recorded it in a church; we got into debt over it, but somehow we paid it off.”

PTVP recently united forces with Televizor, one of the leading bands of the 1980s perestoika rock explosion, famous for its uncompromising protest songs such as “Your Father Is a Fascist” and “Get Out of Control,” to oppose the political climate in Russia at a double-bill concert at Orlandina club in December. On stage Nikonov joined Televizor frontman Mikhail Borzykin to add vocals to “Fed Up,” the band’s 1980s anti-totalitarian anthem.

“It was a landmark concert for me, in a way, because I grew up on his songs, I immediately remembered myself, how I was listening to his ‘Fatherland of Illusions,’ when I was 15. I would have never imaged that I would be singing ‘Fed Up’ with Misha,” he said.

“I’ve always liked his stance, too, very individual — he has never danced to anybody’s flute. I would always be happy to play with him. His new songs show what [DDT’s Yury] Shevchuk and the others have lost as they were chasing after studios — he has not lost his sound judgment.”

To make the album’s release concert affordable for fans, the band that, apart from Nikonov, features guitarist Anton “Bender” Dokuchayev, bassist Yegor Nedviga and drummer Denis Krivtsov, has set the ticket price at a relatively low 200 rubles ($8). Every ticket-holder will also receive a free copy of the “Usual Day” CD single, according to Nikonov.

PTVP performs at Port at 8 p.m. on Saturday. ptvp-official.livejournal.com

http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=24892

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

DJ SZARAPOW – “Living Through The Eighties”.

December 27, 2007

Mixtape recorded at Stirka bar, St. Petersburg, May 18, 2007.

Download:

http://ifolder.ru/3320532

or

http://www.sendspace.com/file/ygfc8p

chernavsky & matetsky – zdravstvui malchik bananan *the jam – precious * the fall – telephone thing * stevie wonder – superstition * serge gainsbourg & charlotte gainsbourg – lemon incest *meeting on elbe – light my fire * david bowie – look back in anger * the b-52’s – give me back my man * center – privet * killing joke – eighties * petlya nesterova – vyzhit * cabaret voltaire – why kill time (when you can kill yourself) * kino – muraveinik * ninetynine – the process * midnight oil – beds are burning * linton kwesi johnson – di black petty bushwah * stranniye igry – smotri v oba * trojans – arna-fari * the clash – the guns of brixton * public image ltd. – public image * siouxsie & the banshees – happy house * no hope for the kids – rainy day * black sabbath – paranoid * motorhead – ace of spades * judas priest – breaking the law

This is what you get when you mess with us.