Often our knowledge of music from other countries is limited to what we might call ‘novelty’ acts – or those that seem so absurd to our Western ears, that they scream for attention. For example, can you name any Korean artist or song other than Psi and ‘Gangnam Style’?
Even Russia is not immune to the curse of the novelty. Perhaps their best known export is Pussy Riot, who rode to international attention on a wave of anti-Putin sentiment clad in balaclavas, smashing the oligarchy, patriarchy or any other kind of hierarchy they could stomp their boots on.
There’s also tATu, who, despite sounding more like Alvin & The Chipmunks than dear Stephen Morrissey, produced a cover version of The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now’ that to this day clings on to a special place in my heart.
Over on the Double J website, I’ve taken a couple of small steps to redress such those misconceptions with a choice selection of new Russian artists., including Life On Venus (pictured), Lunar Funeral, Delicate Features and Angelic Milk. Their sounds span shoegaze dream-pop, stoner metal, coldwave electronics and even feature a tribute to an Australian rock legend.