Sors | Vitality


subtlety and intricacy

less surface more unseen

with ties to roots and the edge 

translating dreams here 


photo / Polina Washington


CurlyRock : Sound’n’Mayhem III

CurlyRock (previously Curly Rock) – is a Russian DJ, beatmaker, and sound producer, working in the different genres of bass-music such as EDM Trap, Sfaction, Downtempo, Atmospheric, and IDM. He’s one of the first Trapstyle producers of the Russian Federation, carrying out experiments in combining Dirty South and Hardstyle genres since 2010, at the time which the Trapstyle scene in the US was just forming in mid-2012. The main goal in his creations is the introduction of hip hop innovations for contemporary EDM and IDM music.

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Last Month’s Best Russian Music : Editor’s Choice

Boogrov feat. Mana Island — Swarm

More than anyone, we were most surprised by Moscow producer Andrey Bugrov, whom we already wrote about last fall. He had a great collection on his debut EP: Brooklyn Prince Ayer, Kiev performer Aluna and Alexey Doronin from the group Mana Island, whose album which we won’t mention today only because bringing it up would be part of the year’s results, and not just this month’s.

Specifically, the track with Mana Island brought somewhat of a resonance in Europe. Ingenious soul with a careless stroke of guitar distortion – so convincing and so sexy – Russian music, it seems, has never sounded like this before. They liked it around those European shores. “The Russian Beat Maestro“,”Bloody Amazing,” wrote blogs ranging from Hillydilly to Acid Stag, taking Bugrov on as their own. The rest, he will have to prove through actions. Boogrov promptly became part of the lineup for the upcoming Bosco Fresh Fest 2015, and there, in the company of the best local acts, he will be forced to demonstrate the seriousness of his intentions.

BLOOM — Modern Love

It seems like just yesterday that Ilya Marihin, a talented producer from Kirov (the locals are well aware of the loud parties, made possible by his project Owl Deuce) who just recently relocated to Saint Petersburg. Ilya showed us three tracks from his new project, BLOOM, letting us know that it’s just the beginning and it seems worth the wait to look forward to the full-length album.

The music that BLOOM creates, today goes by the streamlined term future beats. About the “future” bit, one can’t really argue. As well as his spiritual Aussie mentor, Flume, Ilya cleverly mixes the best that’s been invented these past five years in the territory of house, garage, bass music, wonky, and chillstep. It is to be suspected that this is how mainstream electronica will sound by 2016-2017. In our neck of the woods, BLOOM is just one of the few who clearly understand.

KOTKEE — Walls

One of the most talked about events of April is the release of the first compilation of Young Blood – a collection based on the recent Jagermeister Indie Awards – rapidly growing with myths and taking on weight as well as status. “Young Blood” is also one of the nomination categories. Here, we are presented with original artists and projects that have popped up in the past few years. Now, we can hear them in a special VA (various artists compilation) marked Jager Vibes.

The release boasts an ambitious and smart promo. All the tracks from Young Blood #1 have been carefully listened to and the attitude towards them has been conscientiously described (which doesn’t occur all too often) by Artemy Kivovich Troitsky. KOTKEE has been separately allocated by the master. He says that he has always been particular to sexy music, and that in recent times he’s delved favorably into witch house. How could we not love him?

Catch the Crackle — Broken Dayzoos

To Minsk and back! A new talented electronic producer has appeared there – Catch the Crackle – on par with Amon Tobin, a real prototype of the 90s. Courageous, resourceful, and as musicians say, a real audiophile. He composes electronic music of various veins such as IDM, abstract, cinematic, and sparkling downtempo.

Behind the guise of Catch the Crackle hides Sasha Siletsky. His album is by no accident, called Roomy Universe. As befits a talented inventor, Sasha gives birth to sounds, images, and meanings, without leaving his home. In one of his tracks we hear sounds from a neighboring room, and for recording another, he placed his microphone inside a cupboard. The album is rich with samples: vinyl cuts, vocal bits, and even singing Liverpool fans. From the collection of artifacts, Sasha constructs his own universe. It’s fascinating to witness all of this.

Pixelord — Berlin

The guru of innovative electronica, an ideologist of the ever-relevant label Hyperboloid, Pixelord finally released his widely manufactured debut LP Places. To give a quick summary of it proves difficult. Novosibirsk talent crumbles around us with the entirety of its weight in musical abilities, without leaving any minute doubt or debatable value judgment.

The album is certainly wonderful. It is complex, nuanced. melodic, precise. Soaked in colors with a dynamically changing world. It is not by accident that each track is dedicated to a city, each bearing a certain importance to the musician himself. We are currently listening to the single Berlin, that you can get in a gorgeous, see-through vinyl the color of an ocean tide. Along with Vakula‘s recent record, this is definitely one of the best electronic albums of the year in our arena.

Jazzyvibes — Wanna Feel Your Body

Something a bit dancey. The debutant from Rostov, Jazzyvibes, is pretty cool. This is his first release: simple, devoid of fresh ideas, but rather pretty overall. On the menu is raw proto-house and familiar sounds, which is quite characteristic of the label that issued this particular release.

Jazzyvibes – the resident of Kiev’s Vesna Recordings founded by dance producer Maxim Yaaman. The label is remarkable by the fact that it is completely ignorant of its surrounding reality – time and place included. In Vesna‘s actively growing catalogue, we have music that would be more fitting to the beginnings of the 90s (or perhaps the end of the 80s) somewhere in Chicago or New York. In its quest for stylistic authenticity, the label’s artists have achieved a remarkable reliability. Vesna is really real. This is the type of music with which to educate glory-starved teenagers. Here you got traditions, groove, and soul.

Sohight & Cheevy — Money Is Love

Luxuriously synthetic disco from Moscow duet Sohight & Cheevy, whose previous single Gift we still haven’t put down. The boys’ project brings to mind the creations of French producer Breakbot – but that’s why disco is disco – it’s for dancing rather than for comparing.

As a bonus, here is a direct quote from the guys, “We all have to deal with money. But not everyone has figured out how to convert it into love. Many don’t even think that it’s possible. But in order to understand, and to see results, is for one to give love more frequently. To receive money with love, and spend it with love. This is the most honest and correct approach to money that will fulfill you within and without.” Amen!

Module Werk — Interdimensional Traveler

Raw analogue morphing into electro-trip is for true gourmands. This is the new release from Siberian artist Gene Klepalov, who has long been working under the pseudonym Module Werk. The record was released on the very-underground label Black Wall Records mid-month. It is an absolute must-have for DJs who seek to be at the forefront of the electronic avant-garde. Inside are four exclusive tracks with names as strange and exotic as the music itself.

Синекдоха Монток — Фамилия (Synecdoche Montauk – Family)

We started listening to Синекдоха Монток (Synecdoche Montauk) back when, in his creative life the talented beatmaker Fedor Pereverzev was known to audiences as Moa Pillar. After his whirlwind singles Torchlight and About the Unskilled Worker, everybody began to regale him as the new Royalty of Russian electronic music; the deserving successor of the departed vocalist and songwriter in Mujuice. However, Fedor himself didn’t stay long in the world of echoing beats. His collaboration with Синекдоха Монток’s ideologist Sava Rozanov brought him to an entirely different musical shore. The story that follows is one that many already know.

Today, holding  the status as one of the most relevant independent collectives, in the club 16 тонн (16 TonsСинекдохи (Synecdoches), composed of Sava Rozanov and Sava Shestak, introduce their first single Фамилия (Family). More accurately, it is the unreleased B-side in their soulful album Лебединое мясо (Swan Meat).

Oldfilm — Svoboda

The new release from the locally important Ekaterinburg’s label Up!Up!Up! sounds the most gloomy and complex out of all the other mentioned works in today’s article. The pressing has been known to us, first and foremost, thanks to Alpha-Beta’s single Марсу нужны любовники (Mars Needs Lovers), 130 по встречной на старенькой Vespa (130 on an Old Vespa). Though in recent times, Ivan Zhbanov & Co. have gained an enviable pace, where fresh releases come out one after another.

Regarding Svoboda’s debut EP Oldfilm, Up!Up!Up! calls it the year’s greatest discovery. For now we know that Oldfilm is multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer, working at the intersection of leftfield-house, garage, and glitchy spikes. The artist’s real name, photographs, and biography, as follows in the laws of the genre, will be revealed much later.

Original article can be found at

New Russian Music: Mana Island’s perfect pop, the return of Cheese People and Kung Fu from Xuman

Continued column devoted to the actively growing domestic independent music scene, the responsibility of whose content has been taken up by the public, with the very obvious name of “NEW NOW AND HERE

Mana Island – Bitten (If You Say So)

Last week’s most resounding premier was the first single from Levin, the long-awaited debut album from the Moscow group Mana Island. Last year, the guys released several brilliant singles and received so many advances, that the question of their imminent rise to the Big Leagues was not to be debated – all this before Mana Island began their rapid rise to the top. As of today, there remains only one mystery: how exactly will they do it?

Their first single partly answers the question, and this is where it gets really interesting. While all the leading music media guys are warming up a place for them in between Tesla Boy, Pompeya, and On-The-Go, they are reaching higher. Their first publicly published track Bitten (If You Say So) sounds relatively comparable to Glass Animals, Years & Years, or Ryan Hemsworth. Intuition tells us that the rest of the tracks from their upcoming album won’t find themselves below their currently given place.

Of course for the moment, Mana Island are in no hurry: ahead is a long and interesting road, and right now the most important thing is to not be banal and burn out. But the seasoned listener will understand right away, that before us is absolutely cosmopolitan music without any hints of time or place. It has no boundaries and is open to this big world. The ball is in Pitchfork’s and Stereogum’s court.

Cruel Tie – Babel

Not too long ago, they were called All Tomorrow’s Parties and were living in Tashkent. Before recording their killer EP by the same name, Cruel Tie, changed not only their moniker but their town as well, as they can now often be heard playing in Moscow. And hear them you definitely should. The quartet’s fresh EP shines with energy, strikes like a bolt, and stings with sharp guitar riffs. In 2015, this is the best release in alternative rock’s territory that we have heard thus far.

Cruel Tie glide on the thin ice of clichéd genres, managing to spin about on pirouettes, where all the others clumsily crash down through the water. With each new musical phrase, the likes of QOTSA, System of a Down, The Dead Weather, The Cure, RHCP, Audioslave, Placebo, Ghinzu, and The Horrors spring to mind. It seems as if this is it – here is where we can grab them by their tails – but then they are gone. They blend organically into the fabric of music, the likes of which has been performed by your favorite bygone heroes. They continue to develop their ideas, growing all the way up to the ranks of a truly original group – one that doesn’t play rock, but speaks its language, all the while, telling us something which has not been said before.

Xuman – Kung Fu

The premier of Xuman’s new album was already up on Метрополь (Metropol) on March 10, so it is unlikely that we can report something new. But to express our awe towards The Mask Gains Over Man – a transcendental quality of work at the intersection of indie rock and electronica – nevertheless needs to be acknowledged.

In their sixth year of existence, Xuman are pushing up to the ceiling. Their sound is loud, ingenious, and utmost convincing – in other words, a hit. Frontman Sasha Xuman is once again unable to escape the comparison to Dave Gahan, but considering all the vocalists who find themselves unwillingly in the dense shadow of Depeche Mode’s leader’s popularity, he is definitely one of the best. It’s not just him, but the other members of Xuman too, who are all easily escaping that clumsiness which usually follows many of synth-pop’s adapters throughout their careers.

Instead of the unceremonious bass, marching rhythms, and a timely chest-thumping patter there is falsetto, pop hooks, layered synthesizers, and a complex rhythm section. The realest kung fu is a high art, mastered only through years of practice.

Mangiare – Been Down

Under the guise of Mangiare you will find singer/songwriter Anton Andreev, a Russian artist living in Boston. In the summer of last year he released his debut album Meat, absorbed in all the varieties of mostly American music: hip hop, peppy guitar rock, funk, and electronica.

A few days ago, Anton released his new spring single, in whose recording, soloist Dasha Avratinskaya also participated. Their collaboration Been Down is oriented towards dancefloors of euphoric indie pop with a nod to Foster the People.

Cheese People – Sacrifice

After a relatively quiet period, the now-veterans of the local indie pop scene return: Cheese People, from Samara, who once endeared us with their acoustic performance of Iggy Pop’s I Wanna Be Your Dog, as if playing to us from the front yard of our building. Since that time, the tide has turned a bit and as of today, Cheese People is completely different. Solid, serious, and distinguished. And that’s the way their new single Sacrifice sounds: with unhurried speed, intriguing bells, emerging gradually into the vast expanse of Cheese People’s previously alien rock-pathetica. And so, this calls for a new song. The group’s vocalist, Olya Chubarova reveals, “Sacrifice is a story about a warrior – the one who makes their own way, despite the Godly powers which stand in the way.”

Zzara – Girl in the Dark

Let’s shift a bit to the near abroad. Zzara is a performer from the city Almaty. The good-fortuned network of audiophiles have already dubbed her as the “Kazakh FKA Twigs,” although we still can’t figure out how one could recreate the young sound of Britain’s “fashion miracle.”

Zzara meanwhile creates high quality girly dark-pop that began to be propagandized even before FKA Twigs by Charli XCX, and is today being developed by the Dutch-Spanish singer Sevdaliza and Ukrainian-British duet Blood Twins. As is common from such detached, free-formed, and painfully stylish music, it is always written and performed by models. So maybe the parallels to FKA Twigs lie on an entirely different plane.

Returning to our heroine, it is important to note that Perplex is her first EP. Zara Beisembaeva (that’s Zzara’s name) baffles us with the sound quality of all five of her presented compositions. It seems that all is not so simple with this girl. The arrangements have been precisely measured. Some tracks are on par to the global level of folktronica, with Eastern melodies and a technical tribal beat. The others – mixed as garage, dubstep, and trip-hop aren’t limited by their potential just like all the previous compositions of today’s playlist.

Phacowboy – Like a Sapphire

The ever-present ghost of Radiohead which hovers over all (and ours in particular) young musicians of the world, often puts observers at a standstill. One really wants to avoid such comparisons, but more often than not, a more appropriate likeness is nowhere to be found.

In this review, the group Videatape should be present, who just last week presented their wonderful album Tree of Lies – a recording in the same vein as the creations of Thom Yorke & co. But the guys haven’t yet bothered to upload their release onto Soundcloud or Bandcamp. Perhaps they will read this and get to it.

But a holy place is never empty. Today, Videatape’s niche is occupied by the Russian-American trio Phacowboy. Not without success, they compose melancholic IDM with vocals, growing from one song to the rest on Harrowdown Hill with a light touch of Nine Inch Nails and a heavy breath of German future-pop.

Ext – Output

Behold the healing power of the bassline from Simferopol’s producer Sergey Mogilevsky, working under the moniker ExT. Output is his newest and best release as of today. The dramatic, sweeping track from ExT was noticed by the guru of future-garage, Kastle, and who without hesitation, signed his release through his label Symbols.

By the way, on January 1st of this year, ExT released an excellent full-length album (as well as a limited edition of audio-cassettes) called One of the Moments. The release prompted positive reviews from foreign blogs such as Do Android Dance and Booms and Claps. Sergey’s music is deservingly being compared to that of Burial. Some parts are almost completely identical.

In light of this situation, it is Output that allows ExT to confidently take a step into the direction of finding his own unique sound.

Quok – Imaginary Places

This album was sent to us by the same guy who, for this column’s last release, recommended us the LP by Jan Amit, a young producer from Moscow. We’re not sure of the exact relationship between these artists, but Quok also tags his music with #lovetronica and claims to be one of the headliners of our highly beloved electro-experimental festival, Абстрасенция (Abstrasention).

Interestingly enough, the record Imaginary Places came out on Roman Litvinov’s label (in case of reference: Mujuice) Acid Pop, where the owner himself initially planned to release dirty, loud acid house, like his last year’s Dirty EP. Music from St. Petersburg’s Quok isn’t dirty or loud at all. These are melancholic beauties, glitchy, microfunk, and ambient – the ideal recipe for electronica that is both stylish and intelligent.

Playfulfingers – All Get Down

Pay attention! Right before our very eyes, one more young star from the electronic scene is being born. Vlad Artugin is only 19, but he is in a rush to conquer audiences with his music. The track All Get Down is practically the first of his discography as it is the debut single off his upcoming album Playfulfingers. In terms of mood, it is reminiscent of The North Borders album by Britain’s Bonobo, but level-wise of course, much lower.

Regardless, however, this guy’s got his sound and he’s got the understanding of how to correctly create a composition, evolving it creatively. In terms of producing glitchy textures, the artist is not particularly inventive, but we are not the Warp label here – our deal is to introduce new, unknown names. Let us hope that for now, we have done our duty.

Original article can be found at