Rockin' the USSR
October 1, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find more Soviet-era rock music?

I really like the band Kino, and to a lesser extent, DDT. I'm aware of Aquarium, with whom Kino collaborated, but I haven't actually heard them.

But I'm looking to expand my Soviet-rock listening. Who else is good? Hell, who else is out there?
posted by wandering steve to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Auktyon are fantastic - and they're still making music after 20+ years.

Leonid Fedorov's solo work is excellent as well (he's a member of Auktyon).

Also, check out Сплин (Splean or Splin) and Nautilus Pompilius.
posted by helios at 8:28 PM on October 1, 2006

If you like punk, check out Grazhdanskaya Vorota. Otherwise, the best route to finding many bands will be to get a subscription to and check out their compilation discs. They have a number of "Best Russian Rock" sorts of things where you can discover lots of great stuff.

I liked their service when I used it. I used it mostly to get Russian music.

There are pages out there like this one, but they're generally hard to use, incomplete and just silly. Best to get the compilation discs.

If you ever get to come to Russia, you need to go to Gorbushka, an electronics market in Moscow. The second floor is almost entirely a pirated software/music market. It's vast, unregulated, and cheap. There, you can buy DVD compilations like "Every Best Russian Band" or entire discographies for a few dollars.
posted by fake at 8:42 PM on October 1, 2006

My Russian girlfriend says:

"Spleen sucks. Their stuff doesn't work as rock, and it doesn't work as rap.

"Aria is 90's, and the later solo work of Kipelov (lead singer) is rather good. As is Cherniy Obelisk and Agata Kristi. Chizh is very good, but that's 90s as well. Nautilus Pompilius is an absolute must."
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:44 PM on October 1, 2006

Have you looked at Russian Music on the Net? They have a forum moderated by Russian-rock-loving people like Katya.
posted by pracowity at 1:49 AM on October 2, 2006

There's a decent compilation called Surfbeat Behind the Iron Curtain. A significant minority of the tracks are not, in fact, from behind the iron curtain, but it's still pretty cool stuff.
posted by stammer at 2:55 AM on October 2, 2006

I was going to come in and recommend Aquarium, which I remember many years ago a boyfriend who moved to the states just after Glastnost loved Aquarium. But you know about them. So instead I can direct you to their English webpage, which has mp3s.

I remember them reminding 17 year old me of Rush.
posted by Kellydamnit at 4:21 AM on October 2, 2006

(expat Russian here)

Are you in/near NYC? Go to Brighton Beach and shop around, it's about $5 a CD. Otherwise, I use, about a dollar or two per album.

Personally, I like Spleen, but YMMV. At least in the early period they were a great version of Third Eye Blind-style altrock.

Be sure to check out Krematoriy, easily one of the best Russian bands.

fake: they're called Grazhdanskaya Oborona (ie, Civil Defense). My favorite song is "Vse idet po planu," which has acquired more or less legendary status.

Aria is really hair metal, so make sure you like that sort of thing before you buy anything.

One thing you might like is Korol' i Shut, which is a poppy folk-punk band that has some very creative stories to tell. The 'best of' collections usually capture them pretty well.

5'nizza is a sort of reggae type deal which sounds incredibly weird, but definitely grows on you after a while.

The Nochnye Snaipery (kinda like the Russian version of Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair, but with violin) broke up a while back, but I listen to them all the time. My favorite record of theirs is called "Tsunami," and there's also a really incredible live album called "Zhivoj," ("Live") that might take some finding.

Pilot is a metal-ish band with some excellent musicians, but ideologically they're kinda sketchy--they make T-shirts that say "Kick the Faggots off the Russian Music Scene." Not exactly Skrewdriver, but you know.

Finally, I'd recommend Zoopark, which was, back in the day, a blues band that was classified as rock but called themselves punk-rockers. They don't sound like anything Western that I've heard.
posted by nasreddin at 10:37 AM on October 2, 2006

check out Z-exit, Kino cover band. video. site.
posted by andrewyakovlev at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2006

sorry - video
posted by andrewyakovlev at 10:50 AM on October 2, 2006

fake: they're called Grazhdanskaya Oborona

Oi, I knew that, but I always get it wrong. Thanks. Vse idet po planu is also my favorite track.
posted by fake at 7:23 PM on October 27, 2006

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