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Difficult Songs: Grand Astoria, Best Pessimist, Brave Men Run, and Pony
As the socioeconomic and political situations grow more challenging in Russia and Ukraine, new rock recordings turn away from civic actuality - towards introspection and psychedelia.
Show Me a Dinosaur, Lucidvox, Karovas Milkshake, and Reserve de Marche
Four Russian rock publications play upon aspects of a psychedelic heritage. They either draw directly from Western traditions or extend the meaning of psychedelia from its roots in the Soviet '70s.
Kings of Infinite Space: Matushka, Vmgnovenijah, Parc Hotel, and Anderson
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
Lasting Influences: Glintshake, TSUFA, 5 Vymir, and Bungalow Bums
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
uSSSy: "Unsharp Mask" (Moscow, FFM16)
uSSSy is/are an instrumental duo from Moscow: Artem Galkin (guitar) and Pavel Eremeev (drums). As Galkin calmly announces his departure from the band, a central theme of absence reappears.
Selekhov (Rostov-na-Donu, FFM12): The Eponymous Album
From Rostov-na-Donu comes psychedelic noise-rock that looks back with fondness to the earliest days of the Space Race. Heavy industry suddenly started to throw off the shackles of gravity.
Yielding: Glintshake, Okudjav, Commercial Marines, and Universe Inside
In a range of new recordings from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, aimlessness comes to the fore. These young musicians have scant faith in social progress: "uselessness" becomes their goal.
Outwards: Elf & Puppet House, Argo Vals, Lucidvox, and A. Maskeliade
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
Minor Harmonies: Akvalung, Otstoy, Army of Fragments, and Mars-96
January LPs from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg show some general tendencies in how Russian rock sees itself today. Grand civic themes of prior decades are now absent.
Chop and Change: Zorge, Flynotes, Oshean, and The Grand Astoria
Four December rock recordings from St. Petersburg and Izhvesk ponder some markers of adult success, such as generic clarity and domestic success. With questionable romance, all are dismissed.
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