Last modified : February 14th, 1998
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Agatha Christie - Ekaterinburg
Melodic post punk with a little bit weird vocals and lyrics. The band is commercially successful. Some critics accuse them of being too "pop-oriented". Language : Russian
* Auktyon - St.Petersburg
One of the oldest "indie" bands in the city. Definitely respectable. Auktyon's music is so unique that it's very difficult to describe its style. In addition, it differs from one album to another. Lyrics have always played important role, although the band had some success in Western Europe, particularly Germany, where people supposedly don't understand Russian lyrics. Language : Russian
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* Dva Samolyota - St.Petersburg
Quite famous and original band, whose style is often described as "alternative raggae" or "afro-beat". After a long break in 1997 the group has changed their vocalist and ... language. [Classic Lineup : Vadim Pokrovsky - guitar, vocals, Anton Belyankin - bass, Michael Sindalovsky - drums, Alexey Lazovsky - trumpet, vocals, Denis Medvedev - keyboards, saxophone. ] Language : Russian, Imaginary (mostly) and English.
Happy Birthday - St.Petersburg
Contemporary version of the "The Doors". Formed in 1994 by ex-Never Trust Hippie vocalist Vitus . [Lineup : Seva Antonov - bass, Vitus - vocals, Serge Rusanov - drums, Edik - guitar ] Language : English.
Himera [1993 - 1997(?)] - St.Petersburg
The group played punkish music of the "TamTam generation". Lyrics are definitely amusing. Terrific frontman (vocals,guitar, pipe), who, tragically, commited suicide in the late 1990'es. Language : Russian
Jugendshtil - St.Petersburg
A typical example of the "TamTam Generation". The guys have been playing actively for at least four years. Sounds very decent, especially live. Language : Russian.
Kolibri - St.Petersburg
One of the most remarkable groups in the city. Four (female) vocalists. Original lyrics, good sound (lately) and beautiful music. [ Line-up : Natalia Pivovarova, Irina Sharovatova, Inna Volkova, Elena Yudanova; all vocalists ] Language : Russian.
Sergey Kuryokhin - St.Petersburg [1954 - 1996]
Sergey was one of the few experimental/avant guard musicians (if not the only one), who greatly influenced independent music in Russia. He started as a rock musician in late 70's, played with a few bands (most notably, "Aquarium" which later became extremely popular) but gradually moved away from rock music. Not far, though... In the 80's, recorded several albums which were stylistically close to free jazz (some of them were released on small labels in UK and Europe). A popular story goes that on some records his piano performance was so impressively fast that people in recording studios became convinced he was using some tricks with the tape recorder (while he was not). From mid 80's Sergey collaborated with almost all big names in jazz music. In the early 90's he released two solo albums which are really difficult to categorize, but I would say they were mock-pop/jazzy rock. In the meantime, he was busy writing music for movies, appearing as a guest on numerous CD's of both Russian and foreign musicians, directing plays and getting himself involved in some demented political activities... Sergey died in 1996.

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Mumii Troll - Moscow
Melodic indie-pop with witty lyrics and recognizable sound. Currently, one of the most popular bands on the Russian indie-pop scene. Language : Russian
Never Trust Hippie - St.Petersburg [1992 - 1994]
The band was very popular in 1992-93. They played danceable indie music. All members are still very active in other projects.
New Composers (=Novye Kompozitory) - St.Petersburg
The leading ambient band in Russia. They also collaborate with other European musicians - "MAGNITOLA" was the result of such experiments. Even the Orb admits they're cool! (Check out the cover of "U.F.Orb").
Neformal'noe Ob'edinenie Molodezhi (NOM) - St.Petersburg
Perhaps, the funniest indie band in Russia. The first peak of NOM's popularity was during "Perestroika", when their painfully realistic video clips could be seen on TV quite often. Luckily, the band managed to avoid the usual fate of "politically-inspired" musical groups which were abound at that moment, which, in a way, proves the their music was NOT about politics. It's rather a parody of people and things we tend to consider normal. Language : Russian
* Nogu Svelo - Moscow
Some indie, some new wave, even (post-?) punk with deviations. Slightly commercial, but very funny overall. Although Max's English is not always clear, the music compensates for everything. [ Line-up : Max Pokrovski - vocals, bass, Igor "Berlin" Lapukhin - guitar, Anton Yakomulski - drums]. Language : English, Imaginary, Russian, German.
Nol' - St.Petersburg
Pretty funny combination of folk music (well, sort of) and indie. The band's frontman, Fedor Chistyakov (aka Uncle Fedor) was the first one among rock musicians to use accordeon as the "lead" instrument. Unfortunately, the band was virtually destroyed because of an incident involving Uncle Fedor, which was followed by him being institutionalized for more than 2 years.
Obermaneken - Moscow / NYC
The group was formed in 1983. It's actually more about image and style than music itself. Lots of "journalist epithets" apply : erotic rock, new romantics, etc. The group has been playing at some NYC clubs since 1991. [Line-up : Zhenia Kalachev and Andzhei Zaharischev-Braush]
Petlja Nesterova - St.Petersburg
Very nice but, honestly, a little bit boring music. It probably has something to do with post-punk, but tends to be "philosophical" - wistful lyrics and stuff... The band was formed a long time ago. The main figure is Edik (guitar). They are not very active now, basicly because all 3 members are involved in other projects - Happy Birthday, Chizh, and others... Edik also works as a solo performer. Language : Russian
Senkevich International [1993 - 199?] - Moscow
Harsh, but melodic music with good sound. Female vocals. Language : Russian, English, German, etc.
Spit Fire - St.Petersburg
Formed in 1993. Very interesting combination of punk and ska. Line-up (as known): Denis "Koschei" - drums, Kostya Limonov - guitar, vocals. Language : English, Russian
S.P.O.R.T. - St.Petersburg
Formed in 1994 after semi-legendary Never Trust Hippie broke up. Language : Russian.
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Strange Games - St.Petersburg
Classic indie-pop. Lyrics are often quite meaningful. The closest "western" analogy I can think of would be The Cure, although vocals are very different. The band was formed in early 80-s. Language : Russian.
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Tequila Jazz - St.Petersburg
One of the most successful "jazzcore" bands. "Jazzcore" is a very deceptive word (and I guess, it is a local term), because the music itself is hardly related to jazz. It is more like Biohazard minus any attempts for hip-hop rhythms.
Language : Russian
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A lot of pictures used on this page were either borrowed from Prospect web-zine or scanned from RockFuzz newspaper.

Russian Independent Music