Club Contact

The new MP3 blog from London's club Contact. The idea is to allow people to hear new music they wouldn't have otherwise found but, if anyone has any copyright issues with a particular song, i'll take the link down. Songs are only available for a limited amount of time.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I may have mentioned Bashkortostan's Zemfira in passing before but i don't suppose i'd have been particularly complimentary. She's probably Russia's biggest pop-rock star - in my experience, if you ask any Russian record shop assistant for a recommendation, they're likely to point you in her direction. I'd always had her down as a grumpy, pretentious bore in the past but, thanks to a few recommendations from Commander Keen of, i've revised my opinion of her to a grumpy, pretentious bore with a couple of excellent songs.

The first to really capture my attention was her cover of Kino's Kykyshka. It's quite impossible to overestimate how important Kino were to Russian rock in the 1980s, musically, politically and culturally, they had a vast impact on the youth of a nation slowly opening up before the forces of Perestroika and Glasnost. When their iconic Korean-Russian lead singer Viktor Tsoi died in a car crash in 1990, a tape was found in the wreckage containing the vocals for a new album he had been working on. One of the songs on that tape, and the subsequent posthumous Chernii Album, was Kykyshka or Cuckoo. Zemfira does it justice.

Zemfira - Kykyshka

The other i took to immediately was SPID, one of the songs that cemented Zemfira's reputation for challenging, controversial lyrics. A response to the wave of HIV infections sweeping post-Communist Russia, the lyrics run:

"And you have AIDS
And that means we will die...

We will swallow
Medications in the hospital
We will not think about tomorrow
We will not turn on the television
We will search for the fairytale land on the map
In case we are lucky and can get visas"

The music's really quite perky though - jazzy indie-pop with an instantly memorable chorus.

Zemfira - SPID

Buy Zemfira stuff


  • At 6:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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