Sunday, January 16, 2011

V.A. Soviet Punk Anthology 1981-1990

(More excellent Soviet punk photos here)

"I am a sick man... I am an angry man. I am an unattractive man."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground

So if these Metrojets compilations we've been posting lately sound too well-fed, too cushy or just too damn bourgeois then check out these thirty-six crude and gnarled blasts from the tail end of the Soviet era in Russia. (Some musical history here and here)

(More excellent Soviet punk photos here)

The Pravda line on on punk went like this; "The music and lyrics of punk rock provoke among the young fits of aimless rage, vandalism, and the urge to destroy everything they get their hands on. No matter how carefully they try to clean it up, it will remain the most reactionary offspring of the bourgeoisie mass culture." That meant that punks weren't just getting marginalized in the Soviet Union but were getting threatened, harassed and even institutionalized. (A story I once read on these broad Internets had it thusly, "In in the former USSR, records were commonly homemade using discarded medical x-rays. These records, nicknamed "Bones", were usually inscribed with illegal copies of popular music banned by the government. They also became a popular means of distribution among Soviet punk bands; in addition to the high cost and low availability of vinyl, punk music was politically suppressed, and publishing outlets were limited".)

As a result of this oppression, J.M.K.E. were one of the few of these bands whose name made it beyond the Iron Curtain.

Of course. if you read Maximumrocknroll in the late eighties. you've also heard of Naive, who the magazine heavily supported.

The fact that such a collection, sick, angry and unattractive as it often sounds, can exist at all in the light of the brutality of the Soviet regime is a testament to both the strength of the ideals of punk and to the indomitably of the human spirit.

00.Narodnoe Opolchenie - Soviet Hymne
01.Propeller - Punker
02.Futbol - Poswjaschtehie Portweijnu No 33
03.Kolpi Otell - Veteran
04.Aquarium - Pepel
05.Generator M - Diversant
06.Zoopark - Prigorodnjui Blues
07.DK - Towarischt Wer
08.Osakond - Monitus
09.Kino - Anarchia
10.12 Podvigov Nurkena - Strannui Pjanui Maltschik
11.Anonueuemne AK - Mis Vahid
12.Antis - Kada Kada
13.Retsepti - Mashin Imedi Kvreba
14.Avtomaticheskie Udovletvoriteli - Leto
15.Vennaskond - Paeike Koergel Pilvepiiril
16.Brigadnyi Podrjad - Dengi
17.J.M.K.E. - Tere Perestroika
18.Igry - Ja-Nikto
19.Graschdanskaja Oborona - Vtoroi Äschtelon
20.Nac Dilonit Apsedies - Ringolds
21.Chudo-Judo - Quasimodo
22.Objekt Nasmeshek - Bljacha-mucha
23.Anna Vanna Kapec
24.Janka - Po Tramvajinuim Relsam
25.Jugo-Zapad - Po Pazbitjim Butjilkam
26.Vopli Vidopljasova - Ugaga
27.Naive - Tanki-Panki

(Plus nine more!)

Soviet Punk Anthology 1981-1990 link is in the comments

Speaking of which what's your take on all this Soviet punk stuff?


  1. .

    Lots to chew on in this post, so please leave us a comment.

    (Plus that one took a lot more work then I expected!)

  2. Fantastic Post Jeffen...really, really top drawer mate. Propeller win hands down imho, great band.

  3. most of the straight ahead punk stuff from the 80's never did anything for me, but the story about punks using discarded X-rays to put music on sounds pretty awesome. will definitely check this out.

  4. Fantastic! You could do fifty more posts on Iron Curtain punk in my opinion and I'm sure hoping you do.

    Favorite song thus far: J.M.K.E.'s "Tere Perestroika".

  5. Отлично!Спасибо!

  6. I had a MRR Russian Punk issue way back around 1991 I think, but damn this is a great comp!

    I liked everyone else's previous picks, but Kino's Anarchia is my fave.

    And making pressings from re-used x-ray films, that is punk!

  7. I'm gonna check this out-- I've had some Russian punk mp3's before, tho mostly of the skinhead/right wing variety so I don't think I kept them.

    I've always been interested in Russian stuff, though, because it's sorta my heritage-- that's why my old hockey blog had so much Russian stuff on it...

  8. Neil
    Glad you liked, it was supposed to be a quickie sort post but once i wen t down the rabbit hole...

    That X-ray vignette's been knocking around my head for years glad I found the right post to share it in.

    Yeah I'd take the JMKE as my fave too. Right now I'm sorta done with the theme but you know we always come back to things here.
    Thanks for the good words.

    добро пожаловать

    I had that issue too. I think Timmy Yo was excited about the whole idea (though I remember he was let down by the Naive l.p.)

    Yeah I have a long standing obsession with Russia. I obsess over their literature and history more than their music but definitely a bit on hockey as well (when I finally noticed that they'd put Tretiak in the Hall of Fame I got goose pimples!)

  9. Last year when I saw the movie "Beijing Bubbles" about the punk scene in Beijing (such as it is) I had pretty much the same reaction as I do listening to this and watching the videos. To us jaded Westerners it's easy to say that this sounds kinda passe and almost cliched but when you think about how much these punks have at stake (perhaps their very lives) you realize just how vital this music is. Thank you.

  10. JMKE is still active and gigging by the way so come and visit Estonia ;)

    I know all the Estonian songs from that compilation but i guess i'll find some nice surprises from here.

    great post, thanks.

  11. YB
    "To us jaded Westerners it's easy to say that this sounds kinda passe and almost cliched but when you think about how much these punks have at stake (perhaps their very lives) you realize just how vital this music is."
    Amen times one thousand!

    It'd be interesting to know exactly where each of these bands were from.
    Cheers to Estonia for giving us J.M.K.E. and I'm happy they're still going strong!

  12. hi again. Other Estonian bands here are Propeller, Generaator M, Osakond, Anonüümne AK and Vennaskond.
    Kino and Aquarium are Russian bands and i guess many of the others too but i'm not really familiar with these.

  13. Popop
    Excellent info (at least we know which bands are Estonian now!)
    If you ever post anything by these bands on your blog let me know and I'll link it up. Alternatively if you have any rips and scans of these releases to send to me I'd gladly post them here.
    Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  14. Nice post, thanks for the compilation and sharing!
    Punx Not Dead!

  15. This comp looks awesome! Can you please re-post a live link? thanks! Teresa

  16. Would love to hear this - any chance of a re-up?


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