A guide to the New East

The Mixtape: immerse yourself in the secret sounds of Saransk with local musician Damba

If the Republic of Mordovia had its own music label, then this is what its first release would sound like. Don’t be fooled by appearances: Saransk may seem like the small-scale capital of a sleepy province, but scratch the surface and you’ll find a thriving underground music scene, with lo-fi hip-hop beatmakers, various strands of electronica, tripped-out post-rock and punk that cuts through the city's seemingly docile atmosphere. Many of these artists have performed at Saransk’s Secret Place, a quasi-illicit venue where locals musicians like Anton Kudimov — aka Damba — keep the energy going with gigs and DJ sets. Also featuring Mordovian folk sounds to add local flavour, this is the sound of a true DIY scene in action.

Verbah — William Blake
13th Door — Wild Wind
Ensslin — Lotus-eater
Verbah — Burning Bright
Pink Honey — Berlin Techno
Damba — Accept the Void
13th Door — Bandit Russia
Gellerio — M13
Gidropony — Discokidz
Losing it — Survive this summer
Torama — Tyushtya
Truckdrivers — Barefoot kid
Mishka Mishka — Kid Fun
Yotov Yus — Flame
Granks — Acid Wings
Microwave Popcorn — Vegan Love
Gellerio — Latest Disco
Pink Honey — Tree Bones
Gidropony — Princess Coca
Mordens — Korilnaya
Damba — Insarllah

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