Russian Hill Chiropractic: new electronic music meditating on what it means to be Russian

Russian Hill Chiropractic: new electronic music meditating on what it means to be Russian

7 April 2021

The Barcelona-based music label School of the Arts has launched a new series of Russian electronica.

Titled Russian Hill Chiropractic, the series will feature Russian and émigré artists. The curator behind the collection, Ivan Zoloto, describes the project as a “collective poem” and a “meditation on Russian-ness”, rather than a “sub-label”. The name, meanwhile, was inspired by Russian Hill in San Francisco, where Zoloto used to live. “Musically, the ‘Russian sound’ has a lot of connections to the dance scene, [what is called] ‘body music’ or ‘music for the spine’, in comparison with some experimental music that is normally considered ‘brain music’. Forgive the pun, but associating this music with the spine was a no-brainer,” he said.

The first digital album to be launched as part of Russian Hill Chiropractic is a cassette by producer and DJ Ooaayu (Alexey Yukhalov). While the first two tracks on the album’s side A is made from overlapping loops, side B a recording of industrial sounds, which the artist says represent the background noise with which he grew up in one industrial neighbourhood of Moscow, called Karacharovo.

“Tracks one and two were supposed to be drum and bass, but that was never meant to be due to my own music tastes, skills, and techniques. When I made the original loops, I realised that any changes or additional layers would only ruin them,” Ooaayu told The Calvert Journal. “[That’s when] Ivan Zoloto said: ‘who needs 200 lame loops when you can have just one that’s really catchy’?”

As for the field recordings from Karacharovo, I simply wanted to record the place where I grew up. Basically, it’s a horrible part of town. The sounds you hear are the only good thing about it, and you only hear them at night. [From] the train depot and the factory spaces around it, you can listen to the eerie whistles of the rails, messages from the railroad control room, objects falling on factory floors in the middle of the night, local youths cruising in cheap cars and listening to 90s hits. I always knew I’d move out of there one day, and I have, but I really miss those sounds.”

Buy the album on Bandcamp.

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