From the DIY music scene in St Petersburg to the middle of nowhere in Karelia, experimental musicians and producers all over Russia are reviving the long-forgotten medium of the cassette tape. If you’re looking to broaden your cassette collection, Moscow-based emerging independent music label Materia Productions are a grittier alternative to Russia’s favourite music duo Love Cult.
“Many labels are started by musicians, we have a slightly different story,” Materia Productions told The Calvert Journal. The label was started up earlier this year by two anonymous music promoters fascinated by underground sound as well as the industry behind it.
“A couple of years ago we realised that more and more people are recording music on analogue — whether vinyl or cassette — not just in Russia but all over the world. We started bringing vinyls from foreign labels like Sacred Bones, Posh Isolation, Avant Records, Tesco, sharing them with friends over VKontakte. Learning about the workings of independent labels we realised that we could do something similar back in Russia. We started with cassettes which we recorded and made at home, totally DIY,” one of its co-founders explained.
Materia Productions covers a range of genres including minimal synth, synth pop, raw techno, industrial and power electronics. “We have a few musicians who we collaborate with who make pretty gloomy music, even somewhat aggressive, such as Manunkind.” This gloom is reflected in the label’s visuals, in part inspired by the style at industrial techno partries which have been gaining popularity in Moscow.
Their latest collaboration is with Fraunhofer Diffraction, the one-man project of Moscow-based Stan Martens, whose new album Ultima Ratio is a darker-hued take on deep house. Listen to the album preview below and order a limited edition glitter cassette here.