The latest mixtape by Russian independent label Oblast takes us far away from Moscow to the southern Volga city of Samara. Oblast was set up in 2014 and grew from a local community of like-minded music enthusiasts. Community, in fact, is the word the founders prefer over label. “To be honest we don’t take the whole thing too seriously, and we don’t do a lot of things that a record label should. We only release works by local producers. When you don’t have too much choice over what to release, it makes the whole thing a lot easier,” they comment. Aside from putting out tape releases with authentic cover art that they call “provincial acid”, the Oblast founders put on parties: due to the lack of good clubs, these happen at locations including people’s flats, a local Catholic church or a disused dry cleaners. The mixtape they recorded for The Calvert Journal is compiled from tracks by a variety of local talents who prove that the underground DIY spirit can easily flourish in any setting.