DVANOV “Подполья” (Third Kind)

“Eight songs for the outskirts.” That’s how it goes for Dvanov, whose Cyrillic-displayed tape (look at it up there) and songs leave the rest a mystery for the English-only reader. I, being an English-only reader (OK, I know a smattering of German), am ass deep in the mysteries, and my personal embarrassment at “settling” on one language (American) is rightfully at the forefront of my inability to decipher even a teensy bit of this tape. In fact, I’m so colloquial in any response to any music I’ve ever written about that it would probably take a full-time translator to smooth it all into another language, and even then it would probably be bastardized to within an inch of its original meaning.

Which is just fine by me, I’m the first to admit I’m a blabbering idiot half the time.

So this Dvanov, then! Like Eastern bloc Sonic Youth worship by way of the Make-Up (or other groovy Ian Svenonius project), the Saint Petersburg quartet aren’t doing it for any scene in particular, nor are they aping any other vibe. They’re their own thing, a band of scrappy misfits with a perfectly cast female lead singer, the interplay a regular cacophony of syrupy dissonance. Guitars collide with synthesizers, and the martial drumming sort of grounds everything in a krautrock vibe. It’s all decidedly and excellently Russian, and that’s not even just because the songs are all sung in Russian! Maybe imagine Deerhoof jamming with a state band from the 1950s, or Trupa Trupa hanging out in a goth club behind the Iron Curtain. Either way, Dvanov’s got it going on, making music for people who need it most: the ones on the outskirts of society, those knocked down or back by oppressive regimes. This is music to seethe to.