Friday, May 7, 2010

Note from Abroad: Kino (St. Petersburg, Russia)

After a week in Russia and several solicitations, somehow the most passionate recommendation I've received for a Russian artist is "old-school rockers" Kino (Кино, Russian for "film"). Oddly enough, it comes from a bunch of 16-year-old kids who weren't even born when the band existed. (They're also quite fond of Metallica.)

Kino was founded in the early '80s in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and initially had to keep a low profile, as rock music was considered "bourgeois" in the USSR. They found considerable underground success nonetheless, and with Perestroika in the late '80s their popularity increased and they were able to tour the USSR and even travel abroad. But then in 1990, lead singer and songwriter Viktor Tsoi died in a car accident. His death was seriously mourned in the Soviet Union (the image above is a wall in Moscow covered with graffiti in his memory), and the band released their final, untitled album with a funereal all-black cover, à la AC/DC.

Included below are the title tracks from their two most popular albums. This also counts as a "Flashback Friday," if you happen to have grown up in the Soviet Union.

Gruppa Krovi (Группа крови – "Blood Type") (1988) [mp3]
Zvezda po imeni Solntse (Звезда по имени Солнце – "The Star Called the Sun") (1989) [mp3]

1 comment:

Fanny said...

Thanks for recommending this band, I really enjoy their music.