Moscow is full of new festivals this summer – but it’s not all about bringing over big name foreign acts. The Motherland Summer festival, which plays on six Saturdays at Flacon, brings together some of the freshest Russian indie bands, showcasing the best the country has to offer.
It all kicks off this weekend, July 22 at 6pm and the opening show sets the bar pretty high. From the slightly shoegazery synth swirl of On-The-Go to the feedback-heavy rock’n’roll of Sonic Death, there’s plenty worth listening out for. On-The-Go have been the darlings of the local scene for some time, frequently appearing at events like the Bosco Fresh Fest. Their music evokes the festival sound of the early 90s, when guitar rock and synth pop first began to find common ground in the wake of the rave revolution.
Sonic Death, meanwhile, grew out of the wreckage of hotly-tipped but ultimately under-achieving hipster darlings Padla Bear Outfit. That group, basically a solo project by Arseny Morozov, dropped from view a couple of years ago, but Morozov was joined by his brother to form a new outfit. This time, it’s shades of the Jesus and Mary Chain, an over-used comparison but an appropriate one for once. With reverb heavy vocals and a thick layer of distortion over some old-school rock’n’roll riffing, listeners can expect invigorating blasts of aural assault.
The bill is made up with two further acts: Coockoo’s twisted funk has seen them support the likes of Pete Doherty and Garbage here in Moscow, while Lemonday bring a curiously lo-fi synth-pop vibe which might be partly influenced by 80s computer games.
The opening installment of Motherland Summer is at Flacon (m. Dmitrovskaya) on Saturday, July 22, from 6pm. Cover is 400r. Future shows run every other Saturday until August 31.