If you read the following text right to the very end, you get an idea of the periods Alexei Borisov leaped through in this episode of Brave Ear Radio, hosted by Jason Honea. You get a lot of information and stories about the soviet years. Alexei, an experienced radio host himself, sometimes takes over, which is all the more pleasant because he has a very convincing radio presence.
Constantine Usenko, a russian from St.Petersburg who grew up in Poland completes some of the stories, because they were topics in his book on soviet underground.
“In the eventful history of Russian underground music Alexei Borisov represents a prototype. At the beginning was â€œCentreâ€, Russiaâ€™s first new wave band. At the end of the 1980s Borisov, the â€œCentreâ€ guitar player, born in Moscow in 1960, became the front man of the industrial electronic wave formation â€œNotchnoi Prospektâ€ (Night time Boulevard) and since 1992 together with Pavel Jagun he makes up F.R.U.I.T.S.”
“The group â€œâ€Notchnoi Prospektâ€”, that at an early stage started putting together their own instruments (e.g. a â€œvocooderâ€, a language synthesizer) and experimented with analogous appliances of Russian and Baltic origin, which they connected anew, was a cult band. In the period immediately after Perestroika they filled entire football stadiums, but received little attention outside the defined circle of Russian experimental music.”
“One is rarely confronted elsewhere with such acoustic extremes as in Russia. Whereas the major cities are a Moloch drowning out everything else with its chaotic noise, on the lonely internal steppes the only noise is the sound of the blood coursing through ones ears. The metropolises such as Petersburg or Moscow are piles of electromagnetic refuse.”
“It spills out of every crack mixing with Russiaâ€™s great musical inheritance left behind by Constructivism, Futurism and Social Realism. What is left? A kind of post-Perestroika sobering up phase, a result of the disintegration of shared anti consensus approaches. If not here then where else, outside the UK, could producing industrial music have made historical, ideological and social sense?”
“The axis â€œEnthusiasmâ€ (Vertov) â€“ â€œArt Brut/ Musique Concreteâ€ -â€Industrialâ€ had practically to be re-imported to Russia by means of blueprints such as Sergei Kuryokhin, Alexander Solshenitzyn, â€œThrobbing Gristleâ€, â€œLaibachâ€ and, indeed, Alexej Borisov. If Glasnost achieved anything in musical terms then it was the fact that the idea of resistance had to be repositioned.”
“Alexei Borisov seems aware of history. Surreal and futuristic particles are found throughout his sound language. His art employs everyday-life, mixing it with linguistic absurdities in the spirit of the â€œSoviet Kafkaâ€, Andrei Platonov and flanking it with abstract sequences of noise and electronica.”
“This is illustrated in the equipment as well as in the song and recitation texts that he has cultivated for some time and which are full of cross-linked neologisms. Samples from sports broadcasts, old radio sounds, frequency noise, feedback and rhythmic patterns interrupted at several points are the tactics with which Borisov operates.”
Guests are the above mentioned Alexei Borisov, Constantine Usenko who wrote a book – through the eyes of a soviet toy- on Soviet Underground and Olga Nosova, who as a Russian emigrÃ©e completes the circle, living in a German town not far from the Spa where another great writer of the twentieth century, Anton Chekhov, spent his last days. Olga is not spending her last days, being in the bloom of her life. She is one of the most amazing multi-instrumentalists around and has hardly any bio-providing web presence.
Olga Nosova and Alexei Borisov are Astma.
Sounds will come from the vast archive of the three of them.