Russian Tsarlag ‎– Midnight At Mary's House

Not Not Fun Records ‎– NNF259
Vinyl, LP, Album



  • Mastered By [Uncredited]A.P*



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August 21, 2014
edited over 4 years ago
Hmm. Not sure if the "electronic" genre tag really fits this release, unless that was meant ironically. The record is lo-fi singer-songwriter stuff, with Russian strumming away on an out of tune guitar, plunking away on a detuned keyboard and half-singing, with what sounds like a primitive beat box on "drums." There's a lot of odd background noises, adding a weird ambience to the whole affair.

Anyway, this record is brilliant, I think, and I'm surprised with all the retro hype over Jad Fair and the No Wave movement that folks aren't gripping it with wild abandon. Like most of the stuff out on Not Not Fun, it seems pretty far ahead of the curve, as in a few years down the line (20?) an OG copy will be sweated like Lewis or something.

It's hard to get a handle on the objective here. Like, is the dude really some damaged folk freak extrovert as the recordings would have us believe? Or is it all wink-wink? To drag the whole thing back to the 90s, where its roots would appear to be, I guess the question would have to be is dude real? My 21st century answer to that is it really doesn't matter. But to a lot of other 21st century-ers it's vitally important. Right?

This is a cool record. Probably Stephan Malkmus would agree. Or disagree.