Russian Postpunk, Part 2: Deathrock band Salome’s Dance – Interview, Review + Stream
Salome’s Dance are a deathrock band that hail from St. Petersburg, Russia; appropriately, their debut was released just before Halloween this year. I originally wanted to do an overall piece on Russian deathrock and postpunk that would include both Sierpien (from Moscow, whose earlier interview and streaming LP is available here) and Salome’s Dance in one article, since the bands are closely related. That, however, grew to be too large and unwieldy a task: both interviews were long, and Sierpien have just released vinyl in the USA while Salome’s Dance’s new album has also come out digitally. A separate profile for each band seemed best.
The new Salome’s Dance self-titled LP is available on Bandcamp (and streaming below). As with most deathrock worthy of the name, there is a hefty dose of Christian Death in the song structures and in singer Vadim Barsov’s often Rozz-ish vocal stylings; Pavel Zarutskiy’s sinewy and Middle Eastern-style bass lines often throw a nod or two to James McGearty, and his non-aversion to playing higher notes on the bass guitar can even recall Peter Hook. In fact, the whole band is in fine form on the LP, and their excellence as musicians is apparent in the varied and intricate sounds, tempos, and moods they summon from their instruments. While Only Theatre of Pain-era Christian Death is the major touchstone for the self-titled LP – Track 4, “Ragnarok,” reminds me a little of “Mysterium Iniquitatis,” and I almost expect to hear chants of “peru resh, peru rush!” during the song – the band’s influences are fairly broad. There are definite hints of Killing Joke and the album art hints at another influence: Ritual, the Harrow-based postpunk/early goth-punk band that were associated with UK Decay. Add to that mix the music of cult German deathrock band Evil Speaks.
From conversations I’ve had with founding Salome’s Dance members Pavel and Vadim, I know the band actively keeps tabs on what’s going on in the world of goth-punk and deathrock in the Americas (North and South) and Europe, too, citing bands like Anasazi, Cemetery, and Moral Hex as among key favorites. In fact, American label Occult Whispers, which is run by Desmond K. of Chicago deathrock band Cemetery, released Salome’s Dance’s demo cassette last year in the US. The band has also been in constant touch with re-formed, older goth-punk acts, like Part 1, whose Mark Ferelli specially designed a tattoo sported by Pavel. (Mark Ferelli also designed the cover of the band’s demo.) Songs like “August” and “Cyrhet” remind me a little of the dark burliness of Lost Tribe, or even slightly lesser known older goth-punk acts like Arch Criminals and Vex, two other bands cited by members in the interview below. The guitar is played in a way that rarely relies on power chords, true to the early traditions of postpunk; instead, creepy individual notes are picked out up and down the fretboard, reverberating spectrally in the production. The later track “Key” is one of the better offerings on the album, combining both a trudging, funereal gait in the drumming early in the song with an uptempo, charging punk chorus that recalls the members’ roots in punkier bands.
“When we made up Salome’s Dance we wanted to follow Part 1 and Rudimentary Peni,” Vadim explains in the interview below. “On top of that, at that time I was full of enthusiasm because of a rise of a load of new bands, and we listened to them and discussed them a lot. I think it played a low-down trick on us because many people in Russia took us for a copy of Anasazi and Lost Tribe, and a bad one. To say that we were not inspired by these bands would be a lie, though. As time flew by, despite all the difficulties within the band, we were drifting to more British 80’s goth and the dark side of an anarcho-punk oriented sound.”
The “positive punk” appellation – the strange term coined by Richard North, and adopted by others (including David Tibet of Current 93!) in NME and Sounds in the early 80s to describe the bands that would become the early gothic rock bands – probably does fit Salome’s Dance the best. The band’s sound is a seamless fusion of California deathrock and early British gothic punk. Melancholy and experimental in the uncharted way that postpunk traditionally was inclined towards in the early 1980s, Salome’s Dance have delivered one of the finest, purist deathrock and goth-punk LPs of 2014. It’s an excellent combination of creativity and musicianship of the tradition of which Salome’s Dance have become among the best representatives. Although it’s in doubt where whether the band will continue forward, the faithfully resurrected sounds on display in Salome’s Dance deserve to be heard by all fans of the gloomier side of punk.
Salome’s Dance were interviewed by Oliver in September, 2014.
Can you give us a brief background of when Salome’s Dance started, who was in it then, and who’s in the band now, as well as what instruments they play?
Pavel “Nattsol” Zarutskiy: In 2012, my previous band, Grotesque Sexuality, was breaking up and I wanted to explore bass guitar and start to play something more goth-oriented (GS was an arty post-punk endeavor). So we started to rehearse some new stuff with the GS drummer, and by then I also found out that Vadim (who used to be the vocalist of fellow Bryansk-based deathrock band Breathing of Bones) planned to move to Saint-Petersburg, so of course we were enthusiastic about trying to do something together. I asked a friend of mine, Alexander, who used to play guitar in electronic bands, but with whom we shared the passion of collecting goth records for years, to join us as guitar player. Shortly afterwards, the first drummer was replaced by the new one, Pavel Tkachuk, with whom we recorded the demo. After a while he left and was replaced by Nikita, who used to play guitar in Grotesque Sexuality, but who wanted to explore drums. That’s how we got the final Salome’s Dance line-up.
Vadim Barsov: In spring 2012 I’d just finished recording vocals for the Breathing of Bones album and was going to move to St. Petersburg when Pavel offered me to become a vocalist in his new project. I was all enthusiastic about it. Then everything happened like Pavel told, a usual story.
I think a lot of people would suspect that “Salome’s Dance” refers to the Biblical story or the legends that grew up around it, about Salome being a kind of femme fatale who performed the “dance of the seven veils.” What made you choose the new Salome’s Dance for the band?
Pavel: That’s a pretty funny story – we were sitting in a café, arguing about the band’s name and constantly failing to find an agreement. At some point someone offered a name from a movie (don’t remember which one). I hated it and angrily said “then why the fuck can’t we call ourselves ‘Salome’s Last Dance’,” referring to Ken Russell’s movie. To my surprise, everyone said “Salome’s Dance, good idea”! I assume everyone found something of their own in this name as literally it’s filled with different meanings – political, cultural, aesthetic and far beyond. For me, personally, of course it has either political and artistic meaning.
Vadim: I liked this idea, on the one hand, because of the image of Salome and the legend of the dance shows the viciousness and the destructive nature of any power. On the other hand, I feel extremely unfriendly to all religions, but to the Abrahamic ones most of all; besides, I was always attracted to the imagery and ritualization. Plus, there’s a reference to Oscar Wilde, who was not only a splendid writer who’s heavily influenced literature, but a decadent and an anarchist. To tell the truth, now I don’t really like this name and find it a bit too pretentious, but it’s still better than Breathing of Bones.
What type of band would you say Salome’s Dance are? Punk, deathrock, gothic rock, etc. If someone had never heard you, how would you describe your sound and where would you put yourself in the taxonomy of music, and why?
Pavel: I’d call it a dark punk band. Of course we all have put a lot of very individual things in the band, but for me it still strictly belongs to the genre (contradictory to my previous band, which Mick Mercer once called “all-purpose quasi-Post-Punk band”) and honestly I see nothing bad in it. It’s the sincerely chosen language of expression, and that’s it.
Vadim: In a very broad sense, I hoped that I was playing in a punk band. But at heart I wanted people to consider us a Positive Punk project. Which is not quite evident judging by our demo and split with Sierpien because we wrote these songs in the very beginning. But today I had a listen to our album and I thought that that label really does fit. Moreover, “Positive Punk” is even more contradictory and artificial a term than “dark punk,” and it confuses people who treat goth and punk music superficially. At the same time this term has a background, history and certain musical patterns behind it which I followed and still do.
What bands were you all in before Salome’s Dance, and what type of music did those bands play? What did you hope to achieve wen forming Salome’s Dance that you weren’t achieving in your previous bands?
Pavel: I already mentioned my previous band, and speaking about plans and achievements, I only can regret that with Salome’s Dance we never played outside of Saint-Petersburg as for me the music in all its forms is the way of communication, but with Salome’s Dance all the communication issues were slowly falling apart, so we ended up in a pretty boring situation.
Vadim: I sang in Breathing of Bones, which was a Christian Death worship band. Our only album was released in 2012 by French label Manic Depression, thanks to Pavel. On the net you can find mostly our live videos and demo but I wouldn’t recommend listening to the latter. We had been playing since 2007 and by 2011-2012 the band had got its best lineup which resulted in the album Virtue On The Spears, Roses To The Traitors. Besides, in 2010 I was a vocalist in the band Variola Days, which was a Psychobilly project, I wanted to play music like Cramps, early Meteors, Spook and the Ghouls, P.O.X., The Orson Family… We didn’t achieve anything but sometimes we sounded pretty decent I believe. I’m not sure there are any records left. From the point of music, for me Salome’s Dance is the most successful project because we’ve managed to make a record which I can listen to with great pleasure. I can’t say the same about our demo and split. But I’m totally satisfied with the album as a listener. I’d like it to be released on vinyl by some cult label which made a comeback from the 80’s, like All The Madmen Records. In that case, all my musical ambitions will be fulfilled.
I know that you all have done covers of songs by bands like Part 1 and Amebix. Are these some of the main musical influences on yourselves? What bands have provided inspiration to you, and who do yout hink some of the best bands are around today?
Pavel: The Amebix cover was performed by Vadim’s previous band, Breathing of Bones. For me, of course, these bands played a major role, as well as Vex, Sex Gang Children, Rudimentary Peni, Gara and many others including, of course, my favourite band UK Decay and its spin-offs and related acts like Ritual, In Excelsis, Furyo (I actually collect all I can find related to UK Decay). Also, I’m a huge fan of Greek dark punk and synth punk and French coldwave, and being much into art and performance stuff, I can’t help mentioning Clair Obscur and Virgin Prunes – two other bands that played very important roles in my life. Speaking about new acts, #1 for me is definitely Silent Scream from Helsinki, but also I really enjoy Cadaver em Transe from Brazil, Deathcharge and Lost Tribe from the States. These are my faves. The list could be much longer if I’d add Cemetery, Moral Hex, Belgrado, Anasazi (in its original line-up), Era of Fear and many other good bands.
Vadim: We didn’t make an Amebix cover with Salome’s Dance: I sang that with my old band Breathing of Bones. When we made up Salome’s Dance we wanted to follow Part 1 and Rudimentary Peni. On top of that, at that time I was full of enthusiasm because of a rise of a load of new bands, and we listened to them and discussed them a lot. I think it played a low-down trick on us because many people in Russia took us for a copy of Anasazi and Lost Tribe, and a bad one. To say that we were not inspired by these bands would be a lie. But as time flew by, despite all the difficulties within the band, we were drifting to more British 80’s goth- and the dark side of an anarcho-punk oriented sound. I doubt our sound reminds many of Rudimentary Peni, though me, not to say Pavel, love this band very much.
Personally, I’m still inspired by the bands like Arch Criminals, UK Decay, Twisted Nerve, Flowers Of The Past, Part 1, Play Dead, Plague Of Fools, Look Back In Anger, Tea House Camp, European Toys, Geschlecht Akt , Sunglasses After Dark, Blood And Roses, Clefts, Theatre Of Hate, Rebel Christening, Vex, Southern Death Cult, Elephant Talk and so on, ad infinitum. Apart from the British goth and anarcho punk scene, I like Australian and New Zealand ones, I really like thr Scandinavian scene, particularly Finnish bands, the German goth scene of the 80s and the American deathrock of the 80’s. But to be exact, I could name a lot of the bands I like in any country and time period.
I know you did a split release with the Moscow-based band Sierpien. You all, however, are in St Petersburg. What can you tell me about the punk, deathrock, or goth scenes in St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as the overall Russian dark music underground scene? What are some of the current features of it, and are there many bands? How has the Russian scene developed?
Pavel: Artem from Sierpien is our long-time mate. Being in Grotesque Sexuality I actually shared the stage with him several times (and we organized gigs for each other in our cities), so this split was a very natural thing. As for the scene, it was far more interesting four years ago than now. There was my band, Vadim’s band, Alliteration Kit from Voronezh (who were incredible, much in the vein of Siouxsie and The March Violets), Death Formation from Novgorod (who sounded close to early Valor’s Christian Death), and a few others. The scene was very small of course, but promising. Now it all looks much more separated.
Vadim: Well, we are old buddies with Artem. I think his new project is good. We decided to make a split long time ago, before Sierpien was recorded. In Moscow there are no deathrock and goth bands and there are hardly any in St. Petersburg. Another story is with punk: in Petersburg we have the d-beat band Distress (not the same as the 90’s hardcore band from Yugoslavia) which is very popular in Europe; there’s a UK82 band Bloodsuckers, and a lot of different hardcore bands. Moscow has a stenchcore band Fatum, who are famous in certain circles in Europe. Another matter is that many actual punk bands in Russia are musically closer to metal, and personally I’m not a big metal fan.
But I think it’s unfair to limit the Russian scene to the local scenes of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The problem of Russia is its vast territory. For example, there’s a great band named Twinmachine in Yekaterinburg; they managed to sound like a cross between Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Flesh For Lulu but somehow didn’t get much attention. In Barnaul there’s a good post-hardcore-deathrock band called The Useless Words of Sasha Grey. All these projects are based far from the Central and European part of Russia. Today in Russia and CIS countries, the genres following world trends are most popular. There are lots of bands that make a ‘modern’ sound. A large audience, including Western, is interested in such bands like Утро, Сруб, Ploho, Fanny Kaplan, but we have very little in common with them both musically and aesthetically, though all of us play sort of post punk.
I’ve often wondered if there’s a large untapped Russian punk history that most Westerners aren’t aware of. What are some Russian punk bands you’d recommend to folks in Western Europe and in the USA? How would you describe the evolution of underground music – be it punk, hardcore, gothic rock, or postpunk – within Russia over the past few decades? What are some good resources to check out to learn about the music?
Pavel: Some articles can be found on the pages of my old webzine – gravejibes.ru – Artem from Sierpien used to write about Russian post-punk stuff there. Personally I can’t say I’m a big fan of Russian music, I love Дурное Влияние, Bauhaus-influenced band from the late 80’s, Югендштиль from the 90’s, Французское Сопротивление (if you’re curious how Russian version of “Swans” could sound, you should check them out) and I think that’s about to be it.
Vadim: It’s a very extensive question. I’m not sure I can answer it in a few sentences, I believe it deserves an article. I’d recommend to refer to Artyom’s article, too. In addition to the bands Pavel named, I could advise listening to Кино, Химера, Стук бамбука в XI часов, Молотов Коктейль. By the way, a lot of modern Russian post punk and indie bands draw inspiration from Soviet and Russian bands of 80’s and 90’s while in 00’s music was following Western examples. I’m not really delighted by this trend because I’m not a big fan of domestic scene.
Is Salome’s Dance a political band at all? How do you feel about Vladimir Putin and what is currently going on in Ukraine?
Pavel: I surely consider Salome’s Dance a political band. Honestly, I’ve been stating since 2011 – when all these falsifications with elections went really shameless – that there’s no even a single non-political person in the whole country. If you don’t express your position on your own, the authorities will help you with that. Speaking about Ukraine, first and foremost I’m against war and hate. I see the whole situation as a sort of equation when on one side we have Putin and on the other – other interested forces. All parts of this equation are pretty nasty, but they keep a sort of balance. At the same time, they feed people with hate for each other (I work in a social network and see that there’s not many political opinions, only pure stupid hate both from Russians and from Ukrainians). And I think the least thing we can do in this situation is to try to detach ourselves from this destructive stupidity since there are no good politicians anywhere, and even though of course I don’t like Putin at all, I think we should’t demonize him. And of course my heart is with the Ukrainian people who are the real victims behind these political games. Speaking about internal issues in Russia, I’m pretty scared by this increasing wave of “hooray-patriotism” as we call it, and here and in my daily life, I never neglect words and actions to demonstrate my attitude towards homophobia, religious fanaticism, nationalism and other things that show their ugly faces more and more persistently.
Vadim: Being the author of lyrics, I can say that SD is an absolutely politicized band. Of course its message is often symbolic and encrypted. Personally, I think man is a political animal. When I studied at the university I became very politicized, and since that moment I’ve had very anti-state views. The tragedy of Russia is its imperial history, and since I was a kid I felt the burden of this state bulk and the repressiveness of its social structures. I hate Putin’s principate and I find the existing regime disgusting, but I do hate late Tzarist Russia and especially the Soviet Union as well. There are no special trends except for a decaying social and political system in Russia, and this process of degeneration shall last long or short, but it will surely result in another stage of tyranny and repressions. Thanks to Putin there’s a rich ground for squalor of every kind. As for Ukraine, I believe that Western influence here is much exaggerated. In the Pskov region, soldiers of whole divisions are buried while the public applauds Putin’s aggression. In the modern world, Russia is not only an external but an internal threat, too, and Ukraine is a part of internal political space and geopolitical strategy of Russia’s current government. I’d like to stress the fact that it’s not only Putin to blame for all, but also a society in which a majority supports such policies as well.
On the other hand, I’ve got a strongly negative attitude to the current Ukraine’s government and the appalling rise of nationalism in Ukraine. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these facts. In Russia at least there’s an antiwar minority and some work in this direction, while people in Ukraine are even more ignorant and dumb. The standards of education and common sense are lower there, so Ukranian activists pour pig’s blood over themselves and call to continue slaughter. The situation is so horrible because Ukranian society made the tragedy in Odessa possible, and they still let innocent people in Lugansk and Donetsk suffer, only because they happened to be on the other side of this war. On the whole, I think that this nightmare must be stopped by the Russian and Ukranian popultaion united in solidarity to each other, but it’s a pure fiction.
The Russian activist group Pussy Riot received an unusual degree of notoriety here in the US. What are your feelings about Pussy Riot?
Vadim: Don’t get me wrong, but personally I don’t give a fuck about them, really. To put aside all conspiracy theories, I believe they are paid too much attention. Lots of people in our country and all over the world are rotting in jails because of their political views, but the Russian and Western liberal audience don’t care about them. These girls represent activist and left-wing discourse in a very shallow way and got more PR, cash, and publicity rather than the suffering they’ve been talking about. Which is probably not so bad, but why the hell should I care about it? Besides, I think their actions did more harm than good. I’ve already mentioned that I strongly dislike all religions. But before this, Orthodox religion in Russia had been a very ‘domestic’ religion. Yes, the church has always been one of the ugliest and most hypocritical social institutions, but on the whole in the 21th century Christianity is just a harmless baby bird compared to the barbarity committed by Muslims. What I want to say is that these girls let fundamentalist tendencies arise in a half-dead body of Russian Orthodoxy; they kinda revived this Frankenstein, which I prefer to call a ‘fucked up comeback from the Middle Ages’. They helped to awaken a ‘holy thrill’ in the ignorant majority which previously used to treat religion as a mere superstition. Now, partly because of Pussy Riot, we have crazed idiots attacking the Darwin museum, abortion clinics, and gigs of Behemoth or Slayer, not to mention schizophrenic laws on “offending religious believers’ feelings” and epidemic religiousness as a kind of fashion now. Not to forget Islamic terror acts taking the lives of innocent people, which happens in Russia.
Pavel: At first, I felt really sad about them, I’ve been keeping an eye on their activity since about the first articles about them and I’ve been asking myself “how far can they go?” And at some point I assume they just stopped being careful, so they gave reason to be arrested. I don’t remember the exact dates, but they sang in the church some time in early February or so and were arrested in early March, just a couple days before the president’s elections in Russia. I assume a thinking person can answer why such a delay was needed. Further on, it all started to look like some weird macabre circus where logic held no sway at all, and I really felt sad about these young women.
A question I ask all bands: If you were forced to live on a desert island and could somehow play records there, but could only bring 5 for the rest of your life, what 5 records would those be, and why?
Pavel: Well, it’s impossible for me to list five records only according to their musical value, as it surely should’ve been all UK Decay I have, all Virgin Prunes I have, all Rudimentary Peni I have, all Part 1 I have, Blue Kremlin CD, Exces Nocturne cassette etc etc, approximately 100 records minimum. So I’ll pick five records from my collection that apart from musical value have personal value for me:
1. UK Decay – For My Country / Unwind 7″. This 7″ was signed by the band for me in Helsinki in 2013 after I was invited on stage to sing the title track with them.
2. Schleimer K – Wounded Wood LP. I got this rare masterpiece as gift from Mark Horse (of Bone Orchard) who played guitar and bass on this record. Also a while after I wrote the liner notes for the CD reissue of this album done by the French label Infrastition.
3. Χωρίς Περιδέραιο – Άνωση 7″ In my opinion this 7″ is just incredible musically and also the original is very hard to find. I found it in Athens in one of the oldest local record shops, called Art Nouveau. In the 80’s this record shop also functioned as label and released this particular 7″.
4. Clair Obscur – C.O.I.T. – A Collection Of Isolated Tracks 1981-1988 box set. Not only is it one of my favourite records ever, but also a priceless gift from the band’s vocalist, Christophe Demarthe. Of course I also asked him to sign it for me.
5. Ritual – Songs For A Dead King cassette. I’m trying to reach someone from this band for an interview several years, but at least I’ve collected all their releases. This earliest one is extremely rare.
Vadim: Well, this is a very awkward question. All right, if you say it’s traditional. Since I’m healthy and energetic enough, I believe that the rest of my life on the island would be very long and boring. So I’ll present another point of view, opposed to Pavel, and will stick to pure pragmatism instead of fetishism. CDs and long length albums with bonus tracks would be more suitable for me in this case. So, I’d take from my collection:
1. UK Decay – For Madmen Only, preferably a re-edition released in 2009 with bonus tracks.
2. Play Dead – From The Promised Land – re-edition released on Anagram in 2007, backed by bonus tracks and trembling of the neon city’s nights, my heartbeat and a loose hippyish shirt embellished with wild flowers instead of buttons.
3. Charge – Perfection-Plus…The Best Of Charge – a 2006 re-edition by Anagram of a gorgeous punk/positive punk band.
4. Dancing Did – And Did Those Feet – re-edition made by Cherry Red in 2007. I could tell myself stories and dance chicken dances to their songs.
5. Dead Can Dance – Spleen And Ideal – a CD re-released in 2008. Sometimes I’d climb to the top of a tree and pretend I’m an owl.
You know, I think it quite a nice idea to live alone in an island with a favourable natural environment because people mostly irritate me. But I’d prefer to spend the rest of my life accompanied by the books of Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Jaspers and so on. Not that they are my favourite philosophers, but I could have a chance to explore all the depths of their thinking.
Will Salome’s Dance keep making records? What are the plans as far as any future releases Salome’s Dance may have in store? Will you ever tour Europe or North America?
Pavel: We have the album recorded so when we finish with the artwork we’ll upload it on Bandcamp and start to search for a label. (Note: thsi is the LP that is now available on Bandcamp and is streaming above!) Actually, I think this album is the last thing we’ve done together as we’re all now looking in different directions. But if any gig offers come, personally I’d be up to consider each of them.
Vadim: Yes, we’ve already recorded a good album which will be soon available for anyone interested, I hope. Personally, I’m done with music, I’m satisfied with this record and I think it’s high time to stop. I don’t expect invitations to play in Europe or USA, though I love travelling and can afford trips to Europe. Now I’ve got a new job, a pretty difficult one, which gives me a chance to fulfill my career ambitions and learn a lot of new things. Besides, recently I’ve been paying more attention to history and philosophy, which I often skipped or had been too lazy to study during my wild student days at the university. My friend Artyom from Sierpien says I should try writing, and perhaps some day I will write a postmodern novel based on the history of the Narodniks movement in the Russian Empire, but at the moment I lack material for it.
Where can folks go to hear or buy your music?
Pavel: Our demo cassette can still be ordered through the label that released us, Occult Whispers (http://occultwhispersrecords.bigcartel.com/), and as for listening – the best place for it is our bandcamp page – http://salomesdance.bandcamp.com/
If there’s anything I neglected to ask, but that you’d like to say, go ahead and say it here! Anything you want. And thank you so much for your time in doing this. Sorry it took me so long to get it to you!
Pavel: I only can say that even if the album (I’m pretty sure you’ll like it, Oliver) is the last thing that Salome’s Dance did together, life goes on. Personally, I also plan to record the Grotesque Sexuality album and move closer to poetry again (that’s one of my strongest backgrounds) so hopefully you’ll hear of me again with my solo project Wound Culture (I had one experimental gig nearly two years ago and nothing after, but that’s a lovely space for different experiments). Anyways, wish I had as much time and forces as I have plans so who knows what the future will be like. Huge thanks for the interview, Oliver. Your support is extremely appreciated as always.
Vadim: Big thanks for the interview and your interest to the band. I hope that my answers won’t make readers think that Russia and Russian people are dangerous and wild. I know the situation in the rest of the world is not much better. There’s a great deal of shit here, but please don’t think Russia is a country of Putin, Pussy Riot, vodka, prisoners and kazaks walking in the streets with lashes. Though our authorities are nasty and society is stupefied, Russian culture is splendid. For example, St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful European cities. Come here and you’ll see. Russia has enough fierce and well-educated young people who feel their contact with the great literature, philosophy, political dissidence, oppositional and, which is even more important, inner existentialist struggle; those who don’t separate themselves from the rest of the world and admire any progressive trends. I just want to say I’d prefer to talk about architecture of Voronikhin, political works of Hertzen, books of Leo Tolstoy and Leonid Andreev or poetry of Alexander Blok, about Russian history or even modern Russian writers and philosophers, rather than nagging how we’ve been fed up with Purin.
Oliver, I believe we are in the same cultural discourse with the most readers of your articles, all of us stand up for liberty as a main good in life, and share the same anthropocentric values. I wish this Promethean flame in our hearts never faded but flared up. Sorry for the verbosity, pathos, and confusion of my statements.
Salome’s Dance have a Bandcamp page here: https://salomesdance.bandcamp.com/
They also have a Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/salomesdance