Orthodox chants, Russian folk, dark electronica in spectacular AV-show
Oligarkh’s crashing collages of sound, images and words draw from disparate musical and visual sources to create surreal juxtapositions of contemporary urban culture, deep folk memory and decades of popular expressions of the national character. The young hip-hop producer from Saint Petersberg made his debut in 2013 with his album Zemlya i Volya (Land and Liberty), described as ‘an abstract-orthodox mix of spiritual, folk, chanson and lyrical music framed by solid bass bells, 8-bit balalaika and broken rhythms’. Oligarkh’s live gigs are augmented with a drummer and arresting video collages taken from historical films, documentaries, fairytales and old TV clips. It’s a journey through the Russian collective conciousness, from grand cathedrals to remote villages, from suburban ghettos to the enclaves of the rich. Oligarkh’s music erases the borders between high and popular culture, ancient and modern (text Colin Bass).
Their second album “Anatoliy” came out in February 2016. Single Lebedi and EP Stand Up and Go were released in February 2017.
Oligarkh performed at MENT festival in Slovenia (2017), Tusovka in Helsinki Finland (2017), WOMEX in Spain (2016), Waves Vienna in Austria (2016), Monkey Week in Spain (2016), Oslo World Music festival in Norway (2016), Sputnik film festival in Poland (2016).
Next international shows:
20.04 Nuts Chongqing China
21.04 Nu Space Chengdu China
23.04 Chun You Fest Chengdu China
28.04 Sound of the Xity showcase Beijing China
30.04 Strawberry Beijing China
1.05 Strawberry Shanghai China
5.05 Sound of the Xity Kunming China
23.05.2017 RichMix London, UK
22.07 Etnosur festival Spain
23.07 Festival Pirineos Sur Spain
11-15.08 Sziget festival Hungary
15.09 Łódź Czterech Kultur festival Poland
Victor Volcovich — electronics, percussion
Evgenii Bugaev — drums
Anton Chizhenok — VJ
Prohor Ivanov — sound engineer
Playing around with Orthodox themes is a bold move in the post-Pussy Riot Russia…, yet OLIGARKH’s straight-faced approach made it hard for anyone to accuse them of mocking the church. It quickly brought the trio exposure, expensive videos, and touring opportunities (they’re going to China soon). The band that literally took us to church eventually took the church to the dancefloors across Europe.. Dazed and Confused Magazine
Another clever concept with a clever name. If seeking out the unique and the experimental is your thing, then we suggest … Oligarkh. Against a backdrop of video collages of historical films and old TV clips, his mind-melting music aims to represent, and I quote, “dystopian realities of modern Russia through a spectacular audio-visual collision of Orthodox choirs, trap, Russian folk, hip hop, and bass music.” If nothing else, it certainly won’t be boring. DiS (Drowned in Sound)
When was the last time you saw a Russian band at a UK festival? That’s right, the answer is probably “never”. And it’s a shame because Russian audio-visual project Oligarkh could easily be the next major festival breakthrough act. Their sonic landscapes brought together elements of traditional Russian folk, electronic influences and hip hop beats. Spectacular visual backdrop included archive film footage, TV clips, fairy tale characters and dream sequences of dystopian video narratives. Anastasia Connor. God is in the TV .
His debut album Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom) was an instant hit when it was released in December 2013…. A comment on his Last.fm page sums up the rapping DJ-slash-preacher: “Well, now we need a Boiler Room live in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.” Calvert Journal
“This is the real deal, trust me. That`s all i have to say about it.” GenerationBass
Promo live video: