Petrozavodsk, though a small city, is highly regarded in punk and indie music circles.
Anya Kuts and Ivan Afanasyev, are deeply involved in the music community there, not only though their band Love Cult, which has been around for five years, but also through their record label Full of Nothing, which has been organizing concerts in the city and putting out records and mix tapes of many Karelian and Russian artists, most of which remain free to stream or download from the label's website.
Full of Nothing closed in February 2014 after a three-year run and 41 releases in its back catalog. Reflecting on the end of the label they ran, Kuts and Afanasyev said that they "said everything we wanted to say with the label, and even more. Those 41 releases were crucial in our understanding the scene and the connections made though FoN were truly meaningful."
While speaking to them ahead of their Moscow concert, I asked them for quick overview of the music scene in Petrozavodsk, and to describe some of their favorite or most important artists from the city. Their selection showcases the diversity of the independent music community there, running the gamut from ambient to punk to hardcore.
Antimelodix performing at Karjala Mor II, a DIY festival not far from Petrozavodsk. (Alexander Kuskov / YouTube).
"Blackened rock 'n' roll with outstanding lyrics, Antimelodix is, in a way, a local super-band."
ADD performing at Ledokol club, Murmansk in 2008. (muzhospital / YouTube).
"ADD is a local electronic legend that seems to be defunct at the moment, with its members pursuing solo careers. They are the Karelian answer to German glitch, clicks 'n' cuts or microwave music."
3. Dva Zagorodnyh Doma (Sasha Ulz and Kot Kot)
Dva Zagorodnyh Doma's video for the track "Stalaktity." (Dva Zagorodnyh Doma / YouTube) .
"Dva Zagorodnyh Doma (Two Suburban Homes) are our old friends who are also a couple and a duo. They are great musicians who keep an open ear to strange sounds, are deeply inspired by Mississippi Records' mix tapes, creating experimental collages, blurry pop songs and bizarre instrumentals together and also as solo artists."
Sergey Suokas' "Pool," performed under the moniker Slow. (Geigercounterculture / YouTube).
"Another old friend and a huge inspiration. The man used to play big techno sets in Moscow back in the day, then released some of the most sincere ambient music … Currently we would say he makes melodic electronic music with heart and soul."
Materic performing in Petrozavodsk, 2012. (Oleg Tarzalainen / YouTube).
"A fantastic punk trio with male and female vocals, heartbreaking and desperate lyrics and again, an experimental sensitivity. Sounds like French screamo music filtered throughout the wildest Sonic Youth jams."
Read The Moscow Times' interview with Love Cult here.