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Muchnik's Picks: Island of 1991, Modernrock Fest and More Music in Moscow on the Weekend


Summer is almost over, but that doesn't mean an end to the open air festivals we've been enjoying over the last couple of months. Whether it's indie-rock, electronic music or a festival in a courtyard you're after, here are our top music picks for the weekend.

Elektromonteur is an up-and-coming Moscow band whose music has already been compared with the likes of Brian Ferry and Depeche Mode. In reality Elektromonteur plays its own brand of music, best defined as a mix of synth-pop and indie-rock. Their lyrics are quite funny too, provided you understand Russian.   

16 Tons. 6/1 Ulitsa Presnensky Val. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Free entrance. Friday at 8 p.m.

Ishome is a moniker for Mirabella Karyanova, one of the most promising names on the budding Russian electro scene. With just one album under her belt she has already managed to capture the attention of music critics and clubbers alike. Her music is a mix of dub, future bass and ambient, but it all makes sense together, because Ishome’s real talent is finding the right melody.  

Brusov Ship. 10 Krymskaya naberezhnaya. Metro Park Kultury. F Tickets from 700 rubles ($11). Friday at 8 p.m.

The new open air venue in the courtyard of the Winzavod Center for Contemporary Art will host Modernrock Fest this weekend. The headliner is Delfin aka Dolphin — who real name is Andrei Lysikov —  one of the founders of Russian hip-hop pioneers Malchyshnik (“bachelor party”). During more than 20 years as a solo artist he has released 13 albums. Dolphin’s current music style is more about electronic loops and lyrics than beats and hip-hop. Another headliner is SBPCh, one of the leading indie-pop bands in Russia, whose music can sound like mainstream indie-pop or experimental electronic. The line-up also includes Biting Elbows, an indie-rock band whose video served as inspiration for the international blockbuster film “Hardcore,” directed by the band’s leader Ilya Naishuller.

Winzavod. 1/6 Pereulok 4 Syromyatnichesky. Metro Kurskaya, Chkalovskaya. Tickets from 1,000 rubles ($16). Friday at 7 p.m.

Yest Yest Yest, an experimental hip-hop band from Saint Petersburg, will play at the Mars Center on Friday. Their name consists of the homonym “yest” which in Russian simultaneously means “to be” and “to eat.” Yest Yest Yest mix their beats and sharp lyrics with various musical styles from acid jazz to indie rock to techno. They were nominated for  several categories at Steppenwolfe, Artem Troitsky’s alternative music awards, and won in one.

Mars Center. 5 Pushkarev Pereulok. Metro Trubnaya, Tsvetnoi Bulvar. Tickets 600 rubles ($10). Friday at 8 p.m.

Ostrov 1991 (Island of 1991) is a festival devoted to the anniversary of the 1991 coup d’etat, which heralded the demise of the Soviet Union. The festival is also harks back to everything 1990s — fashion, culture and music. There will be two stages. The one on the steps of the fountain is devoted to electronic music, where you can listen to Novie Kompozitory (New Composers), pioneers of the electronic music movement in Russia, as well as contemporary artists, like Pixelord, the first Russian musician to play Boiler Room. The headliners of the main stage are Vyacheslav Butusov and Megapolis. The former will perform acoustic versions of the hits of the cult band Nautilus Pompilius, who peaked in popularity during the Perestroika years. The latter will play big 1990s hits like “Karl Marx Stadt” and “Volga.”

Park Muzeon. 2 Krymsky Val. Metro Oktyabrskaya, Park Kultury. Free entrance. Saturday from 5 p.m.

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