Russia is one of the most exciting places in the world for underground electronic music. Deep house, drum n bass, future garage and music that defies any kind of labelling… it’s all there. A seemingly never-ending line of precocious talents are producing masterpieces from their bedrooms in Moscow, St Petersburg and further afield. We decided to have a go at choosing our favourites for anyone who wants a quick insight into the best that Russia has to offer.
So here’s our list of the top ten Russian Electronic producers. It’s not in any particular order and, yes, we’re sure we’ve forgotten some equally brilliant artists. That’s kind of the point. Let us know who we’ve missed, why we’re right or why we’re wrong in the comments and enjoy some of the brilliant music we’re about to share!
Ishome (real name Mira) originates from Russia and bring a blend of good old family beats, melancholic electronica, ambient, rhythmic and occasionally arrhythmic music. All her tunes have a catchy melody though and manage to suck you in. We love her here at Praguebeats and have already featured her multiple times on our site. If you missed it, you can check it out here and here.
Quok (real name Vladimir Andrjevich Sorokin) hails from the North of Russia. He is a talented young musician producing melodies and soundscapes that immediately capture the imagination. He has an album out – ‘Traveller‘ released under the Abstrasension Record Label. He is getting much attention at the moment and well worth checking out. If you like what you hear you might be interested to hear his track – Hometowns and also Breathing.
Dimitry Kuzmin, otherwise known as Nuage, is a producer and dj from St Petersburg who has made a serious name for himself in recent years with a string of releases on prestigious labels including Med School and Project Mooncircle.
Specialising in house, but willing to flirt with a wide range of styles, Dmitry has developed a distinctive sound built around deep melodies and pulsing beats incorporating weird and wonderful sounds as well as the occasional touch of melancholy. We also love his work with vocals which somehow manages to startle and bewitch the listener simultaneously and don’t get us started on the bass…
You can find out more about Nuage by checking out our Q&A and listening to some of our favourite tunes such as the powerful Unlock Down and feel-good She Said. Don’t forget to check out his Soundclound and Facebook pages too!
Bimbotronic (Vlady to his friends) is an exceptionally talented producer who specialises in bass-heavy electronica joining the dots between garage, house, triphop and more.
As well as smooth sub bass underpinning his music, Vlady really comes into his own with his mastery of ghostly vocals and deep melodic textures. If you like Burial, then there’s a very good chance you’re going to enjoy Bimbotronic’s work as well. Vlady told us once he didn’t really consider himself a “serious” producer. We disagreed then, and we disagree now! His body of work is very strong, combining creativity with faultless sound design.
A producer who trades in emotion. Yan Pavelchuk – aka Jan Amit – has been on our radar for a while having first come to our attention with the extraordinary Heal, a tune which encapsulates what we love about this artist: cinematic soundscapes, off the wall melodies and ice-cutter beats.
Listening to Yan’s music gives you the sense of having accidentally strayed into one of the crucial scenes of a film with action surrounding you and suspense in the air (last year’s Enter Faceless is a good example). He’s a deep thinker about music and life in general, telling us in an interview last year that he considers love to be the strongest emotion for making music: “Love is always the strongest and the most mysterious thing for every kind of self-expression.”
Pixelord – known in real life as Alexey Devyanin – is one of the most exciting and prolific producers making electronic music in Russia. Known for blending immaculate sounds with 8-bit sensibility and powerful beats, he released his first LP ‘Places’ on his own label Hyperboloid Records. He says he makes “futuristic electronic music for crazy and curious people, clubs and home listening” and thats pretty much exactly what it sounds like. His personal favourite piece of music that he has written is from his Places LP:
If you want to hear more from Pixelord (as I am sure you do!!) then you can find him on multiple places on the internet. There is his Soundcloud page and you can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Delete first came to our attention back in 2013 when we heard his Delete – Neva EP for the first time. The eeriness hit you instantly and then when the subtlety of the beats and vocals blended perfectly we knew we have discovered something special. We featured him in our podcast back in 2013 and have been keeping a close eye ever since. During that time he has produced some great tracks – the most powerful being ‘A Letter to God’. You can watch the video above. The video shows a story about a federal army soldier who fought bravely at that War. Some time later he returns home. What did he find? And did he really return?…
We were also lucky to catch up with Delete in this five minute interview where he reveals the inspiration behind his music and what are the strongest emotions involved in making music.
There’s a short description on Pensees’ Facebook page which declares: “Pensees is music not for everyone.” Well, we beg to differ, because it’s difficult to comprehend how anyone could dislike music as delicately beautiful and emotive as this.
We don’t know much about Pensees, which adds to the sense of mystery surrounding this enigmatic Russian producer. His tunes find energy in the most unexpected places: little bursts of percussion, or a light string section gone rogue. The sound is clean and yet brimming with atmospherics while the melodies are a tapestry of light and dark. Can you tell we quite like this artist?!
Hailing from Russia, Ghostek (real name Arthur Galimov) is a leading light in the Garage scene. Known for producing dark and ghostly sounds with his certain flavour added to them. He’s released a multitude of EPs, Remixes and Albums all of which can be found on his Bandcamp page. Particular stand-outs include Navigate, Rebirth EP and the Vacuum EP.
Mujuice, known in real life as Roman Litvinov, hails from Moscow and has built a reputation as one of the most innovative musicians coming out of the Russian underground.
While we’ve called this article the ‘Top 10 Russian Electronic Producers, we’re not sure that Roman would appreciate being categorised quite that narrowly. Listening to a selection of Mujuice tunes, the incredible depth of sounds and melodic constructions hits you immediately. He certainly doesn’t limit himself to electronic production as the stunningly beautiful Owl Path demonstrates (for example).
Click over to another of his tracks at random and you’re equally likely to be drawn into a driving four to the floor beat or some crazy take on what pop music is going to sound like in 100 years. The common thread linking it all together is a determination to present you a sound that pushes the boundaries of what you would expect to work and making it sound like the most natural thing in the world.
Do you like what you’ve heard? Who else should be on the list? We want to hear from you! Talk to us in the comments section, we’re always up for discovering new and exciting music.