Intellectual Chanson? Balalike it!


For those who don’t think that Russian music ends with the last accord of balalaika we would like to present our new audio-podcast devoted to the contemporary Russian music. The aim is to show the great diversity of Russian musicians, performing in various genres from jazz to experimental trip-hop. Some of the artists are much influenced by western culture, others try to develop and promote authentic Russian sound and mainly Russian lyrics.

We invite you to a promising journey beyond the headlines and prejudices. And it’s up to you to decide whether you like it or even... balalike it.

This time prepare for some "intellectual chanson". Why do we say "intellectual"? Well, generally, people associate the genre chanson with french singers like Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel or Charles Aznavour. Though, in Russia the term chanson gained another meaning. In the 1990s it was a musical genre covering a range of Russian songs based on the themes of the urban underclass and the criminal underworld. 

The songs, that we've included in the list are completely different. Inspired more by Édith Piaf and Nino Ferrer, these young Russian musicians produce chanson in its initial meaning: chanson with the shade of jazz, blues and cabaret. And to be honest they are doing it well. These artists are very popular in modern Russia: not only for the music, but for the lyrics. These lyrics are rather sophisticated, witty and full of allusions that comes right from russian literature and russian culture in general. That is why we've decided to call it "intellectual".

This tracklist is the evidence of the full rehabilitation of this noteworthy genre.


1. Хоронько оркестр - Билли

2. Хоронько оркестр - Танец

3. Паперный Т.А.М. - Зимой близко

4. Паперный Т.А.М. - Курит матрос

5. Marksheider Kunst - Красиво слева

6. Marksheider Kunst & БГ - 2128506

7. Серебрянная свадьба - Врозь

8. Серебрянная свадьба - Пистолеты фирмы Беретта

9. Billy's band - Вася

10. Billy's band - Оторвемся по-питерски

11. Краснознаменная дивизия имени моей бабушки - Шляпа волшебника

12. Музыкальный коллектив Петра Налича - Сердце поэта

13. Музыкальный коллектив Петра Налича - Цветочек аленький

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