Operating out of Moscow, Teenage Arab is the musical project of Sila and Zichy, two longtime contributors of the local underground rock scene, both actively engaged since the turn of the new millennium. Inspired by the Russian rave revival going on around 2010, Sila and Zichy started experimenting new musical forms, melding the genre-clashing possibilities offered by software-controlled engineering with a strong and playful punk attitude that has 1977 written all over it. Their first offering, a two-track EP titled ‘No Me No Mine‘, drops today via Not For Fun Records.
Premiereing on our channels, the title-track – a mesmeric downtempo drift blending the anxiogenic neo-folk pulse of Death In June with oriental synth tapestries reminiscent of Jon Hassell’s ‘Blues Nile‘ masterpiece – comes illustrated with a very special, politically charged video courtesy of director Danila Gulin, shot during a large-scale anti Putin protest on 5th May 2018 in Moscow.
The film makes for a blunt depiction of police and military violence – from endless lines of armoured forces menacingly cordonning off the zone to frightened faces trying to escape the brutality of the truncheon – with the slow motion adding a touch of timeless, near mythologic force to the tacit discourse behind the initial video concept. Below is a detailed account of the protest’s context and sequence of events:
“The video was shot in one day, during a mass protest against unfair elections. The protest – called “He’s Not Our Tsar” – was the biggest to happen this year in Russia. It was going on all over the country, but it only occured in Moscow that over 1000 people got arrested. It was a very unusual protest. The first time in history that a government hired military Cossacks to beat people with whips. The police were protecting them at the same time, which spurred huge scandals afterwards.
Cossacks left after one hour of fighting and it was then that the police started its mass arrests, beating the crowd even harder than the Cossacks did. A lot of people were severely injured, as you can see in the video when the policeman almost breaks his baton beating a man who’s then just lying on the ground. This man left the protest disabled, suffering irreversible damage to the kidneys, and got his arm broken by the police as well. No one from the police or the Cossacks was held accountable for their actions there, nor did they even get a fine.”
No Me No Mine EP is out now, order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. Ghosts Beak
2. No Me No Mine
Teenage ArabNot For Fun Records9 September 2018AlternativeElectronicExperimental