Because of this strict approval system, it wasn’t easy to get ahold of music at that time if Melodiya wouldn’t put it out. Artists had to make their music sound “normal” and use lyrics that would get past government censorship. There wasn’t any censorship once the Wall fell, but there was no music industry in place either. This made underground and more abstract sounds more difficult to access, especially given that they were not particularly easy to locate or sell—even now.
But in spite of this politically and artistically restrictive context, a few personalities made innovative music. Various nerds used synthesizers and a lot of artists experimented with weird electronic sounds, like Stanislav Kreichi, Alexei Borisov, Alexander Nemtin, Sven Grünberg and many more. For this piece I chose a few artists who help to depict the underground music produced during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods, as well as a couple from the region’s newer generation. These certainly aren’t the only artists who were active during the time, but they speak for a larger group of producers who were pushing the boundaries in experimental electronics.