This mix covers music coming out of the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact from the early 70s to the end of the 80s. The musicians represented clearly weren’t aiming to write stale pop, or just rehash disco, funk, jazz reggae or even psychedelic rock. I tried to make a reflection of how people from behind the Iron Curtain managed to see beyond it.
I remember how the Berezka hard currency stores, controlled by the state’s Vneshposyltorg agency, offered a window to the outside world though the jeans, Coca-Cola, brandy and other hard-to-get consumer goods. As a kid, I visited these stores several times – compared to the barren shelves in a typical Soviet univermag, it was a consumer paradise.
Musicians who got their hands on Western tunes must have felt the same way. Those who had the talent managed to take foreign sound and make it their own, bringing context to a closed society that didn’t always know what it wanted. This mix is dedicated to these pioneers.