DJ Scientist’s Solid Soviet Steel mix
DJ Scientist, label head of Equinox Records, pulls out all the stops for his 25 years of Solid Steel mix this week with a Solid Soviet Steel special.. Never someone to do things by halves he’s been working on this for months and there’s a lot of background info to go with it:
Solid Soviet Steel Radio (SSSR) is a special guest mix for Solid Steel by DJ Scientist that solely features music from the former Soviet Union. The dedicated record collector, disc jockey and label owner from Berlin managed to unearth and put together an extensive and fascinating selection of tracks from countries like the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldavia, Russia and more.
More than that, to make it even more special, this first lesson in a series of other Soviet mixes by DJ Scientist is dedicated to tracks by so-called VIA bands. VIA is an abreviation for Vocal Instrumentalis Ansamblis or Vocal Instrumental Ensemble which was basically the synonym for pop groups in the Soviet communist states throughout the 70s. Many of these groups managed to create their own kind of sound, mixing western styles like Jazz, Funk and Rock with traditional music from their own countries. For example, very unique vocal harmonies can be heard in VIAs such as Iverya (Georgia) or Gaya (Azerbaijan).
All tracks have been recorded from original vinyl from the Soviet state label “Melodia” (Melody) and have been mixed and edited with Serato Scratch Live and Cubase. Some of the bands appearing in the mix cannot clearly be labeled as VIAs. Rero for example usually was an instrumental group and has been called “Variety Orchestra”. However, on the track “Come Outside” they play together with a vocal group. Technically speaking, the famous “Rude-Paparude” by Maria Kodrianu is not a straight VIA track too, as Kodrianu was a well known solo singer from Moldavia. However, here she is backed by one of the funkiest grooves, played by a VIA that was lead by A. Mordkowicha.
The artwork is taken from the cover of the Soviet youth magazine Krugozor issue 11/72.