6 August 2022
Band: PUSSY RIOT
Who: The Russian feminist punk collective, of which members – including the main riot grrl and then 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – were thrown in jail for 2 years in Siberia following a guerrilla gig at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Before they were shut down they sangg their 40-second anti-Putin anthem “Punk Prayer: Mother of God Drive Putin Away”. It all happened 10 years ago. When they were released from prison they left the country and started to make outspoken records and to play remarkable gigs. And still do.
New album (actually a mixtape): MATRIARCHY NOW
Released: 5 August 2022
The Guardian (British newspaper) says: “Ideology grinds against a kitsch, hypersexual aesthetic in the Russian rebels’ bizarre yet sometimes brilliant debut mixtape. Yet Matriarchy Now is rebel music in the context of Pussy Riot’s origins – a deliberate “sellout” of punk purity, and an up yours to conservative Russian society and the patriarchs of the Orthodox church – that shows Tolokonnikova’s artistic ambitions clearly extend beyond her undoubted heroism. After years of being asked about Putin, whatever music she puts out, the confusion, glee and revulsion these seven songs evoke should start a new conversation.” Score: 3/5.
Turn Up The Volume: Although Pussy Riot still is presented as a group, it’s actually
key member Nadya Tolokonnikova collaborating with R&B/rap/hip-hop artists such as
Big Freedia, Salem Ilese, Kito, Hudson Mohawke, Slayyyter, Phoebe Ryan, and others.
The new look Pussy act still rebels as they used to – with the war in Ukraine and
abortion – as the expected main issues. What’s changed is the sound. No more
punk yelling, no more riotous havoc.
Slowly, with new releases, Nadya Tolokonnikova moved to synth-pop/R&B territory.
It’s clear that she wants to reach a wider public to spread her messages further than
now. Top choice! For my taste, the new sonic direction is too mellow and too sugary.
But I’ll back PR as long as they kick political ass. FUCK PUTIN!
Full mixtape via Spotify