Ahead of our big Ballantine's Stay True event on Thursday, we’re going deep into the Russian Underground, exploring the lo-fi aesthetics of the Johns’ Kingdom label.
Within a thriving and healthy Russian scene that finds its expression somewhere between Bandcamp, Soundcloud and odd tape releases (even The Guardian took some time recently to look into tape music from Siberia), Johns’ Kingdom cleary sticks out. Despite us trying to tackle the topic from a label showcase perspective, Johns’ Kingdom by its structure and the mindset of the people behind refuses in a virtually radical way to fit into any traditional label classifications or descriptions. Driven by an uncompromising DIY ethos this self-called "Group of pretty unknown Artists", understand themselves rather as a creative collective held together by a mutual understanding of what they don’t want to be, rather than a unifying artistic and aesthetic agenda. Citing Dogme 95 as an inspiration (if anything, "Untitled United“ would be Johns Kingdom’s manifesto) they are trying to liberate themselves from the discursive templates forced onto their art, aiming at nothing less than an honest art and an expression of the individual not diluted by genre classifications and marketing agendas.
Tune into a night full tape hiss, digital ghosts and Russian dance-floor avant-garde.