Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sheridan - "Комплекс Детства" (2012)

"We live - in solidarity with those who were born,
We'll die - conforming to those who are already dead..."

It's a complete offtopic here, but I feel I should at least mention this EP, because IMO it's one of the best releases of 2012 made in Russia. Maria "Sheridan" is from Nakhodka, Far East, and she was already mentioned in my post regarding conscious hip-hop from ex-USSR. While I didn't quite like her 2009 EP and 2011 LP, I'm currently listening to her newest EP "Childhood Complex" on repeat. It's very depressive, yet melodic and touching; "a hip-hop album for those who don't like hip-hop":

Most of people here remain sceptical of female rappers (especially if they have political/socially conscious lyrics), but Sheridan is commonly praised as the best in this genre. The only other more or less known female political rapper here is Anastasia aka "Meanna" from Nizhny Novgorod, but I personally find most of her stuff quite boring when compared to other activist rap out here (La Vida Cuesta Libertades, Полтора Землекопа, The Crhyme Scene, Moscow Death Brigade, etc.) BTW, Meanna has made a joint track with Sheridan, but it sounds nothing like Sheridan's solo works.

Speaking of "Childhood Complex", I think it can be best described as "existential hip-hop" (though "abstract hip-hop" is a common term for this). In fact, it's merely a declamation of Sheridan's poetry with depressive yet melodic music in background. The lyrics are of very high quality, obviously inspired by Siberian post-punk scene of late 1980's-early 90's. There are also references to the works by Maurice Maeterlinck, Lars von Trier, and old Soviet movies and cartoons. As the name suggests, this EP is mostly about the childhood perception of the world, especially its darker side (this topic is also quite prominent in Siberian suicidal post-punk, which in turn was inspired by Russian literature in general). A good idea was to use some childish samples from movies and cartoons, which are in stark contrast with the gloomy post-apocalyptic mood of Sheridan's lyrics, restoring the memories of old childhood fears of death and "nuclear scare". Unfortunately I don't have the appropriate skills for translating poetry, but this will at least give you an idea of what the lyrics on this EP are like:

"The darkest hour is just before the dawn,
And the militarists have been posthumously proved right:
Pacifism won't led the humanity straight to Eden.
Nevertheless, good to see that heads of states are severed
and buried in unmarked graves overgrown with birch trees.
Behold the "Childhood Complex" panorama: the last structure standing
next to the handful of people finally left alone.
Deadline, you always lived a deadline-driven life,
Seven Mondays in a week, time is money,
We were told back then that there's not enough warheads in existence to destroy the planet..."

You can download the whole EP here, if you wish. It would be probably a good listen even if you don't understand the lyrics. Keep in mind, however, that it's nothing like "hardcore hip-hop" or horrorcore - it's depressive, not agressive. If your time is limited, try to listen to tracks #3, #5 and #7 first, and decide if you like it or not.

1 comment :

  1. Ah, thank you so much for this post! Cool to hear some fresh stuff.