Dope Shit, by Russkaja
Suggested by Stuart Taylor
This will be a very short review.
Not because I didn’t like it, mind. Because I did.
No, this will be short because this is not an album. It’s not even an EP. It’s a Single.
Perhaps something has gone wrong with the Matrix. Or perhaps, as Stuart was the suggester for the longest piece so far (Album 12, the 6-hour experimental piece that reflected on dementia), he suggested this to compensate. Shortest and Longest record holder, bookending the project like a boss.
Dope Shit contains three songs: Dope Shit, Barabani, and Amsterdamn. OF those, only two are by Russkaja. The third, Amsterdamn, is by Slutfunk. Alongside these songs, there are FIVE remixes of Dope Shit, some of which are dope, and some of which are shit.
Russkaja are a Russian Ska Punk band, and of the two songs on offer here, they are a vibrant and exciting band. The vocals, mostly in Russian, are expressive and lively, a good accompaniment to the jolly brasses and stabbing rhythms of good Ska. Looking back at this project, Russkaja have a Tokyo Ska Padise Orchestra feel, both musically and lyrically due to the Native Tongue / English switcharoos. They also channel Shantel’s Disko Partizani, as they lean heavily on traditional arrangements within.
All this is revealed in two songs, mind, so who knows what a full album would bring. Of the two, my favourite is Barabani, as it’s more immediate and direct than Dope Shit. It’s also the one that isn’t mired with five slight variants on its theme. And it’s also NOT the one that’s simply chanting “Drugs, weed, marijuana, yeah” at me, like some super-hyped Fresher at his first party away from home.
I give Dope Shit a 6/10, which I’m sure would be higher if it were a full album. Russkaja are fun, but I can’t make a proper judgement based on nine minutes of play.