When I think of world music that isn’t merely a soundtrack for yuppies to feng shui their apartments to, a band like Chasma is what comes to mind. They’re Russian. Although their musical approach from song to song takes a little bit of getting used to, they explore ska, metal, rock, art, and roadhouse blues, all under the loose, huge umbrella of punk. The good news is that they somehow fearlessly pull it all together. It’s interesting, listenable, and not easily scrunched into a tiny pigeonhole. Other bands which come to mind that are similarly unclassifiable would be Scotland’s Oi Polloi, Italy’s I Refuse It!, or America’s Tchkung! All collective amalgamations that come across as pan-world and otherworldly. Chasma’s lyrics are in Cyrillic, so I have no idea what they’re singing about. The paintings in the album artwork are dark, broad-stroked, and filled with barbed wire, which fits the music very well. Obscure yet very satisfying.
–todd ([email protected])