The Soundcloud newsletter dropped into my inbox last week and highlighted a blog called Strangers in Stereo http://www.strangersinstereo.com/ which, via its sub-feature called Foundcloud, highlights three new artists on Soundcloud each week.

One of the artists highlighted in the August review is the alternative electronic act known as White Russia from South London http://soundcloud.com/whiterussia White Russia are producer Benjamin Bufton and vocalist Marina Elderton and together they make  a unique sound with a big presence that hooks you instantly.

So what do they sound like ? Well reviewers so far seem to try to compare Marina’s voice with Bjork, but there really is no comparison. Marina’s vocals have way more latitude than Bjork’s rather fractured and limited vocal range and can be both bold, soaring and dynamic then subtle, delicate and hushed all within a single track. Layered over Benjamin’s powerful bassy, buzzing and fizzing layers of electronic sound the result is a thrilling and evocative performance which deserves to be heard by a much wider audience.  The two strongest tracks at the moment are The Solution and Charmless State although what I could hear of Butcher the Innocent Few on Balcony TV at Youtube sounded great too. 

The Solution opens with a menacing bass synth and Marina’s moody vocals which rise at 1:24 to an amazing explosion of sound that brings in the main electronic theme with a driving beat and some of the meatiest basslines I have ever heard. Marina’s voice swirls over the top while arps, piano and punchy leads shift around menacingly in the background, the whole effect is quite spectacularly good  – this surely has to be their debut single ?

Charmless State opens with a gorgeous loop of gamelan type bells swathed in Marina’s shimmering vocals which become slightly vocoded just before a surprising burst of thudding synth bass kicks in at 1:10 then instantly fades. The vocals return and fade on an airy note before the drums, bassline and fizzing lead synths take over and the whole track ends on Marina’s ethereal vocals fading out – superb stuff !  

Quite why White Russia remain unsigned is a complete mystery to me. They have a decent following on Myspace http://www.myspace.com/whiterussiamusic and you can also track their progress via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/whiterussiamusic They also play live gigs in London and have appeared on Radio 6 Music.  A video of the track Charmless State is doing the rounds on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWlskYunx5s  which was directed by Lee Mangan and selected for the London Independent Film Festival 2010 music video category. There is also another Youtube video of an alfresco live performance of Butcher the Innocent Few on Balcony TV here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g73PplGel5g&NR=1

Do have a listen to their tracks on soundcloud, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If you like what you hear make sure you leave them some feedback and tell everyone you know about them 🙂

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