Various Artists

Russkie Wig-Out!: Surf/Electro/Exotica from Behind the Iron Curtain

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A compilation that reads more interesting than it plays, Russkie Wig-Out! collects 26 examples of "demented surf/electro/exotica from behind the Iron Curtain," as its subtitle claims, all suggesting that the music here -- mainly the brainchild of guitarist Oleg Gitarkin, although there are selections from those who traveled in his orbit -- dates from the Cold War, or at least the days of the Soviet Union, something the cheesy '50s-inspired artwork supports. Instead, everything here was recorded in the new millennium, its retro-revivalism stitching together both American sci-fi and surf rock and Soviet iconography. Should be good for a laugh, but instead it's supremely irritating in its reverential kitsch, its guitars swimming in reverb and its rhythms teetering along like a windup robot.

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