I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought Buchlas.

Yes, Moscow, capital of that country that gave the world Theremin and the Polivoks, is now in a fully renewed embrace of the synthesizer. And as that scene develops and gets more closely connected with the international scene, we’re getting the gift of some simply spectacular music and inspiring artists.

This summer, the city will host Synthposium – earning a place on the calendar alongside the likes of Germany’s Superbooth or America’s Moogfest.

And for an artist embodying the new wonders this brings, look no further than Maria Teriaeva, who will play that event live – and who was nice enough to premiere her new single and video here on CDM. Ilya Kolesnikov provides the doodle-like visuals.

Teriaeva is a Red Bull Music Academy (2015) alumnus who indeed traded in her guitar for the synthesizer. (She came to fame as guitarist for electropop group Naadya, but has also taken on the identity Dub i prosto derevo.) She’s now turned her attention to the Buchla.

Her live exploits are gorgeous and minimal; the video here to me recalls the exquisite looped sequences of modular pioneer Laurie Spiegel. And while techno- and EBM- and industrial-dominated darkness has swept Europe, here the sound is full of wonder, rippling modal harmonies turning in circles and shifting lazily through shades and colors.

For me, the most irresistible combination, though, comes in the wonderfully demented video and song Меринос (Merino). This is still her productions, here paired with the lyrics (and vocal stylings) of Vadik Korolev (from the indie group Oqjav). Gina Onegina directs this weirdo-dystopian trip, with its faded post-Communist pastels paired with wax-plastic complexions. (full credits on YouTube)

Her sounds pair Korolev with trombones and yet more synthesizers.

And for a little extra sonic joy, here’s her vibrating, stuttering sound for a power station:

— and a wonderful, bubbling Buchla creation:

Restraint and a fluid approach to time mark all these projects, which makes me just as excited for the coming Buchla-focused record as for anything. I first thought Spiegel; Suzanne Ciani is a reference point, too, as evidenced by this “cover.” (As composition students, we were encouraged to make transcriptions of composers – I think doing a recreation of a beloved analog piece is a wonderful challenge – three seconds being a reasonable challenge.)

We’ll be eagerly anticipating the coming months, then.

More on Teriaeva:

and Synthposium:

  • Beautiful music! More artist features please, pete!

    • Thanks!

      Share it if you like it! I’m serious – for various reasons, it’s really hard for artist features to get out there. People, even myself included some time, often wind up listening to algorithmically-generated playlists and we lose touch with humans making interesting new music. And Facebook’s rules don’t help (so I make a habit lately of sharing in person with people!)

      • Thanks for the encouragement to share. I will do!

      • Dante

        For this ocasion is it truly worth it to travel to Moscow?
        Not that far off.
        And i clearly remember that there was that croudfunded analog poly (either 4 or 8 voices) Which was intended for drones

  • Resisting making defamatory ‘hipster’ related comments here as i remind myself that i am old and ‘music’ is a matter of personal taste.
    Clearly i am not of the intended audience or demographic for this type of thing.

  • par done

    wow i am amazed how bare of creativity is this trend. Obviously doing more elaborate things on a modular takes time, patience, work ethic and knowledge. But there is no point really in turning back the clock and compose subpar work even compared to that era..This is closer to a modular demo than a work of art and ridiculously easy to make..

  • Chis T.

    I wonder what the seemingly inevitable backlash, to the current modular wasteland, will sound like?

    • Well, too late .. by the time people have ruled out analog *and* digital, then people will just have to relax and try to enjoy music and life 😀

  • Narudh Areesorn

    are those all sputnik buchla inspired eurorack modules?

  • Narudh Areesorn

    and also what is that case?

  • Elekb

    Some of the equipment and instruments may be “vintage”, but Teriaeva’s music is certainly refreshing! Her collaboration with Korolev is particularly interesting – something between a song and a crazy electroacoustic collage. Will check out the rest. Thanks for the heads up, Peter.