St. Petersburg’s finest: Markscheider Kunst is in town!
Markscheider Kunst – a Russian band with a German name that plays tropically hot music. Rather odd. Or maybe not. The unusual name in German stands for Mine Surveyor, as most band members were studying surveying when they met in the early Nineties. And being asked why a band from rather chilly and grim St. Petersburg makes such extremely sunny music, Sergey „Efr“ Efremenko, Markscheider’s singer, explains: “Exactly because we don’t get enough sun, warmth and light, we have to compensate this. Drugs are not a solution in the long run – music is.”
Live Markscheider Kunst has always been a safe choice. Positive vibrations – that’s the key to Markscheider’s work. This is fueled by Latin ska, cumbia jazz, reggae, rumba or afrobeat as well as Russian folk melodies and Russian vocals. The brass section pumps while the Hawaii guitar opens the Buena Vista Russian Club. As Boris Grebinshikov, Russia’s uber-musician and poet put it: Markscheider Kunst is the only band in Russia that plays happy music – and that on the highest level.
“Exactly because we don’t get enough sun, warmth and light, we have to compensate this. Drugs are not a solution in the long run – music is.”
Indeed Markscheider probably have the best musicians you can find in St. Petersburg. As an ensemble they play in a virtuoso manner. But luckily this doesn’t come across academically and stiff, but with passion, humour and an almost punk attitude. There is also the odd drop of Russian melancholy and longing in some songs, of course.
“Markscheider Kunst is the only band in Russia that plays happy music – and that on the highest level.”
The music experts amongst you will spot all sorts of diverse experiments on Utopia: there is one song in the style meringue, there is bossa nova as well as even gypsy jazz. But overall the record sounds so lush, positive and vivid that it never gets too complicated. Here you have a band full of self-confidence that is tuned and so good, it creates timeless songs between Russian Kuban and Caribbean Cuba in one stride. But it never gets too professional and serious, because Markscheider always perform with all their soul and with a smile. You recognize at once – this is Markscheider Kunst. They have their own sound and there are not many bands like them around.
They will be playing at WABE in Prenzlauer Berg this Friday! Open up the windows, let the sun in and surf with them to Utopia!
Markscheider Kunst @WABE
Danziger Straße 101, 10405 Berlin (Prenzlauer-Berg)
Friday, June 1st 2018 at 9PM
Text: Armin Siebert
Photo: Markscheider Kunst