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Promyshlennaya Arkhitektura - Lyubov' i tekhnologiya (1988)


Promyshlennaya Arkhitektura (Industrial Architecture) was Dmitri Selivanov's (ex- Калинов Мост , Путти , Гражданская Оборона ) unique post-punk / new wave / industrial project from Novosibirsk, Russia, formed in late 1988. On April 22, 1989, at the age of 25, Dmitri commited suicide by asphyxiation. 

A dead band from a dead genre, as my acquaintance once described them, Industrial Architecture was an important pillar for the Soviet underground.  Russian post-punk only started to take took strong roots around the late 80's, with proper post-punk bands like Петля Нестерова, Mатросская Tишина, Hародное Oполчение, Монумент Страха etc. honing their chops and gaining prominence and the more pronounced cold-wave groups such as Дурное Влияние, Закрытое Предприятие coming around the same time.  Yet, anything deserving the "industrial" tag was far and between, at best sequestered, with only a handful of exceptions like some experiments of, notably, Центр, Поп-Механика, Коммунизм, Зга and Ночной Проспект worthy of mention.  

Interestingly enough, due to the limited and belated flow of information from the West, everyone more or less wallowed in their own juices and evolved in their own, often fairly unique manner.  That is to say that the global flow of information is not always a good thing, as it often makes everything sound the same, while regional insulation sometimes tends to produce its own somewhat unique strains.  


In case of I.A., technical and informational limitations managed to trigger a creative rise, where the mastermind Dmitry Selivanov journeyed from professing his undying love for the Dead Kennedys, writing a song called "The Red March" and collaborating with the Russian punk legends Гражданская Оборона to creating minimalist fusion of post-punk and lo-fi EMB in less than a year's time and doing so ingeniously.  Sure, it might be a bit problematic trying to appreciate a non-Western band from a bygone era...  Hell, what am I saying, that's what makes it so brilliant!  Lyrical content is probably the most conventional part of this album (but not without healthy doses of black humor - "Church of Reason" "Погранвойска"), although considering Selivanov's suicide, they were more percipient (the lyrics to "Точки (инструктор)"  - "If I really wanted to run away/Then this is it - I'm gone" pretty much became the self-fulfilling prophecy) than those coming from many of his Western brethren, who lived happily ever after (Graeme Revelle anyone?).  Selivanov's homegrown guitar style is entirely his own (I will never play a song the same way twice, - he used to say).  Along with cheap Soviet equipment, it captures the aural essence of third world industrial decay with such simple and coldly direct authority, it almost turns Ian Curtis' legacy into the needlessly poignant emo tear-jerking the latter unwittingly helped spawn down the line.  

Local underground heroes like Регион-77 and Ожог attempt to carry the legacy forward.  It is not quite the same, and it could and should not be, yet the thought does count for a little something. (rym)

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