Moscow Youth Cult is a hybrid analogue/digital wonderbeast duo hailing from Nottingham that produce glitchy video game infused synth-pop, with a dark edge. That in of itself is quite a mouthful, so thankfully the guys of Moscow Youth Cult describe themselves, much more astutely, as VHS pop. They take a lot of inspiration from their own nostalgia towards the transition between the digital and analogue, which our generation is arguably the last to witness. In fact, their initial collaboration stemmed from doing a sound installation to celebrate the anniversary of an analogue video game, and from then on they’ve maintained this inspiration.
Their gigs are known for being all-encompassing; paring their performance with wow-flutter degraded VHS tapes projected and displayed on old, obsolete television sets. There’s an uneasiness to their sound, as well as their video material, that can be attributed to a lot of the old school analogue set. If you’ve ever re-watched your favourite childhood television program, you probably know what I’m talking about. These programs have lost their sense of innocence and naivety, which has been replaced by an extreme wave of nausea and paranoia lingering around the corner, projected by adulthood. Like an acid puked main character of such a show, Moscow Youth Cult is able to incorporate this creepy sense of doom with euphoria, creating a saturated manifest accompanied by overwhelming visual penetration (their music videos are proof).
Almost masquerading as the theme song for a video game hero, their atmospheric pop gives us the sense of a major event looming; as if an asteroid is about to hit Earth and it’s our mission to stop it. There’s a physicality to their music as well, found in the humanity of the imperfections created by this way of breeding sound. Super-charged with deep layers stacked high, not unlike one of their influences, mainstay electro-pop artists Boards of Canada; Moscow Youth Cult want you to dance while getting lost in their alternate reality. Happiness Machines is their full-length debut, which features fourteen tracks full of the uncanny and celestial. Rumor has it that they have a new album in the wings as well.
For more information, a free download of the Hive Glow EP, and masses of audio/visual assaults: