Portuguese trio 10000 Russos are an incendiary, galvanising presence in the European Psych underworld; something that’s impossible to shake after you first catch their notoriously all-consuming live show or drop the needle on that LP for the first time. Seven years on from their inception and the Porto-based outfit now release their third full-length, Kompromat, and BSM are honoured to bring you the premiere streaming.
The new LP arrives following their second album Distress Distress (2017), a collab record with Dutch industrialists and label-mates RMFTM (2018) and, as always, endless touring: spanning from September to November 2019, 10 000 Russos are embarking on a mammoth tour that’ll see them play 50+ shows across Mexico, the UK and mainland Europe.
Though tapping into the same transcendental minimalism of bands like Neu!, Suicide and Faust, 10 00 Russos have a sound that is solely their own: João Pimenta’s machine-like percussion and brooding vocal drawls sound like a cyborg Mark E. Smith drearily narrating the end-of-times atop the abrasive guitar manipulations and experimental loops of Pedro Pestana and driving, motorik basslines that are seemingly summoned from the most depraved corners of André Couto’s psyche. That’s been 10 000 Russos ever-evolving template for many years and on new album it’s amped up tenfold and delivered with a new-found urgency.
Taking its name from the Soviet-era Russian term for ‘compromising material’ (the words earliest use traces back to KGB slang) that was gathered on politicians and business owners as leverage to blackmail and coerce, the monolithic drones heard hint at a two-fold revolution – a subconscious upheaval, as well as a socio-political one. They say of the record: “Like all of our work, the songs started from jams and were worked from there, but this record feels fatter and has this kind of dance-y vibe to it. Unlike Distress Distress it feels like there is a sense of release there, despite the oppressive feeling that runs through a lot of the album.”
Just like the cyclical march of history, 10000 Russos are consumed by repetition – only they’re all the better for it, pushing it to its extreme but still managing to hint at something else on the horizon. If, for better or worse, these tumultuous times might make it feel like that aforementioned wheel might just be starting to break, 10000 Russos have once again carved out a collection of songs that will act as the perfect score whichever way history chooses to turn this time around.