RotFront – Sovietoblaster
When I was in primary school, the Iron Curtain still existed. On the first few days of first grade, we were instructed to let ourselves drop to the ground in case we saw a bright light outside as it might be the Soviets attacking the West with some bomb or another. The metaphorical Ivan was an imminent threat, and Radio Yerevan jokes helped us tackling the fear of the moustached, vodka-drinking, kazachok-dancing cossack. Our primary school music teacher wanted us to bridge cultural gaps and made us sing a song about Petrushka, who falls in love with Katinka. Katinka wanted to wed Petrushka and promised him shnapps and wine at their wedding. However, Petrushka’s a no-show at his own wedding – the Cold War still bore the possibility that he was annihilated by James Bond afterall – so Cousin Mishka comforts Katinka and drinks for two.
Then on 3 October 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, and nothing in Europe was anymore the way it had used to be. The newly found freedom of travel, a sense of adventure and the hope for a capitalist lifestyle drove many former Soviet comrades West. The Ivans had no moustaches, it turned out, but snug-fitting disco outfits, not uncommonly well-defined abs and a great love of each and any Kinder chocolate product. And they brought along their samovars, home-distilleries, shashlik, and deejays.
The Sovietunion soon ceased to exist and it released its Jews, who, tired of pickled cucumber and beetroot cream cakes (I guess), also moved West. One of those Soviet Jews is one Jewlicious’s favourites Yuriy Gurzhy, a true mastermind of danceable new-folk & new-Jew-folk and RotFront bandleader.
Over here at Jewlicious we’re proud to consider Yuriy one of our friends.
Click the “Play”-button on the video above, and you’ll see why we adore Yuriy so much.