"A song is either good to start with, or it's bad."
October 24, 2013 9:10 PM   Subscribe

SBPCh ("Samoe bol'shoe prostoe chislo", Russian for "The Biggest Prime Number") is a St. Petersburg-based band that combines indifferent, low-key rapping with charming synth-and-acoustic-guitar arrangements. Their live shows are chaotic and involve handing out cheap instruments to audience members first; their recorded music is stripped-down and friendly. I first discovered them through Birthday and Beasts on Far From Moscow's Apples compilation—to me, it sounds like something out of the tetherball scene in Napoleon Dynamite. The Three of Us is a more driving song with an unusual balance of instruments; the album it's on, Flash Card, is generally pretty terrific. (The opening song, Russian Music, makes me pretty damn happy.)

Far From Moscow has written about them a number of times. Their article The Strange Advantages of Indifference talks about SBPCh's recording process and musical philosophy:
Key here is the notion of "awkwardness." In other words, all members of SBPCh feel that honest expression, either on stage or in the studio, never comes from a clamorous display of bold, brash statements, even when they're made with confidently wielded technology. Quite the opposite: veracity and candor should come in humble forms.
posted by Rory Marinich (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Is their "musical philosophy" taking a shot at Pussy Riot?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:08 AM on October 25, 2013

Of course not. There are other things in Russia and the rest of the former USSR than Pussy Riot.

Nice post, thanks!
posted by languagehat at 7:57 AM on October 25, 2013

This is fun. I hesitate to use that adjective, because I have absolutely no idea what the lyrics are about. But the song on the Birthday and Beasts link is great.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:27 AM on October 25, 2013

Of course not. There are other things in Russia and the rest of the former USSR than Pussy Riot.

Perhaps you mean, "I don't think so", as you really have no way of knowing. There are other things in America than Miley Cyrus.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:07 AM on October 26, 2013

No, really, it has nothing to do with Pussy Riot.
posted by languagehat at 8:21 AM on October 27, 2013

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