Last week, with Trap Français, we transported you to France for 15 new Trap tracks starting to sizzle in one of the premier cultural capitals of Europe.
This week, we’re going underground and undercover in Russia, where we’re turning up the noise with 10 unique Russian soundscapes.
The Russian Federation is potentially one of the most oblique music business markets in Europe and Asia, making the data-driven discovery process … interesting. But we’re up for it, so let’s peel back the Iron Curtain and see what Rock, Punk & Metal acts are bubbling up.
Starting with the Artists tab, we get 2M+ artists returned, i.e., all of the artists in our database.
Adding a Country filter for “Russian Federation” returns just 1.3K artists, which is way easier to deal with, but also a bit surprising given the size of Russia, at least in terms of square mileage (almost 75 percent larger than the United States, which returns almost 60K artists).
Adding our Rock, Punk & Metal filter cuts that 1.3K (still a bit daunting) to just 353. Phew. So, let’s start sorting. Hitting that Spotify Monthly Listeners (MLs) tab, we get the most regularly listened-to artists of the bunch, but we want some continuity here, so let’s scroll right to see these artists’ specific Genre tags.
Anything Post-Punk, Indie Psych-Rock, or Shoegaze is going to give us exactly what we want to build out our scene.
From there, it’s really up to personal taste and flow. As someone who has always paid careful attention to the way that artists construct set lists when they perform live — dynamics and mood, creating and relieving tension — I find playlists most effective when they take these meaningful variables into account as well.
So, I wanted to introduce the leitmotifs from the start, but I also wanted there to be enough movement to make this sonic narrative push and pull against those themes — invite the listener in and then challenge them. For Underground Russia, noise is just as important as melody, color the corollary to darkness.
Considering the humanity of the listener is always important to remember when it comes to data-driven discovery. Data filtering and sorting can only accomplish the initial legwork for you. The rest comes down to the story you want to read — or tell.