ELEKTRO MOSKVA (documentary film, Austria/Russia)

“An infectiously lively tribute to pioneers of futuristic sounds.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


An electronic fairy tale about the inventive spirit of the free mind in the midst of eavesdropping machines, Sputniks, Léon Theremin’s futuristic plans, and the decaying socialist construction of society. Welcome to a weird and wired world of avant-garde rock musicians, DIY circuit benders, vodka-swilling dealers and urban archaeologists/collectors, all fascinated with obsolete Soviet-era electronic synthesizers: primitive and ungainly beasts like the Polyvox, ESKO, Yunost and other surreal, almost functioning devices. This strange universe of “cosmic chill-out tunes,” Space Age dance music and electronic chirps and tweets has been rescued by directors Elena Tikhonova and Dominik Spritzendorfer in this fascinating and cheeky documentary incorporating rare archival footage, including the last interview with famed inventor Léon Theremin, filmed in 1993. In a bizarre twist, many of these instruments were a by-product of the KGB and Soviet military, created during off-hours by scientist/inventors cobbling together spare transistors and wires. A new generation of avant-garde musicians has embraced the unpredictability and chaos of these instruments. As admiringly said by Richardas “Benzo” Norvila: “On a Western device, you push a button and get a result. On a Soviet instrument, you push a button and get something.”


The screening will be followed by a short Q&A with experimental musician Alexei Borisov, one of the movie’s main protagonists, and an improvised session in which Alexei will be joined by two of the most proliferous Slovenian improvisers, vocalist Irena Z. Tomažin and percussionist Jaka Berger.


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Written and directed by Elena Tikhonova and Dominik Spritzendorfer.
Music by Alexei Borisov, Richardas Norvila, Stanislav Kreichi and Vyacheslav Mescherin.
Year of production: 2013.