Recently, the batch from Fire & Flames Music arrived at Thoughts Words Action HQ. For those who might don’t know. Fire & Flames Music is a prolific German punk rock record label with countless outstanding releases. Besides releasing politically charged punk rock, Fire & Flames also serves as a distro and clothing shop, so you should pay them a visit. They teamed up with renowned Russian hip-hop group Moscow Death Brigade for their latest EP release called Flares Are Burning. The label announced this highly anticipated material several months ago, but there were some delays because of the vinyl production. The release date was postponed a little bit due to the pandemic. Still, it wasn’t a long delay, and after all, this material delivers what you could expect from Moscow Death Brigade.
Flares Are Burning contains two new compositions and two Moscow Death Brigade classics adapted for acoustic instruments. I was thrilled to check out this material, mainly because acoustic hip-hop recordings are not so common, or at least not the ones I am fully aware that exist on a contemporary hip-hop scene. I have to admit these new tunes have something special that keeps me getting back to them repetitiously. Besides being incredible songwriters, Moscow Death Brigade proved they’re handling almost every music genre like pros. Both Flares Are Burning and Against The World are not just ordinary acoustic songs. Quite the contrary, these compositions offer more than you could ever demand from Moscow Death Brigade.
It’s nearly mindblowing how Moscow Death Brigade pulled off this project. They took their hip-hop aesthetics and adapted it for acoustic guitars but also incorporated some other elements along the way. You’ll be blown away by how these new tunes resonate with anthemic streetpunk/Oi vibes, and at so many points, you will notice how punk rock subculture inspired these guys. After all, hip-hop and punk rock both share common ideals and goals, such as fighting racial prejudice, class struggle, and demanding equality for all, among so many other goals. Both Flares Are Burning and Against The World contain anthemic singalongs like the group sang their choruses at the football terraces, and it sounds incredible. Besides the vividly hearable interferences of the punk rock sound, there are also layers of Russian folk melodies and harmonies levitating above the classic chord progressions. These melodies and harmonies are spicing things up and enhancing everything on an entirely new level.
The Moscow Death Brigade classics such as Ghettoblaster and Sound Of Sirens received special treatment, so they sound incredibly good with these acoustic arrangements. You won’t tell the difference between new tunes and these classics, and Moscow Death Brigade paid a lot of attention in adapting these classics to fit the acoustic aesthetics of Flares Are Burning EP. In conclusion, Moscow Death Brigade proves that acoustic hip hop can sound both brilliant and entertaining. Not to mention how Russian folk and punk rock enhanced these numbers on an entirely new level. Flares Are Burning EP is a must for every Moscow Death Brigade fan. This particular EP is comes on a classic black 7″ vinyl, but it is also available on limited silver 7″ record, and streaming platforms. Head over to Fire & Flames Music for more information about ordering.