Dolphin – Indie Rap of the Motherland

There is a restaurant we three like to go to here in LA that plays current music videos from Russia. It was there, on election night of all nights, where my eye was caught by an odd music video. It stood out from the glittery, overly polished, collagen-peroxide-silicone blur that is Russian music TV. A Google expedition later I’m downloading everything by Dolphin, relieved that Stella Solieil isn’t a regular part of the configuration.

Andrei Lisikov a.k.a. Dolphin on the cover of Russian magazine Afisha

Dolphin has been making noise for over 10 years, has won several high-ranking awards but has yet to hook an international audience. The sound is something like The Streets on the last leg of a bender. Singer and former breakdancer Andrei Lisikov combines rap, soft singing and screaming over organic and electronic music. It’s not at all my usual cup of tea but after a few days’ worth of listening I still like it. The song below is called “Without us” and has some of the most misanthropic lyrics ever. It’s not my favorite but the video is neat.

Maybe Dolphin will become a guilty pleasure, akin to my secret love of George Michael? Only time will tell. While I sort through my conflicting feelings, I want to hear your thoughts on this stuff! There are several more completely different videos from Dolphin, after the jump. Has anyone heard of them before, while I was living under a rock? Does anyone dig it besides me?

19 Responses to “Dolphin – Indie Rap of the Motherland”

  1. æon Says:

    oh, man, хуясе, дельфин!

    i loved his stuff (rather embarrassing, that) when i was a teen growing up in moscow. still remember most of the lyrics.

    thanks for reminding!

  2. Zoetica Says:

    æon, and I never thought I’d see the word “хуясе” on Coilhouse. Hah, you made my morning! Thank YOU for reminding me of the Russian language powerrr! And for the links, too.

  3. Jani Says:

    George Michael will publish new xmas song since Last Christmas 25.12, it’s free download from his website.

    To like that will be probably very shameful.

    Rap music is fun when done with any other language as english. For example Germany and chinese.

  4. k paul blume Says:

    Ну, я люблю его…
    then I’ve been on something of a Russian kick,
    ever since watching ‘Nails’
    tho it did strike me as more Adrian Sherwood
    than was strictly necessary.

  5. Egon Says:

    That was rather nice even though I have no idea what he’s rapping about. Passing this along to my arty Russian friends.

  6. Zoetica Says:

    Egon, it’s all fairly dark – to be expected in Russia’s current economic and political slump, I suppose. I haven’t been able to find translations online, and am scared to attempt translating it myself.

  7. Chris L Says:

    The video was rad. Fun animation, too. I was right there with the angry dude up until he started chopping up people instead of just TVs.

  8. Zoetica Says:

    Chris, I hope you have a chance to check out the other videos under the cut – there’s more screaming, singing and combinations of both to hear!

  9. Chris L Says:

    Not really my cuppa tea (I usually like my music to be a little louder, artier, and faster) – but you sure weren’t kidding when you said they were completely different from the others. It’s pretty impressive that he can maintain such a breadth of styles.

  10. maggie Says:

    i *do* dig. didn’t really enjoy the previous russian music featured tbh, but i do like this guy. where can i download?

  11. Igor Says:

    Havent heard Dolphin since the early days and Malchishnik (which was, let’s be honest, rather terrible). But that first song with the dark animation is ace – reminds me of The Slip. Damn you for making me source CDs from all the way back home in Russia ;-)

  12. Zoetica Says:

    Oh god, yes, Igor. Malchishnik was, how you say, not so good.

  13. bisha Says:

    I was wondering if you guys had listened him. Discovered him a while ago when I was loving all over Leningrad, and downloaded songs Надежда (my favourite) and Нежность from

  14. Zoetica Says:

    Bisha, The more I listen, the more I like it. Especially the new tracks.

  15. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    I have not heard this band before, but I like it, I can even understand a VERY minute bit of it, but Ive been searching for good Russian bands for exposure and practice, and Arkona just isnt cutting it, theyre too difficult to understand. Im planning to either major or at least minor in Russian. I am learning about the language and the culture and I am enjoying both immensely. I guess I could always just ask you Zoe and Nadya about these things though..

  16. tyhiliet (eric) Says:

    thanks for the share . got to go download.
    suucks that I can not understand a lick of that he is saying .. wish I did..
    besides “without us” what are the name of the other songs ?

  17. J. Says:

    Second time I’ve read this blog and found an intersection with Grand Theft Auto 4. “Vladivostok FM” is all Russian and ex-Soviet-bloc artists, and yes, there is a Dolphin track, “RAP”.

    Not as immediately recognizable as Glukoza, whose track “Schweine” is the first track you hear in the game (not counting the theme music, “Soviet Connection” by Michael Hunter,) featured here back in May.

  18. melponeme_k Says:

    I liked what I heard. The only thing available for him from itunes was on the GTA soundtrack. That was a good compilation.

  19. Kirk Mitchell Says:

    Now I’m fascinated. Google translate gives me nothing on хуясе. The pronunciation eludes me too; my only cyrillic knowledge comes from the small amount of Croatian it takes to say zbog hrvatski moj mozak i propustaju iz moja nosa, and then give up because the grammar is just ridiculous. But I digress. What Russian Language Powerzz does this word posess?

    Lately my musical tastes have been leaning more towards the horrible, roomie scaring, atonal, turn off the music to make sure it is the music and not the landlord doing rennovations, end of things. And Michael Jackson. So Dolphin seems to occupy that sadly neglected middle distance for me and could well become something of a guilty pleasure for myself as well.

    I’m very curious about his lyrics now; whether they match the level of poetry proclaimed on his Myspace. Not that I’d be well equipped to judge Russian poetry without any knowledge of its history and conventions… Any thoughts?