12 tracks from the best 2016 albums
based on Experty.by critic scores (in alphabetic order)
words by Dmitri Bezkorovainyi

“Kali b ya zastausya z taboy”

Fourth album by a Mogilev-based three-piece Akute, “Plastyka” (Plastics) didn’t spawn big hits, but it’s consistent in bringing together all what fans love about this band: melodies, rhythm and slightly depressive lyrics in Belarusian.

The musicians devoted the song titled “Kali b ya zastausya z taboy” (meaning “Had I Stayed with you”) to the fighters for freedom in Ukraine.

♪♫ Stream album “Plastyka

Akute on Facebook, YouTube, VK, Soundcloud, Instagram.

“Vdokhnovennoe utro”

Fifth album in five years from a eclectronic/lo-fi project by Ivan Kilin, “Tochno” (“Exactly”) is a welcome recovery after a certain decline on previous – predominantly instrumental and seemingly same – records.

This time vocal tracks set the atmosphere with wonderful vocals by Alya Tkachova – 4 tracks, including the opening “Vdokhnovennoe utro”, or “Inspired morning” – as well as Yegor Yavorsky and Ivan Kilin himself.

♪♫ Stream album “Tochno

Ayva on Facebook, VK, Soundcloud.

Lavon Volski
“Tsioplae Minulae”

New solo album by a Belarusian rock legend Lavon Volski, “Psykhasamatyka” (Psychosomatics) came out less than a year after the sudden death of his wife and producer Hanna Volskaya from cancer when the crowdfunding for the record was already announced and it was well in the works.

Original concept with two different – electric and lyrical – 8-song parts, great songwriting from Lavon and sound producing from Vilnius-based Norwegian Snorre Bergerud make it a thrilling rock album to listen to.

“Tsioplae minulae” (Warm past) is an autobiographical song from the album’s lyrical part called “Forest”, with very personal lyrics and video, based on singer’s photos from childhood to present days.

♪♫ Stream album “Psykhasamatyka

Lavon Volski on Facebook, YouTube.


Second album by the “electronic princess” of Belarus, “Spi” (Sleep) came out during a row of showcase festival and other international appearances, which culminated in two Reeperbahn festival performances and her first European club tour last autumn.

The album is a sure step ahead after the well-received debut “Secret” (2014), with a more intriguing atmosphere and profound arrangements.

The video for the song “Opushka” (meaning “Forest marge”) was mostly shot in Norwegian fjords by a guy who just loved the music and offered his services.

♪♫ Stream album “Spi

Mustelide on Facebook, Instagram, SoundcloudYouTube.

Nebulae Come Sweet
“Le N”

“It’s Not The Night That Covers You” is the debut full-length by a Minsk post-metal band. It is a very well crafted and conceptual affair based on long-form poem, written by the singer of the band.

Musically, this record about complex arrangements and a striking stylistical range covered: from different kinds of metal to ambient and acoustic pieces.

Two songs with guest vocals from singers of Moloken (Sweden) and Minsk (USA) are also a nice point, but luckily enough they are just among other best songs of the album, which can be easily proved by the lead single “Le N”.

♪♫ Stream album “It Is Not The Night That Covers You

Nebulae Come Sweet on Bandcamp, Facebook, VK, YouTube, Instagram.

Pafnutiy’s Dreams

A rare case: in 2010 trumpet / French horn player Pavel Kuzyukovich left the biggest Belarusian rock band Lyapis Trubetskoy to pursue a more art-orientated career.

He has lived up to his declarations, returning to the National Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra and starting several indie/alternative projects of his own, doing something totally unexpected all the time.

Second album by Pafnutiy’s Dreams, “Sutra podsolnukha” (Sunflower sutra) is an atmospheric mix of music and quality international literature, including Edgar Allan Poe, Antonio Machado, Tomas Tanstromer, Carl Sandburg and many others, translated to Russian.

The cited track “Opus” is based on the poem “Niño tras un cristal” by Luis Cernuda.

♪♫ Stream album “Sutra podsolnukha” (Sunflower sutra)

Pafnutiy’s Dreams on Facebook.

Petlya Pristrastiya

Post-punk quintet Petlya Pristrastiya (“addiction loop”) has a somewhat cult status in both Belarus and Russia. They call their latest album “Moda i oblaka” (Fashion and clouds) a pop record, but it might be fair only within their own discography.

The album is about the best sides of the band: dynamic post-punk and atmospheric lyrical ones, quirky lyrics and cold vocals by frontman Ilia Cherepko.

It includes some of band’s best songs ever, including the pulsating lead single “Gruz” (Load) accompanied by a simple, yet very dramatic video.

♪♫ Stream album “Moda i oblaka

Petlya Pristrastiya on Facebook, Youtube, VK, Instagram, Twitter.


Mixing folk influences with rock has been one of Belarusian music specialties since Pesnyary (Singers), who were one of the most popular and most innovative bands of USSR in 70s and 80s. Re1ikt, coming from post-metal background, is one of the best representatives of modern continuation of this trend.

Their new album “Kufar” (Chest) draws from leftovers of their last year’s very successful “Lekavyja travy” (Healing Herbs) album plus several fresh tracks.

Not that conceptual and consistent, still it contains a few brilliant tracks, like “Svatocki” (Matchmakers). It’s a rendition of a traditional Belarusian song, which was sung at village weddings, when the matchmakers from the groom’s side were leaving the bride’s house.

♪♫ Stream album “Kufar

Re1ikt on Facebook, VK, Soundcloud, Instagram.

Sergey Pukst
“Sedrtse angela”

Coming from a well-known Belarusian classical music dynasty, Sergey Pukst became one of the cult figures of Belarusian art/underground circles from late 1990s / early 2000s, running now a few projects in different styles – ranging from lo-fi to alternative rock to hip hop.

His 15-minute, 9-track solo album “Put domoy” (“The Way Home”) is a beautiful mosaic, mixing city sounds with silent, yet anxious toy piano/guitar songs, partly sung, partly whispered. It’s like Brian Eno meets Alexander Vertinsky (one of the most famous Russian singers of the early 20th century), for an introvert psychedelic cabaret evening.

The song “Serdtse Angela” (“Heart of an Angel”) is about a soldier who came back from war with one leg and feels alienated.

♪♫ Stream album “Put domoy”

Sergey Pukst on Facebook, VK, Soundcloud.


Shuma is currently the best Belarusian example of mixing Belarusian folk songs and up-to-date electronic arrangements. They released their second album “Sontsa” (Sun) just two months after winning in the “Album Of The Year” category at Experty.by awards with their first full-lenghth “Zhnivo” (2015).

“Sontsa” is a step into a more accessible and danceable deep house direction, while maintaining the sophisticated character of sound and arrangements, produced by Minsk-based Alexis Scorpio. Bringing together something as distant as modern club grooves and ancient tunes, it’s equally brilliant as a club and as a folk record.

♪♫ Stream album “Sontsa

Shuma on Facebook, Soundcloud.

True Litwin Beat

True Litwin Beat is an alternative hip-hop project by Sergey Pukst and Evgeny Belov (guitar player of Krasnye Zviozdy), which was started after the musicians saw an article with the title “Nenuzhnaya pravda o belorusakh”.

This phrase means “Needless truth about Belarusians”, and initially it became the project’s concept, then the name of True Litwin Beat’s debut album.

It might be pretty funny musically, utilizing basic beats, brass samples and classical quotes (Mozart with Albinoni in “Dusha”/”Soul”). But really quirky – ironic, satirical, provocative – on the lyrical level.

“Nenuzhnaya pravda o belorusakh” covers all sides of everyday life, including TV and fake stars in the track “TV”.

♪♫ Stream album “Nenuzhnaya pravda o belorusakh” (Needless truth about Belarusians) –

True Litwin Beat on Soundcloud, Facebook, VK, YouTube.

Zmitser Vajtsiushkevich

Zmitser Vajtsiushkevich is another cult figure Belarusian music from the 90s. He can be called a bard, although he’s more into something that should be considered modern traditional national song.

Mixing folk and French chanson influences, he mostly writes songs to poems of Belarusian poets. But he doesn’t limit himself geographically, having recorded projects with lyrics by Swedish, Russian, Polish and even Japanese poets.

“Kameta” is an album of songs originally by a famous Czech bard Jaromir Nohavica – rerecorded, rearranged and translated to Belarusian by Zmitser and his companions.

When you listen to this collection, you understand that this had to happen – Vajtsiushkevich and Nohavica share the passion for all these simple, but important things that make every of us a human beings. With our high moments of achievement and our mistakes.

♪♫ Stream album “Kameta

Zmitser Vajtsiushkevich on Facebook.