Numerous concerts of IC3PEAK were postponed or even prohibited in 2018 under pressure from local authorities. But with their actions, they only caused an even bigger media coverage for the duo – even across the borders of Russia. In recent years, Nastya Kreslina and Nick Kostylev aka IC3PEAK (pronounced “ice peak”) have become leading voices of Russian and Eastern European youth. Watch them perform live at Berlin’s Lido on April 17th by entering the competition via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the band’s foundation in 2013, the self-proclaimed “audiovisual terrorists” and feminists have been convincing with their melodic electro trap on two EPs and four albums so far – in Russian as well as in English. Their latest album “CKA3KA (Fairytale)” resembles a Russian horror fairy tale, combining fine and heavenly textures, hectic beats, determined vocals and moments of clarity.
However, IC3PEAK’s songs are so much more than experimental electro tracks, as the duo is fearless and courageous in many ways. Most of their music deals with the current situation in their home country Russia and questions the local political structures. Nastya and Nick try to counter the prevailing toxic masculinity with increased femininity and criticize the government’s homophobic propaganda among other things. Keeping that always in mind, the two are not only responsible for the music and lyrics, but for all visual impressions as well. In their self-made videos, IC3PEAK combine breathtaking images with the bipolar aesthetics of their songs, in which haunting vocal melodies meet glowing, wave-beating instrumentals – a spectacle for the senses under any circumstances.
With several million clicks on YouTube and almost 700,000 subscribers, IC3PEAK have made a name for themselves beyond the borders of their home country, as the band has recently been in the spotlight of the Western media. ” I fill my eyes with kerosene. Let it all burn, let it all burn. The whole of Russia is watching me. Let it all burn, let it all burn.” It’s been lyrics like that which have caused enough turmoil for IC3PEAK to be put on the Russian authorities’ radar. Having started a campaign against “unwanted music” and having boycotted several artists, including IC3PEAK, they commanded for concerts to be interrupted or stopped by the police, the electricity was cut off and the musicians themselves were detained. But Nastya and Nick can’t be stopped from holding on to their function as a mouthpiece: “Our fans want us to do something and make a lasting difference. At the end of the day we only say what others don’t dare to say. We describe the attitudes and thoughts of our generation, which has no prospects and can’t expect any improvement soon”.