From brutalism to Stranger Things, Western pop culture is full of nostalgia for Cold War aesthetics and lost futures. Young people in ex-Soviet countries have developed their own version, Sovietwave — a music genre that summons up the spirit of the space age.
Dean Van Nguyen is a Dublin-based freelance writer for publications including the Guardian and Pitchfork.
Since it first went mainstream in the 1980s, hip-hop has been a big business, and many of its leading figures have a strongly capitalist ethos. But there’s an alternative tradition of socialist rap music that challenges the status quo.
The music industry bounced back from a seemingly terminal post-Napster crisis, but the profits from streaming go to big companies and a handful of top artists. Can we build an alternative model that encourages more innovative — and more radical — music?