Recommendation: ☀☁☁

THE KIEV TAPES // [RECOVERED FOOTAGE] is one of many hardvapour EPs released through HVRF that portrays an alternate universe1 in which the Cold War never ended, US and USSR relations have only grown more contentious with more military engagements, and strange things are happening in Nowhere the world. This release – brought to you by снайпер (Snayper)2 – is a six-track release that details the aftermath of a military exercise or conflict within Kiev, Ukraine, in which something so terrible happened that the only documentation is that contained within the EP.

This EP contains stylistic similarities to the World War 2020 series by HVRF, specifically Episode 1: The Motherland Calls. In contrast to the pounding, gabber-influenced hardvapour of which most people think when they hear “hardvapour”, this release is much more tied to dark ambient and dreampunk, which HVRF has made their shtick since the label’s beginning. Opening track “запустить ленту // ПЕРВАЯ КРОВЬ” is a mix of dark ambient and crackly noise, as if the found footage has been so degraded that one can only barely make out what exactly has happened (and it doesn’t sound very good). The other tracks clear up the production a bit more; “ЗОНА СБРОСА [RUNWAY INCIDENT]” is the closest the album comes to the techno atmosphere of other hardvapour, although its funky baseline makes it sound surprisingly close to vaporwave.

THE KIEV TAPES // [RECOVERED FOOTAGE] is one of many hardvapour releases that demonstrate the genre’s narrative capabilities. If you’re of mind that hardvapour is all brawny machoism, then try this one out.



1. запустить ленту // ПЕРВАЯ КРОВЬ – (2:36)3
2. тема снайпера – (1:04)4
3. комплекс 2 – (1:51)5
5. комплекс 7 – (5:47)7
6. БУНКЕР DUEL // остановить ленту – (3:53)8


1Or is it?
2Russian translation: “Sniper”. I hope that was obvious.
3Russian translation: “Start the tape / First blood”
4Russian translation: “Sniper theme”
5Russian translation: “Complex 2”
6Russian translation: “Drop zone”
7Russian translation: “Complex 7”
8Russian translation: “Bunker (Duel) / Stop the tape”


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