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Girlcore Goes to Russia

The London-based female DJ collective take their special brand of crazy fun to the Soviet capital.

Girlcore are the renegade 11 strong all-girl DJ crew (which counts Dazed’s own Karley Sciortino among its ranks) where boys are verboten (unless they DJ in drag) and have been setting parties on fire in East London, New York and beyond with themed parties that have included celebrity weddings and the Olympics.

Dazed Digital asked them to document their recent visit to Moscow through words and pictures. Check below for the video they made for Dazed Digital.

A couple of weeks ago, 11 of us were flown out to host a party at Moscow’s Solyanka Club. None of us had ever been to Russia… here’s what went down.

Moscow, 4am. With brains mushy after one or three Bloody Marys, we touch down. We’re met with a sign bearing the legend ‘GIRLCORE’ (yeah!) nervously held aloft by promoter’s assistant Varvara, who leads us to our massive tinted-windowed ride. Lock up your daughters Moscow, we have arrived! We head off to our apartment at 180mph with the Bloody Marys threatening to reappear. Roadkill blurs past.

The next day we’re met by Philipp, publicist for Solyanka, and his friends Maria, Dasha, Andei & Nikita. They’re taking us on a tour of the city, tourist bits like Red Square (“Lame”, says Philipp, “AMAZING ICE CREAM CASTLES”, say us) and The Real Russia (‘street drinking’ in a dark alley on the university campus.)

But we’re barely out of our apartment when we spot the holy grail; the cigarette counter. Sobranies for 40p! Vogue menthes!!! “This is going to be a long day”, Philipp mutters. Dude didn’t quite understand that it was always gonna take 4 times as long to organise 11 girls to do anything when we were amazed by everything that we saw.

They take us to Solyanka, supposedly owned by the man who supplies slot machines to most of Europe’s casinos. You can kinda tell. They lay on a queenly spread of quesedias, fig salad, beef carpaccio, 3 kinds of cocktail (burp) and Phil’s friends teach us some words and the only thing that really sticks with us is “spasiba” (thank you), which rapidly morphs into “spicy butt”…

Everyone’s crazy friendly but it’s a different story with the old folks. Every time we leave our flat, we run into inexplicably enraged babushkas cursing like we’ve just pissed on their shawl. Apparently they’re shouting, “We will tell the government you are walking through us!” Umm… right. Can’t wait for Putin’s call. Later they crank call the flat at 3am and try to break in. Help!

And the club? Girlcore is as much about setting the scene as it is about the party, so we break out the life-sized phone booth, inflatable Big Ben and a unicorn piñata. We ask promoter Oleg Magdi if he minds if we throw glitter over the crowd. He thinks it over for a minute. “Well, glitter is better than dirt.”

Doors open and the next few hours go by in a haze of vodka, so much vodka (we’re nothing if not predictable.) We make friends with the locals, drink more vodka, dance, fall over, find out you can order crab meat black spaghetti at 3am, boys take their trousers off, there’s mild concern about disco ball-related injuries, more vodka, and some of us have to be carried home by gold-toothed taxi drivers better suited to a Bond flick. IT WAS AMAZING.

The next day is our last, and we swing by Gorky Park (a fun fair ghost town) to do a little more street-drinking and pet some disturbed red-eyed reindeer. We say emotional goodbyes after a borscht and caviar lunch (eww), and trudge off to the airport to stock up on Vogues and vodka, but not before a shy young man thrusts Ruth a piece of paper asking “Hey! May I make foto with u?” She happily obliges. We arrive home to a host of emails, friend requests and an offer of a quarterly residency at Solyanka. OMG. Watch out babushka bitches, we’re coming baaaack! Spicy butt.

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