The Russian artist takes us on a tour of her weirdest and most wonderful online rabbit holes
Dazed Faves is the series where we talk all things online – that surreal meme account you’re obsessed with, weird conspiracy theory subreddits, ASMR YouTubes, or slime Instagrams.
Entering Kate NV’s world is like abandoning all logic. The Russian artist, also known as Kate Shilonosova, creates music that shrinks and expands like rubber, deploying “funny tiny sounds” that squeak and pop and crackle, like the sonic answer to a gumball machine. Her latest album WOW, Shilonosova’s fourth full-length release as Kate NV in six years, is equally weird and wonderful, packed with tactile and immensely playful sounds and textures that pull the listener deeper into her childlike world. “The record is very joyful and glitchy,” Shilonosova agrees. “I make music spontaneously and at some point I realised that I have a number of tracks that go together well because they have the same energy.”
Inspired by early 00s Japanese composers like Nobukazu Takemura and cutesy videogame Katamari, WOW requires the listener to deprogramme any notions of traditional song shapes, instead sculpting freewheeling compositions where sounds stretch like putty, loaded with tasty plosives, percussive chirps and one-liners. Following on from her 2020 album Room for the Moon, the record features snippets of Shilonosova’s friends playing clarinet, flute, and marimba, which are juxtaposed against a backdrop of glitchy, OST-adjacent melodies that feel funny and clown-like.
Using the language of net art, Shilonosova’s music videos are absurd and immersive, featuring crudely rendered kittens, sparsely populated Minecraft forests, and chaotic digiscapes that feel akin to stepping inside the pixelated vistas of an early Microsoft 95. “It’s interesting to witness how the internet evolves, how social networks have changed our perception and vision of others. It’s brought a lot of stress, even if the intention was good in the beginning,” she says. Still, Shilonosova maintains that she’s grateful for the internet: “It can be a very dark place, and people are often very mean online. Nevertheless, the internet has helped so many artists to reach an audience. And I’m a huge fan of TikTok. I’ve learned so much through it, I love that people are goofing around and sharing their stories.”
FAVE TWEET: CIGARETTES IN A BAG
Kate NV: I found this tweet a year ago, and it still feels relevant. I actually took this screenshot while chain-smoking together with my friend. We were hugely stressed out because of the news. It was a moment when something was happening every ten minutes – we were refreshing websites, checking notifications, not looking at each other and just smoking like crazy. This tweet made us laugh – at least we felt that we are not alone. My friend actually quit smoking ten years ago, and started again. The world right now is an insane place. I do not recommend smoking though.
FAVE INSTAGRAM: @evangelion__memes
Kate NV: It’s hard to choose the best Insta account because there are so many that I like. This one was created by my good friend. He obviously is a big Evangelion fan. He’s been running this account for years. He doesn’t post anything anymore, but the account serves as an archive — it’s the best. But of course, you need to watch Eva first. I remember when I saw this anime for the first time, I carefully began to look through memes, and I found a wonderful combination of heartbreaking anime and funny jokes. Some made me laugh to tears, and for several minutes. It’s a legendary account.
FAVE TIKTOK: @SCOREFOLLOWER
@scorefollower #transcription of @user3916615058685’s original sound #sheetmusic #notation ♬ original sound - project.jdm
Kate NV: It’s also almost impossible to choose one fave TikTok, because as an average user, I have hundreds of them saved on my phone. And thousands liked and favorited on the app. And also the relevancy of particular TikTok fades away so quickly that some of my saves do not make sense anymore. This one is a bit nerdy but very sweet and funny. I have a collection of TikTok like this, with different types of doors “playing jazz”.
FAVE YOUTUBE: RATBOYGENIUS
Kate NV: This account is already ten years old. It was some sort of a show with a crazy narrative, and the whole thing is built in Minecraft. My friend and I watched every episode. It looks weird and creepy, but music is actually amazing. It’s hard to forget it once you’ve seen it.
FAVE MEME: WE DO THIS...
Kate NV: OK this isn‘t a meme, it‘s a cool pic. To be honest, I wish I could attach my fave album, but you can only download it from torrents or Soulseek from the great nerds (who are more likely people that I know).
WOW is out now on RVNG Intl.