Happy new year one and all! Let’s hope this year is somewhat less vicious when it comes to beloved celebrities and musicians.
Anyway, back in 2000 a Russian DJ by the name of Oleg Kvasha had a hit in Russia with a fairly generic dance track titled зеленоградское такси. For those of you unable to read Cyrillic (what are you doing with your life?) that’s Zelenogradskoe Taksi or Green City Taxi – although it often seems to be referred to as Zelenoglazoe Taksi instead which means Green-Eyed Taxi. Here it is…
Not long afterwards musician and TV presenter Aleksandr Pushnoy re-recorded a bunch of popular Russian pop and dance songs in the style of scary German Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein – including of course Zelenoglazoe Taksi. And the result is glorious! 😀
The video – despite fitting so well – isn’t original to the song. It’s the intro from a 1994 computer game, the Doom clone Quarantine. In this game you play a post-apocalyptic taxi driver picking up and delivering passengers around the crazed streets of Kemo City, shooting up and running down attacking psychopaths with a variety of vehicle mounted weapons all the while. You know, good old fashioned fun.
Jumping forwards to 2007, the Austrian group Global Deejays released their own remix of the song, titled Zelenoglazoe Taxi…
What’s interesting about this is that I strongly suspect it’s the inspiration for Stalingrad Tank Trap, a track mentioned in Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant novel Whispers Underground…
I put my ear against the cold metal of the nearest door – the bass rumble was enough for me to identify the track.
‘”Stalingrad Tank Trap”,’ I said. ‘By Various Artiz.’
I like a bit of drum and bass to dance to, but Various Artiz were notorious for cranking out one identikit track after another – they were as close to mainstream as you could get on the club circuit without turning up on a Radio Two playlist.
My logic is as follows.The original name of the track referenced the Russian city of Zelenograd, hence “Zelenograd” = “Stalingrad”. “Tank Trap” sounds suspiciously similar to “Taxi”. Naming your group “Global Deejays” is only slightly less inane and generic than “Various Artiz”, and from what I can gather the general opinion of Global Deejays is pretty much as Peter narrates in the extract above. Quod Erat Demonstrandum!
Maybe I should tweet Mr Aaronovitch about it? Or maybe not 🙂
To quote the Propellerheads – that is all!