One of incredible things about the world of neofolk, just like black metal, is that it can draw in so many influences and histories that two bands within the genre can be lightyears apart. Many draw on Nordic folk music, Basque ballads, Brazilian traditional music, and, increasingly, classical, chamber, or orchestral music. The goal of this neo-classical subgenre is to take the conventions of classical music and rediscover them in the contemporary world of music performance, sometimes bringing them into neofolk ensembles or as solo projects with an electronic production focus.
This is the direction that Russian neo-classical artist Kageraw went in, focusing primarily on classical and romantic piano work that would appeal heavily to fans of ambient music like Outer Gods. This is a particularly singular vision, often centered on the piano, but reshaped after the fact to create an audible painting that can wash over you in the same emotionally provocative way that neofolk does.
At other times, such in her first album, this is actually a tactile and low-res guitar sound mixed with the wind and rain, a sensation that brings you right into a sense of physical geography. Even as a solo project, there is so much here, a testament to the power of layering, both instruments and sounds of life, which often are intermixed in the world of neofolk. Her voice is an iconic part of this tapestry, the sound of which is often just as important as the words she chooses to sing (or not sing).
Kageraw has four albums, In the hands of Esse, I Fision, слезы шамана. глава вторая, and слезы шамана, each building on the cold wilderness of the Russian Federation, the winter isolation and frigid deep Siberian woods. The music is really only part of her entire artistic vision, she is an incredible visual artist and painter as well, and her Flickr is incredibly active with her wood-cut inspired work and photography.
We first became aware of Kageraw after she was included on the Red and Anarchist Black Metal blog, she is also a member of Axidance, Repression Attack, and The Toverheks. She has also appeared as a musician in the illustrious warona project.
We are embedding three of her albums from Bandcamp below, but she unfortunately not on Spotify yet so we can not add her to our Antifascist Neofolk Playlist on Spotify.