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The video for “Legko,” the only song I could locate by Kazakh boy band Bubliki, is a perfect example of a cheesy late 90s Europop Techno track.
But it’s way more than that. The band is comprised of ethnic Kazakhs and Caucasian guys singing in Russian, the second language of many a former Soviet state. This Eurasian situation makes it way hotter, obviously, and reflects the geographical position of a transcontinental nation that bridges Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The first 10 seconds of the video, which features one of the guys underneath a bi-plane is so hypnotic, it requires repeat views for sci-fi sensations alone. The styling is faithfully mid 90s: goggles, belted khakis, generic “bad haircuts” and dye jobs for guys, sleeveless crop and tank tops for girls (who are already semi-Tank Girl looking), dark lipstick, chunky Rocket Dog-esque boots, tan colors, etc.
The aviation-heavy video, which takes us to an airplane depot setting of sorts, in between shots of whizzing planes, creates a dynamic that further feminizes the boy band (who are already feminized by their “boy band” status) in relation to their video girls. Although some elements are common in videos of this gender based configuration –the boys are topless in some scenes, dancing in a predictably choreographed manner, singing a high-pitched melody (as best they can, which is not very good)– the girls in this video occupy distinctly butch roles by appearing to man and fix old planes. Which is not unusual as far as mechanic fetishes or 90s Girl Power imagery goes, but in this specific context is clearly comical aside from being totally awesome.