Nina Cristante is an artist, autodidactic nutritionist, Aquarius and my best friend. Had it not been for a mutual friend linking us during her temporary stay in NYC seven months back, I may’ve never been introduced to the full spectrum of her work. Just a subtle trail of digital breadcrumbs. Slow-mo-promo. A whisper, a wink, a bikini body meme. A deliberately ambiguous website hosting austere at-home workout videos and fragments of clients’ food diaries.
This video is an undated remix of Ukranian pop star, Evgenia Vlasova’s aptly-named, “Wind of Hope” track from 2002. A pastiche of the original video and some amazing Windows ’97 kaleidoscopic beach templates (don’t quote me, I’m no screensaver connoisseur), the imagery is meant to elicit the most appropriate kind of “hope” — the default kitsch variety. The unmistakable thread lining a lot of Ukrainian pop music is that many artists are classically trained, which when translated into pop, manifests itself as hilariously un-innovative. This cross-blend of classical education and pop production is quite prominent in China and former Soviet countries. Alas, the results are excessively cheesy in a virtuosic kind of way, Evgenia can clearly hit some really high notes, but who cares? The bizarre chorus even contains a hint of early 90s Deep Forest style vocals (the kind spoken by a small tribe) transmuted into early 2000s scat. Actually, the entire song is early 90s era folk club sounding, especially at the 2:20 mark breakdown. And that fact is the most compelling feature of this song, in addition to Evgenia’s superbly awkward shoulder dance. Nothing like starting the year with a low res beach thumbnail-heavy, former Soviet bloc, post-opera, retro euro club track!