About Kate NV
Sometimes simply referred to as NV, this retro-electronic music persona of Kate Shilonosova -- vocalist for the Russian post-punk act Glintshake -- blossomed in the mid-2010s with nods to both Japanese city pop and musique concrète.
Born and raised 500 miles east of Moscow, in the city of Kazan on the banks of the Volga, Shilonosova moved to the capital in 2011, age 22, forming Glintshake the following year. That quartet chased the crunching, discordant but melodic early indie-rock sound of Sonic Youth and their contemporaries. Her work as Kate NV was like the other side of a coin, experimentalism of a different kind. Pink Jungle, her debut EP under this electronic alias, was issued in 2013 on Moscow's Apr Music but took a much more upfront and club-focused route than subsequent NV recordings. From this point onwards, her career in Glintshake, and as Kate NV, ran in parallel lines. As her guitar act earned modest success in her home country, Shilonosova simultaneously expanded her horizons at Tokyo's 2014 Red Bull Music Academy. It was the slick Japanese electronic music of the 1980s that really caught her ear around this time, the kind of sounds later collected on Light in the Attic's Pacific Breeze compilations.
The influence of that music was evident on Kate NV's debut album, 2016's Binasu, helping her to build a cult following overseas. That record of kinetic, digital soundscapes -- inspired by the sounds of Moscow's elektrichka overground railway -- was initially issued on cassette via the New York/Ohio label Orange Milk before getting a vinyl release the following year on Paris' Mind Records. Produced in her Moscow apartment, 2018's для FOR saw her embrace experimentalism further by positioning a dizzying array of samples of the city alongside tasteful synthetic sounds. It was her first record for Brooklyn's RVNG Intl., a label that ensured the album made a bigger splash than her debut. July 2018 saw the appearance of a Kate NV remix of "Keep It Out," a track from Lavender, an album by Nandi Rose Plunkett's Half Waif. The third Kate NV album, Room for the Moon, arrived in summer 2020 and was deeply inspired by the work of Russian conceptualist artist Viktor Pivovarov. For that release, Shilonosova reputedly returned to material originally composed for Binasu, finding that she could now add new, more fitting melodies -- which had previously eluded her -- to these recordings. ~ James Wilkinson