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Groove of ESSR II LP


“ESSR” in the “Groove of ESSR II” stands for Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. Yet for Estonia, there was nothing really “republic” about the situation of being occupied by Soviet Russia. So escaping the oppression through music is a running theme for the Groove of ESSR compilation. Funk Embassy Recs returns with the second volume of tracks that hide meaning between lines or offer solace on the dancefloor. It’s an ongoing journey to uncover these jewels and meet their makers. Majority of these pieces will be released for the first time. During the production of this album, two of the most influential figures in Estonian funk and soul passed on: Marju “Maryn” Kuut (1946-2022) and Tõnu Aare (1953-2021). In music lies strength and truth. We dedicate this album to them. May they live on forever through music, alongside all of the artists represented here.

The first volume is also available: Groove of ESSR LP (Repress)


The compilers behind “Groove of ESSR II” believe that music has always fed resistance. The uniting power of Groove helps preserve cultures. Countries occupied by the Soviet regime provide a prime example. Despite oppression, creatives behind the Iron Curtain found ways to express themselves. Many artists hid meaning between the lines successfully. Several made music to help people forget and enjoy themselves on the dancefloor. Situated at the westernmost side of the Soviet Union, Estonia was the perfect breeding ground for talent. Foreign influences got fused into all kinds of tunes, part of which can be found on this record. Indeed there were also those who fled or got censored. Most of their recordings, however, weren’t destroyed. They were archived. Until now.