Russian Tsarlag and Secret Boyfriend are two of the most distinct and inimitable makers in the canon of the contemporary American “DIY” underground. In 2013, the two artists released an untitled split 12” on Ryan Martin’s (Secret Boyfriend) prolific 𝐻𝑜𝑡 𝑅𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒𝑠 label. It’s a pleasure to host their reunion as a part of the ENXPL series, sharing new work.
Russian Tsarlag’s side A is gorgeously trudging and despondent; these syrup drenched ballads and collages sit amongst some of his finest work, (see his most recent self released work through his Wasp Video Roadhouse imprint). Side B is the domain of Secret Boyfriend. The effort hosts an eclectic batch of dense and emotive ambient passages, live recording, and bedroom shoe-gaze. Martin’s Secret Boyfriend project allows for a fluidity in form and content, mastering longing through a myriad of languages.