Moscow-born singer and artist Vasily Shumov formed Center (in Russian, Tsentr) in the late '70s, breaching intellectualism as a possible component of rock music, and making a name for himself as a major conceptualist of Soviet pop culture. With an approach based on quick, shrewd lyrics and stylistic restlessness, Center lacked the solemnity that typified many of their contemporaries. The group started out playing new wave, but became one of the first to experiment in the electronic medium, earning plaudits as the Russian Kraftwerk of the Socialist era. Later, after Shumov's 1990 move to Los Angeles, they went interactive, creating several albums from listener Web contributions. Center have released more than 30 albums, as well as projects for film and TV.