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Saint Petersburg, Russian Fed.
Moscow, Russian Federation
Novosibirsk, Russian Federation
Moscow, Russian Federation
Sochi, Russian Federation
Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
Tartu, Estonia
Moscow, Russian Federation
Surgut, Russian Federation



All the way from Moscow to the villages of Siberia, a common idea finds voice in a handful of dance floor publications. In four of these releases, the romance of nostalgia and happy stasis proves most persistent.


One of the most enduring motifs of Soviet culture within Russian popular music has been the so-called "Space Race"––the competition between Moscow and Washington to explore the cosmos.


Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.


Several new rock recordings, all the way from Saint Petersburg to Simferopol, express doubts about grand spectacle. Better, smaller forms of interaction are found both in memories and on stage.
Pur:Pur are a duo from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv: Nata Smirina and Yevgeny Zhebko. Not surprisingly, they are usually joined on stage by several colleagues. Most important among them at the moment are drummer Grigory Oleinik and bass player Ivan Senyuk. Two enduring or trademark aspects of the ensemble's style would be Smirina's guileless vocal stylings and Pur:Pur's overall penchant for acoustic performance.
Speaking recently to the Belarusian press, Goron talks of his collaboration with Aortha. "Dzmitry and I are are surprised that our work is enjoying a positive reaction. People are both 'liking' and reposting the tracks online. I wouldn't say that I'm creating anything terribly unique here... But [in any case], this all began at the presentation of somebody's book in Minsk, and Dzmitry was performing as the guest DJ. I just went along to kill some time. We met at the event - and it turned out Dzmitry had long admired my texts. And then, when I heard his set, it seemed that Aortha's sounds were an equivalent to my words. All in all, it was something of a fateful meeting..." The sounds of urban dead-end existence would frame the language of a similar concern: Aortha and Goron found common ground and related noises. The theme of presentism emerged once more - in the face of certain civic "inevitabilities." As a little extra context, Goron then adds: "It seems our new EP called 'Dvoe' has plenty to say about anticipation [in life] and about the beauty of a single moment..."
The new recordings from Misha Mishenko and L.I.M.B. have been tagged as "experimental, IDM, left field, and breakcore." In truth, however, the idea here is to mock, not celebrate the assumed "uniqueness" of much modern Russian dance music. Mishenko has referred in one location to the "black humor" of these tracks - entitled "Oompa" - or to their "sarcastic" tone. These cutting inferences about presumed DIY brilliance and "independent" creativity overlap neatly with something else Mishenko said not long ago. In one interview he expressed admiration both for Thom Yorke and his conviction that inspired, enthused individuals have little or no need for a canonical musical education. Mishenko, however, quickly admitted that Yorke's view is something of an extreme, in that education offers artists not only additional creative tools, but also insurance within a fickle market. Why is such insurance needed? Because Mishenko perceives certain inevitabilities within modern Russian music. "The main goal for Russian musicians is to make a name for yourself. We've a strange marketplace here. You're not judged by the music you write, but by whom you know. Our domestic business consists of a very narrow group of people. It's hard to break in." The relationship between novelty and convention is dictated by a series of behavioral modes. Local creativity is fashioned by social norms - which themselves are seemingly guided by avarice. Cash shapes creativity. Hence the black humor of "Oompa," seemingly maligning both commercial predictability and any delusional states of self-determination.
The St. Petersburg band known as Shortparis has composed an intriguing timeline on Vkontakte. Put simply, the group not only documents its past, as might be expected, but also speaks with confidence of its very distant future. In English, that same trajectory might read as follows: "Shortparis was initially formed in 2012 with a penchant for experimentation. The musicians took part in the avant-garde festival SKIF in 2013... The group still sees itself in opposition to today's music scene. Having overcome any feelings of solitude or isolation, however, Shortparis are now dedicated to a number of unique musical and/or artistic projects." Such rhetoric may seem standard in a PR release or potted bio, but matters take an unexpected and ironic turn. A closing sentence seemingly comes from the year 2021 - if not later. "The group was disbanded in the autumn of 2020, once Shortparis' members had attained full self-realization within their music. The performers took a collective decision to dedicate themselves to farming..." Apparently the road from urban self-realization to rural retreat is not only well trodden; it's also inevitable.