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Making Music Together in Belarus: The Mental Force Festival 2015
The Mental Force Music Festival takes place in Minsk on May 22-23. It is designed both to showcase the best of Belarusian electronica and discover some productive overlap with Western colleagues.
A Prior Humility: Long Arm, AL-90, SBPCh, and Information Ghetto
As an implicit reaction to the growing pomp and circumstance of primetime Russian media, four new releases look back to the sounds and stories of childhood. Not with sentiment, but with purpose.
Sources of Comfort: Mana Island, Marina Nevgen, Karenin, & Amor Entrave
New LPs from Minsk, Izhevsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow ponder sources of consolation and comfort. One suggests that the greatest consolation is found in one's own domestic "cultural baggage."
New Names and Pain: Ploho, Srub, Zvezdi, Vhore, and Super Besse
In June a music event called "Pain Fest" will celebrate rock music from Serbia, Belarus, and - most importantly - Siberia. The bands from that part of Russia cultivate a link to the punk traditions of their home.
A Permanence of Change: Heinali, Kai Engel, Pole, & Gardner + Salnikov
Beginning with an improvised recording from London, these new publications all share a conviction that telling patterns exist in natural disorder. What's needed to discern them is dedication and hard work.
Retreat: Universe Inside, Cao Sao Vang, Low Orbit Satellite, and Radiokoala
Placed end to end, four new electronic recordings from Russia and Belarus advocate a retreat into silence. Nothingness holds more appeal than specificity.
Four Distinct Albums: Alina Orlova, Kira Lao, Cload, and Mars Needs Lovers
Four new albums from Lithuanian and Russian performers lead to different interpretations of an LP - and why that format even matters any more. The answers, it transpires, depend on location and genre.
Pirates of the Past: Mumiy Troll, Electroforez, Obitel Telema, and Serdceder
The new Mumiy Troll album is entitled "Pirate Copies." Although a clear reference to copyright abuse, that same phrase becomes a talking point for several recent publications and their collective view of the past.
Light, Airy, and Meditative: Seven New Releases from Subwise Records
The Subwise label in Saint Petersburg remains as busy as ever. We have chosen seven new releases from Russian and Ukrainian artists, as proof that a common worldview is developing among them all.
An Odd Sense of Home: Weloveyouwinona, Xuman, Volchok, and KDIMB
One of the biggest - and most basic - choices faced by a Slavic band today is that of language. The same choice is often dictated by assumptions of better job options, either abroad or at home.
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