Against a backdrop of civic unrest, several Russian and Ukrainian performers opt for a more restrained or "estranged" aesthetic. They begin with the cool, mechanical operations of an old Roland 303.
In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, and Krasnodar a range of programmatic statements emerge from disparate musicians with new work. They all champion the creative process over any crude, material consequence thereof.
The Moscow magazine Afisha continues to gather a wide range of songs celebrating the New Year. All of the performers involved juxtapose their individual hopes and dreams with the unlikely prospect of civic improvement.
Two new releases from FFM. One is Ukrainian, the other is Russian - and both are instrumental. The difference between them, genres aside, is in their attitude to the weight of the surrounding world.
Against the backdrop of a Russian tradition of politicized rock songs, four collectives in 2014 look for alternative values. They tend to be immaterial, in the best - and most romantic - sense of the word.
Afisha and Colta are arguably Moscow's two most influential music publications when it comes to finding or fostering new talent. As December begins, they both consider the musical year ahead - with some anxiety.
One might think that a challenging social environment would lessen the appeal of romantic wistfulness among young artists. A hard life might breed resignation or greater pragmatism. Nothing of the sort.
A Moscow EP and a Kiev LP together offer a dancefloor philosophy in troubled times between Russia and Ukraine. The five artists involved suggest that private virtues might improve public norms
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
Cooper Phillip, as readers of FFM know, is a Los Angeles-based singer of Slavic roots. According to some well-worn stereotypes, Russian pessimism falls away once her career blossoms on a distant shore.