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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Placed end to end, four new electronic recordings from Russia and Belarus advocate a retreat into silence. Nothingness holds more appeal than specificity.
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.
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.
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.
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.