Faced with a wide range of social obstacles, some Russian and Belarusian rock bands find strange solace. Unable to build a career with ease, they are nonetheless to restart failed projects.
Four projects from three cities (Minsk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg) have new material to offer. In each case, a quiet register is the result of considerable humility before the past and/or inspiration itself.
For some electroacoustic artists this week, the role of material experience is twofold. It is seen both as lumpen tedium and as the world of leaden instruments - playing a better tune.
A number of house and chillout projects from Russia and Ukraine this week address the issue of hard work. In an unpredictable environment, what makes more sense: diligence or spontaneity?
Beginning with some references to a Sicilian martyr, these four Russian and Ukrainian bands search for an emotional alternative to tedium. As actuality grows duller, an "epic" option is required.
The importance of folkloric narratives and a premodern ethos endure for some Russian and Estonian performers. In each case, the allure of yesterday is imagined as some vaguely perceived source of light.
Given the challenges facing young Russian musicians today, the theme of risk often arises. The unknown - be it financial or geographic - both unnerves and intrigues.
Warm On is a hip-hop community on Moscow's northern edge. The group's members and colleagues operate in a wide number of Russian or Ukrainian cities. They all share a common philosophy.
A Moscow duo decides to cut itself off from the world, in order to protect two private voices from public intrusion. Other kindred groups view those same social forces in much darker terms.
The theme of transience appears in some new recordings from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vladimir, and Yekaterinburg. Somewhat strangely, a fleeting existence becomes synonymous with great beauty and potential.