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Endless April: Oleg Kostrow, Secret Avenue, Inna Pivars, & Respublika Palina
In four new recordings from Russia and Belarus, thoughts of the future predominate. As tomorrow looks unpredictable, childhood and adolescence gain a special importance.
Wind, Sand, and Stars: Yuka, Foresteppe, x.y.r., and Race to Space
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.
Lessons of the Past: Trud, Jaunt, Kirov, and Bicycles for Afghanistan
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.
Amity: Wednesday Morning, Young Adults, Kate in the Box & Platya za 130
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.
A Tribute to the Past: Maxim Buldakov, Ilya Gerus, Inlensk, and Sugar God
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.
Decaying Sound: Half Dub Theory, She Bit Her Lip, Lumberjack, and ANH
Various professional challenges emerge in these Russian recordings; most of them have connections to outside, social realia. It's only beyond the border––in Estonia––that civic pressures ease.
Open Your Eyes: Alexander Zaitsev, Ninja Glam, Dessin Bizarre & Jean Piere
Alexander Zaitsev's new instrumental recording refers to modern spirituality as a faint, flickering light in a tunnel. Some other Russian electronic releases this week concur.
Amid a Crowd of Stars: The "I MIRACLE" Album from Ezhevika (Minsk)
The Belarusian label Ezhevika has just published a compilation album, "I MIRACLE." It gathers nineteen recordings from towns both near and far; together the tracks create a workplace philosophy.
Flying Far from Home: 813, Ewan Limb, Dave Pad, and Tram Drivers
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
Loud Tunes for Dancing Bears: Serdceder, Otstoy, Mraz, and Smola
In the wake of a garage and punk festival in Moscow, the question has arisen of protest songs. Is that style, volume level, and its violence synonymous with hopes of civic change? The answer is surprising.
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