In these challenging economic times for musicians across Eastern Europe, the role played by optimism is vital. We look at four new recordings––and varying degrees of hope.
Amid four Russian and Ukrainian projects there emerges a telling view of lyricism in modern pop music. A three-minute, micro social narrative is more satisfying than society itself.
A new and wide-ranging compilation of Lithuanian electronic producers has just appeared, entitled "Ritmo Kovos 4" (Beat Battle #1). It bears much social import.
The current economic difficulties in Russia and surrounding nations lead to greater levels of reverie. Dreams seem better than reality, yet stargazing is rarely easy.
From snowy Siberia to the medieval towns of Belarus, a range of new recordings are directly informed by their melancholy setting. A folk ensemble from Saint Petersburg pushes back––with a smile.
Criticism of professional options in Russia and Ukraine is countered with a series of alternatives: psychedelia, fantasy, emigration––and virtual reality.
Three new recordings make direct reference to Japanese history and habits. A distant nation fuels dreams of some alternative to local reality. The more actuality disappoints, the further desire travels from home.
Two noise projects in Moscow see a connection between their recordings and the nation's social fabric. Similar ideas transpire far away––in Siberia's "Vovne" group.
Two of Russia's most significant independent labels––Electronica and Full of Nothing––have begun the New Year with simultaneous compilation albums.
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.