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.
Against the backdrop of recent geopolitical events, one might understand why minorism would have a marked appeal. Four collectives from Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia place smallness front and center.
A few days ago, the Belarusian magazine Experty.BY announced a series of awards, dedicated to the best domestic music of last year. A wide range of prizes were involved, defined in terms of format or genre.
Two new releases from FFM originate in distant places: Novosibirsk and the Kola Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. In both cases, the musicians' address brings more benefit than inconvenience.
A new Moscow EP brings together four ensembles all fronted by women - in order to celebrate March 8th. More important than either love or romance, it seems, are a range of related social issues.
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
Kobra are a young and promising trio from Saint Petersburg: Pavel Doronin, Denis Korobeinikov, and vocalist Anna Lichko. Their first collaboration together evokes a specifically northern fantasy.
From a series of Russian and Ukrainian towns, four new releases investigate the benefits of solitude. Introspection leads to a different type of self-promotion, in which anonymity and silence are key.
One of the most enduring reference points for Russian musicians over the last two decades has been outer space. The approaching New Year does little to encourage hope - and so distant planets still appeal.
As we conclude a third and final overview, the "NG 15" album appears in Moscow. Twenty-six performers are gathered together in order both to consider the meaning of New Year and help a children's charity.