As a handful of new recordings play upon elements of Western hip-hop, 8bit, chill-out, and other styles, one constant theme remains. No matter the desire to sound globally aware, a local focus endures.
In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
New drone and industrial recordings from Russia and Ukraine turn their attention simultaneously to anxiety and depression. Both, perhaps, indicate dissatisfaction - and therefore a burgeoning hope.
Moscow's FORMA festival just took place and - with its interdisciplinary celebration of modern Russian art - engendered some interesting views of creative "labor" among its many participants
Headlined by Atom™'s 'Double Vision' live, Ricardo Villalobos, Pharmakon, Nina Kraviz, Rhadoo, and Daniel Avery, the Outline Festival will operate across three outdoor scenes and two arenas - inside some industrial buildings
New electronic recordings from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine - via Berlin - question the liberties of commercial and noncommercial enterprise. The same questions are framed ecologically.
Four solo electronic projects from different Russian cities display varying degrees of displeasure with actuality. As faith in civic promise dwindles, the need for wistfulness to provide a valid alternative grows.
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.
Empty realms, such as the forests of Karelia, have differing meanings for these artists. Nonetheless, a shared conviction transpires that movement into nothingness at least symbolizes potential.
Two recurring reference points in Slavic electronica are childhood and the open landscapes that symbolize an early liberty. Four new releases interweave these motifs, whilst mourning the clamor of modernity.