TosyaChai is the stage-name of Tosilya Chaikina from Saint Petersburg. Until recently she performed as one half of More Oblakov. A debut solo album is now published through FFM.
Moscow's Brinstaar stands behind a new publishing venture, Kota Records. Over the course of several recent interviews, he establishes an elegant worldview with which to counter the mainstream.
"When I compose, I simply turn off my brain and surrender to a flight of fancy. It's something elusive. It happens all of a sudden, spontaneously... it's what you might call 'improvisation of the heart and soul.'"
Many hundreds of miles from Moscow, an ailing industrial town is home to some introspective, barely audible instrumentals. They celebrate friendship and community in ways that dismiss distance.
2muchachos, based in the town of Cherepovets , turn the crackle and rustle of a tape-music aesthetic into the soundtrack for small-scale botanical bustle.
Sugar God (Evgeny Pozdnyakov, Moscow): "I've tried to create the atmosphere of being in outer space, or of a bird's flight. It's a combination of romantic solitude and nostalgia"
The next release from FFM is a republication - of a wonderful, rarely recognized EP from Galya Chikiss. "Without Oxygen" is full of northern folklore, but has direct connections to the here and now.
Darya Shakhova (aka The Owl) Novosibirsk: "I like all music… except completely idiotic styles, of course! I even like high-quality pop stuff. If something is made with heart and soul, then you'll feel it..."
"As I was writing these Empty Patterns tracks, I imagined all kinds of empty buildings to myself. They included large and vacuous halls, in the center of which a gramophone was playing..."
Humility and understatement color a number of Russian instrumental releases. Their audible modesty is prompted by childhood memories, an eco-aesthetic, and disorienting experiences online.