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Making Music Together in Belarus: The Mental Force Festival 2015
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.
Motion: Appolinaria Lovegood, Hmot, Valotihkuu, and Hamlet His Highness
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.
A Growing Sense of Silence: BAIKAL, I Delfiny, Vakula, and Foresteppe
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.
The Light of a Distant Sky: Sasha Gagarin and K (Ivan Kamaldinov)
Two releases from Yekaterinburg and Petrozavodsk operate in different realms, yet find common inspiration. The silence of the night sky is peopled with cosmonauts and medieval angels.
Aspirations and Anxieties: VOVA and Nik Snake F (FFM 43 and 44)
Two new releases from FFM originate in Moscow and Kiev. A couple of solo performers travel parallel trajectories from self-doubt to a less disconcerting state, somewhere on the edge of aspiration.
Alternative Lifelines: Yayati, AWOTT, Albino Deers, and IC3PEAK
All the way from Rome to Moscow and Sochi, four new electronic recordings look askance at social convention. Some respite from tedium is found in a number of absurdist or even "terrorist" tactics
Random Magic: The "She Knows More Than She Thinks" Compilation
The Los Angeles label Not Not Fun has just published a compilation of six female electronic artists. Resident in both Russia and Ukraine, they offer a peaceful, creative alternative to recent events.
Joyful Change and Transience: Grave Board Clan's "Sample Pack" (Belarus)
Grave Board Clan is a Belarusian collective of electronic musicians, founded ten years ago. They just published a major "Sample Pack," designed to showcase the GBC and encourage collaborations.
A Private Choreography: Mayak, Bigudi, Kai Engel, and Absorb the Sun
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.
In Flight: Polska Radio One, Dzierzynski Bitz, Ext, and Crimson Butterfly
Several key reference points connect these projects. Some of them originate in Poland, while others take us to Ukraine. Bolder still, however, is the overarching desire of these performers to leave home altogether.
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