A range of new electronic releases from Russia and Ukraine this week endorse a hushed and understated aesthetic. There's a shared conviction that greater insight lies within less noise. The quieter, the wiser.
St. Petersburg's Microcosmos Records has published a chillout compilation that serves to illustrate the meaning of downtempo modes in Northern Russia. Reverie travels very far from home indeed.
New recordings from the Subwise label, together with a Stoned Boys EP, romanticize the surrender to something better than drudgery. That potential may be on a dancefloor, in drugs, or in charity.
In a world frustrated by the harsh extremes of actuality or unpromising hope, the ideal location will be somewhere in between. These recordings celebrate a vague realm that's neither here, nor there.
The MNMN label from Kostroma does much to promote the philosophically anxious end of Russian electronica. These four projects yearn for silence and solitude, but "fate" has other plans.
The Monasterio Club in central Moscow is situated within the walls of an old and famous textile factory. The history of that building and the hopes of its residents find new voice in Monasterio.
Some gentle, introspective works from industrial Ukraine and Kazan place high value on the importance of aimless, purposeless composition. Gradually, however, a fixed worldview takes shape.
Ambient and introspective recordings from Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, and (originally) Yekaterinburg all question the promise of local reality. Beyond depressing fact lingers a vague fantasy.
Four recordings from three Russian cities show increasing concern about the promise of adulthood. Greater hope emerges from literature, retrospection, and even thoughts of "prenatal" oceanic life.
Using everything from pre-revolutionary photography to Miami synth-pop and dusty video games, these musicians all cast a glance backwards. The past promises more than an "anxious" future.