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.
Placed end to end, four new electronic recordings from Russia and Belarus advocate a retreat into silence. Nothingness holds more appeal than specificity.
The Subwise label in Saint Petersburg remains as busy as ever. We have chosen seven new releases from Russian and Ukrainian artists, as proof that a common worldview is developing among them all.
The physical destruction in Donetsk is only one form of material failure encountered by Slavic musicians today. Together they head for digital realms instead.
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.
As the socioeconomic situation worsens in Russia, so do attitudes towards society. Civic activity promises less and less. Consequently, several artists speak in support of minimal interaction.
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
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
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.
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.