Four new releases from Moscow artists look askance at the massed workings of modernity. As a result, songs of retrospection, solitude, and even isolation have an increasing appeal.
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.
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..."
In the city of Samara is a female choir led by Dmitrii Kolevatykh: Roundelay. This substantial, shifting lineup of young women creates a sound unique within modern Russian music.
Marble Boy are a duo from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv: Anton Shatokhin and Maria Demenko. Recent events at home are tangentially reflected in the private emphases of a new EP, entitled "Notion."
As these performers list the professional or political obstacles facing their work, a nostalgia develops for intuitive, pre-adult experience. Those earliest years harbored some nameless values.
Four women from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Saratov offer new narratives on the ongoing struggle for self-determination. Those tales of increasing dignity stretch all the way to Los Angeles.
Two bands from Minsk and two from St. Petersburg give collective thought to issues of self-determination. In all four cases, there's an awareness that freedom and fate are tightly bound.
One of the more enduring assumptions or stereotypes regarding Slavic songwriting would be that of sadness, if not misery. When melancholy does indeed make an appearance, what form does it take?
The Estonian label Ounaviks continues to produce a wide and wonderful range of folk reinterpretations for a new generation. From within that antique heritage comes a reconsidered worldview.