Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.
Over a series of new Russian recordings, feelings of self-determination lessen in the face of both history and modern likelihood. Modesty becomes the sincerest form of expression.
From Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania come four responses to the drudgery and dead weight of quotidian experience. The most satisfying among them involve looking backwards.
New LPs from Minsk, Izhevsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow ponder sources of consolation and comfort. One suggests that the greatest consolation is found in one's own domestic "cultural baggage."
A few days ago, the Belarusian magazine Experty.BY announced a series of awards, dedicated to the best domestic music of last year. A wide range of prizes were involved, defined in terms of format or genre.
As we conclude a third and final overview, the "NG 15" album appears in Moscow. Twenty-six performers are gathered together in order both to consider the meaning of New Year and help a children's charity.
Two new releases from FFM. One is Ukrainian, the other is Russian - and both are instrumental. The difference between them, genres aside, is in their attitude to the weight of the surrounding world.
All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
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.
This week we're republishing a classic recording from one of Russia's most important and consistently surprising bands. It comes together with English translations and a host of contextual materials.