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Holiday Highs and Lows: The Afisha "NG 15" Compilation (Part Three)
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.
Looking Upwards and Down: IWKC and Art Electronix (FFM37 and 38)
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.
Soundscapes: Imandra Lake, Yana Blinder, Magnetic Poetry, and Harajiev
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.
Tales of Solitude: Inna Zhelannaia, Naadya, Evgeny Grinko, and Megapolis
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.
Sansara: "Needle" (Yekaterinburg, FFM24)
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.
Ned Hoper (Saint Petersburg, FFM9): The Self Detection EP
Who exactly is Ned Hoper? There's no such person in real life, even though the band members keep insisting upon the Australian roots of their legendary frontman. Their explanation is full of imagination and far from fact.
High above the Rooftops: TosyaChai, Dropps, Dobra, and SunMan24
As material constraints frustrate a number of young Russian musicians, thoughts turn to various kinds of ascent. Poems are dedicated to movement above the rooftops - and even into the stars.
An Ideal Outlook: Slackers, Limebridge, Waltz, and 2MORROW2LATE
The need for young musicians to hold down a couple of jobs can be trying. Related material complications lead, over time, to a celebration of immaterial values, such as wistfulness and a slacker ethos.
A Grand Minorism: Xuman, Mendream, VLNY, and Powder! Go Away
A number of publications this week display an interesting tension between grand romance and self-deprecation. By understating their heartfelt values, these artists stress a stubborn fidelity to a fading cause.
Love Songs and Likelihood: Auroraw, New Maps, Shadazz, and Phooey!
Hoping to develop their careers in a meaningful fashion, these bands consider writing uplifting or consoling love songs. Reality, however, unfolds in strange ways and fosters a less optimistic outlook.
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