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Improvisation: Artemiev, A. Toymintseva, M. Kutskova, and A. Rostotskaya
Four recent publications from solo artists in both Russian jazz and pop music are dedicated to themes of individual effort––and the related risks thereof.
Unvoiced Dreams: Sirotkin, Artek Elektronika, The Tairyfale, Kim & Buran
As a series of new recordings take inspiration from the melancholy romance of Soviet pop music, the question arises: what about tomorrow?
From Yekaterinburg and Beyond: Sansara, RSAC, OQJAV, and AloeVera
The city of Yekaterinburg has a proud connection to the rock and protest songs of perestroika. Do any local bands from that city share the same convictions today?
Road Movies: VEiiLA, Romantiki, Vivienne Mort, and So Mnoyu Vot Chto
The future can be unpredictable in Eastern Europe. Four new recordings visualize tomorrow as a road movie, a winding or rocky passage, and a dead end. Hope is needed.
Seven Kinds of Solitude: The Best of New Belarusian Songwriting
The Belarusian magazine Experty.By has compiled a series of Top Ten lists, cataloging the best bands and recordings of last year.
Optimism: Murakami, Pryamo v Guby, Vnutrennee Sgoranie, & Phooey!
In these challenging economic times for musicians across Eastern Europe, the role played by optimism is vital. We look at four new recordings––and varying degrees of hope.
Distant Suns: Pianoboy, Internet Sushi, Thy Lankasters & Crimson Butterfly
Three new recordings make direct reference to Japanese history and habits. A distant nation fuels dreams of some alternative to local reality. The more actuality disappoints, the further desire travels from home.
Twisting and Turning: Another Mask, Yawn Hic, WLVS, and Rivoli
Two rock bands from Samara join philosophical forces with new recordings from Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. Taken together, these four outfits fashion a worldview to counter cocky "progression."
Distant Stars: K.A.T.Y.A., Cricket Captains, Shuma, and Misha Mishenko
As a number of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian artists consider their future plans, it transpires that the most hopeful songs grow from the greatest failures. Frustrations breed aspirations.
Amity: Wednesday Morning, Young Adults, Kate in the Box & Platya za 130
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.
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