Four house releases from Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova combine the traditions of Chicago and Detroit with Soviet history - in order to fashion an alternative to local, industrial reality.
New recordings from the Subwise label, together with a Stoned Boys EP, romanticize the surrender to something better than drudgery. That potential may be on a dancefloor, in drugs, or in charity.
The dark, dense forests of Karelia lead the Petrozavodsk duo Love Cult to conjure an entire universe of alternative dimensions. This tendency to prejudice dreams over urban actuality is found elsewhere.
Two of these dancefloor projects are from the Russian capital; the others come from Vladivostok and Volgograd. Those more distant locations bring with them a specifically Slavic cultural baggage.
Fresh publications from Russophone performers in three nations share a common ethical concern. They hope to define a private ethos in some civic realms with little patience for individuality.
Several electronic publications look back on a fledgling, post-Soviet internet with nostalgia. The sounds and graphic art of the 1990s recall a time when kinder, more inclusive networks might replace ideology.
The Perm ensemble Dos Burtatinos has announced a retrospective collection of remixes. That reconstitution of eight years' work is likened to the sensation of being somewhere else entirely.
In the face of geographic, commercial, and industrial challenges, these Russian and Ukrainian artists manage to stay optimistic. They take faith from history, Soviet rockets, distant stars, and poetry.
It might seem obvious that anybody composing dance music would harbor thoughts of a busy environment in which he/she is eventually celebrated. These EPs, however, speak of quieter places.
The southern city of Krasnodar is home to several productive netlabels. Two of them announce new material in which the unavoidable solitude of digital culture is countered with something simpler.