Two new releases from FFM originate in Moscow and Kiev. A couple of solo performers travel parallel trajectories from self-doubt to a less disconcerting state, somewhere on the edge of aspiration.
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
From a series of Russian and Ukrainian towns, four new releases investigate the benefits of solitude. Introspection leads to a different type of self-promotion, in which anonymity and silence are key.
Cooper Phillip, as readers of FFM know, is a Los Angeles-based singer of Slavic roots. According to some well-worn stereotypes, Russian pessimism falls away once her career blossoms on a distant shore.
Various professional and social difficulties lead four electronic musicians from Russia and Belarus to celebrate solitude, peace, and quiet. A distance from social life appears to produce superior sounds.
In a world of adult responsibilities, urban anxiety, and other challenges, the spontaneous nature of childhood experience can seem very appealing. Four new recordings look back to a simpler time and place.
The Sketis label is announcing a series of new albums from both Russia and Latvia. They, in turn, draw upon a melange of folk traditions, ranging all the way from Siberia's criminal past to the Balkans or Tajikistan.
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.
For Western observers, many locations across a Russian map - with unpronounceable names and windswept railway stations - can appear unimaginably distant. In one of those lonely places we find SV Hutor.
"When I compose, I simply turn off my brain and surrender to a flight of fancy. It's something elusive. It happens all of a sudden, spontaneously... it's what you might call 'improvisation of the heart and soul.'"