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Wind, Sand, and Stars: Yuka, Foresteppe, x.y.r., and Race to Space
One of the most enduring motifs of Soviet culture within Russian popular music has been the so-called "Space Race"––the competition between Moscow and Washington to explore the cosmos.
The Basement Tapes: Arm Author, Seilarmoon, GLWZBLL, and Budzza
This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
Tales of Independence: Gorbach, Niklavz, Despotin Fam, and Beatcase
From Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, four new releases appear, all inspired by a hip-hop tradition. They also voice a connection to other musical events of prior decades - together with their social impact.
A Language of Hope: Life on Marx, Artek Elektronika, AMVI, and Acid Reich
As a British newspaper suggests that nostalgia in Russian popular music is inherently political, an alternative viewpoint arises. Many young artists fondly recall a time, rather than an ideology.
Sounds of Our Environment: Dza, Valotihkuu, Vorobushek, and Talnik
As a handful of new recordings play upon elements of Western hip-hop, 8bit, chill-out, and other styles, one constant theme remains. No matter the desire to sound globally aware, a local focus endures.
A Great Escape: Magnetic Poetry, Kompakt–Katya, SiJ, and King Imagine
In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
Disintegration Loop: Ovrkl, Bisamråtta, Moscillate, Garimastah & Tikhie Kamni
Several new Russian electronic recordings display an increasing gratitude for both solitude and silence. The further one happens to be from clamorous modernity or a capital city, the better.
Moderation and Reticence: Siba.Pro, i Delfiny, Honey, and Capo Blanco
For reasons both social and philosophical, four Russian projects release new recordings with zero promotion. The logic of material wellbeing is sidelined in favor of a quieter worldview, hinted at in quotations.
Natural Patterns: Letkolben, lwpss, Giriu Dvasios, and Andrey Kiritchenko
New electronic recordings from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine - via Berlin - question the liberties of commercial and noncommercial enterprise. The same questions are framed ecologically.
Just Because: The "Prosto Tak" EP by Kharkiv's Pur:Pur (FFM51)
The Ukrainian outfit known as Pur:Pur have just published five new songs, dedicated to issues of simplicity and amity. The inspiration for kindness today comes from a brief Soviet cartoon of 1976.
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