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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.
SV Hutor: The Eponymous Album (Sterlitamak, FFM29)
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.
Misha Mishenko and Alwayslate: "In Pursuit of Light/Chapter" (FFM26/27)
"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.'"
Happy55: "A Magic Word" (Voronezh, FFM25)
Happy55 are a jazz trio from the southern industrial city of Voronezh. Against that backdrop, and the weight of ailing history, these gifted performers find much value in improvisation and spontaneity.
2muchachos: "A Forest Is Not What It Seems" (Cherepovets, FFM20)
2muchachos, based in the town of Cherepovets , turn the crackle and rustle of a tape-music aesthetic into the soundtrack for small-scale botanical bustle.
Sugar God: "Amanzi" (Moscow, FFM19)
Sugar God (Evgeny Pozdnyakov, Moscow): "I've tried to create the atmosphere of being in outer space, or of a bird's flight. It's a combination of romantic solitude and nostalgia"
Chikiss: "Without Oxygen" (Saint Petersburg, FFM17)
The next release from FFM is a republication - of a wonderful, rarely recognized EP from Galya Chikiss. "Without Oxygen" is full of northern folklore, but has direct connections to the here and now.
Ameli na Meli (Aleksandra Obraztsova / Moscow, FFM14)
Aleksandra Obraztsova's intriguing stage-name is a play upon the title of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 feature "Amelie." Obraztsova authors her hushed, pensive songs using the alter ego of "Ameli na Meli."
The Owl: Fairy Forest (Novosibirsk, FFM10)
Darya Shakhova (aka The Owl) Novosibirsk: "I like all music… except completely idiotic styles, of course! I even like high-quality pop stuff. If something is made with heart and soul, then you'll feel it..."
Roundelay: Russian Melodies (Samara, FFM4)
In the city of Samara is a female choir led by Dmitrii Kolevatykh: Roundelay. This substantial, shifting lineup of young women creates a sound unique within modern Russian music.
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