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The Pull of the Past: KSKY, 130 Vespa, Komba Bakkh, and BMB Spacekid
A couple of northern projects look with fondness at Soviet culture, given the failings of the present day. More powerful than childhood retrospection, however, is the invocation of an ancient tradition.
A Northern Minimalism: Zimne and Andrey Porubov (FFM46 and 47)
Two new releases from FFM originate in distant places: Novosibirsk and the Kola Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. In both cases, the musicians' address brings more benefit than inconvenience.
A Growing Sense of Silence: BAIKAL, I Delfiny, Vakula, and Foresteppe
Two recurring reference points in Slavic electronica are childhood and the open landscapes that symbolize an early liberty. Four new releases interweave these motifs, whilst mourning the clamor of modernity.
Self-Reliance and Reflection: Elaflume, HKG Knights, (((О))), and Cortel
Four new publications, stretching from provincial Belarus to Vladivostok, look askance at social existence. The more crudity and/or banality it manifests, the more self-reliance comes to the fore.
Aspirations and Anxieties: VOVA and Nik Snake F (FFM 43 and 44)
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.
Being Social: Obe Dve, Auroraw, EXIT Project, and Maskeliade Street Studio
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.
A Private Choreography: Mayak, Bigudi, Kai Engel, and Absorb the Sun
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.
Despite It All: Cooper Phillip, Baikal, D-Pulse, and Grisha Liubit Grusha
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.
Kings of Empty Dancefloors: Korablove, Swaves, Luka, and Cao Sao Vang
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.
Back to Nature: Silver Wedding, Port Mone, Vozvraschenie, and Alhambra
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.
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