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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.
New from Sketis: Vasilyev Vecher, Baraka, Voronovo Krylo, and Bubamara
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.
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"
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