As FFM reconsiders some of the Russian and Belarusian rock recordings of winter 2016, a common theme emerges of self-deprecation. Albeit with strange benefits.
New garage, stoner, and doom rock recordings express a growing tension between dreams and actuality. The responses range from desperation to indifference.
Several new rock recordings, all the way from Saint Petersburg to Simferopol, express doubts about grand spectacle. Better, smaller forms of interaction are found both in memories and on stage.
Fantasy and the imagination are key aspects of these new recordings from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Their joint celebration of oddity simply highlights an ongoing disappointment with normality.
As the socioeconomic and political situations grow more challenging in Russia and Ukraine, new rock recordings turn away from civic actuality - towards introspection and psychedelia.
A few days ago, the Belarusian magazine Experty.BY announced a series of awards, dedicated to the best domestic music of last year. A wide range of prizes were involved, defined in terms of format or genre.
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
One of the most enduring reference points for Russian musicians over the last two decades has been outer space. The approaching New Year does little to encourage hope - and so distant planets still appeal.
Against the backdrop of a Russian tradition of politicized rock songs, four collectives in 2014 look for alternative values. They tend to be immaterial, in the best - and most romantic - sense of the word.