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Songs of Strength and Simplicity: Five New LPs from Sketis Music
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
A Tribute to the Past: Maxim Buldakov, Ilya Gerus, Inlensk, and Sugar God
All the way from Moscow to the villages of Siberia, a common idea finds voice in a handful of dance floor publications. In four of these releases, the romance of nostalgia and happy stasis proves most persistent.
Flying Far from Home: 813, Ewan Limb, Dave Pad, and Tram Drivers
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
Staying the Course: Mindex, Gatilove, Davydov, RSAC, and Polar Lights
In an allegedly post-commercial environment, where hard work in the studio is no guarantee of a salary, the value of labor is often debated. The responses range from diligence to full-blown decadence.
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.
An Expansive World: Pixelord, Neon Lights, Doyeq, and RezQ Sound
The physical destruction in Donetsk is only one form of material failure encountered by Slavic musicians today. Together they head for digital realms instead.
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.
An Enlightening Escape: Casey Cat, Tantsui, Jimmy Roqsta, and Moresebya
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
Persistence and the Value of Collaboration: Subwise and Feedoptions
As the Subwise label in Saint Petersburg releases a new compilation album, celebrating ongoing success in the North, a new project emerges from Surgut. Both foreground the value of joint effort.
A Demanding Timeline: The "Fast Lane" Remixes from Highway Records
Moscow's Highway Records is publishing a collection of deep- and tech-house tracks from around Russia. One commonality between the participants is an endorsement of self-education and diligence.
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