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Friends and Distant Family: FPRF, Oligarkh, The HIK, and Gnoomes
Surrounded by a series of failing support systems, be they social or financial, four Russian ensembles turn to themes of family. In difficult times, thoughts of friends and colleagues grow more important.
Nowhere in Particular: Biblioteka, EIMIC, February, and Blackpaperplanes
Through their use of other languages, employment overseas, and various forms of Wanderlust, these four bands work hard to ignore domestic culture. Anywhere - and anything - looks better than home.
Soundscapes: Imandra Lake, Yana Blinder, Magnetic Poetry, and Harajiev
All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
A Growing Importance of Things Local: The Stereoleto Festival 2014
The Russian music festival Stereoleto is about to start in Saint Petersburg. We examine some ideas behind the event's success and endurance. A link between diligence and dreams quickly emerges.
Obscurum Per Obscurius: The 2014 Schilling Festival (Estonia)
This year's Schilling Festival is about to start in Estonia. There's a special overlap between the festival's philosophy and the worldview of several Estonian bands taking part. Ideals and actuality coincide.
High above the Rooftops: TosyaChai, Dropps, Dobra, and SunMan24
As material constraints frustrate a number of young Russian musicians, thoughts turn to various kinds of ascent. Poems are dedicated to movement above the rooftops - and even into the stars.
Deviations: Polska Radio One, Another Mask, Poupee F, and Mars-96
Amid discussions of a museum celebrating the Leningrad Rock Club, four young rock bands from Russia and Ukraine publish new material that doubts those early, social goals. Civic plans are now private.
Slavic Noir: Serdceder, Fanny Kaplan, Parc Hotel, and Stone Submarines
Four new rock publications from Russian cities consider the likelihood of subversive song-writing in a culture where the weight of history seems great. Thoughts of sedition morph into acceptance.
Yielding: Glintshake, Okudjav, Commercial Marines, and Universe Inside
In a range of new recordings from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, aimlessness comes to the fore. These young musicians have scant faith in social progress: "uselessness" becomes their goal.
An Ideal Outlook: Slackers, Limebridge, Waltz, and 2MORROW2LATE
The need for young musicians to hold down a couple of jobs can be trying. Related material complications lead, over time, to a celebration of immaterial values, such as wistfulness and a slacker ethos.
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