Two new releases from FFM. One is Ukrainian, the other is Russian - and both are instrumental. The difference between them, genres aside, is in their attitude to the weight of the surrounding world.
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.
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
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.
The innocence of youth is treated with bittersweet retrospection in some new songs from Chelyabinsk, Tomsk, and Moscow. All of these artists imply that childhood's naivety and hope are unlikely to survive for long.
This Siberian trio comes from the city of Tomsk. The local scene is not promising, yet that brings a strange advantage. In a place where there's nothing to gain, there's also nothing to lose.
From Rostov-na-Donu comes psychedelic noise-rock that looks back with fondness to the earliest days of the Space Race. Heavy industry suddenly started to throw off the shackles of gravity.
"There's no point trying to drag some super-cool concept from our music. That's not what Hellspin is about. The band is about an emotional high. It's about feelings - and the fact that sometimes you just feel f***ing wonderful."
Argo Vals is an Estonian multi-instrumentalist and composer. His career can be traced back to 2006, when initial, DIY tracks morphed slowly into several Baltic ensembles. A reputation started to grow.
A couple of rock bands far from Moscow ponder the benefits of avoiding its cutthroat industry. No matter how that might sound like consolation for a failed career, other ensembles tend to agree.