А sneaking suspicion that actuality is increasingly loud and intolerant leads to the search for other options: quieter love songs, wanton surrealism, or an escape into the realm of virtual bands.
A solo artist from Krasnoyarsk makes some dark quips about the tendency of life towards "misery and decay." Gradually, however, three simultaneous rock releases turn his humor into bona fide fatalism.
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
Some new recordings from Belarus and Russia endorse a practice of impromptu creativity. Various things, however, stand in the way of any such freedoms: the allure of profit, habit, alcohol... and fate itself.
These Russian collectives all invoke the theme of emptiness in their newest recordings. Beyond the limits of dull actuality lie other towns, countries, and even planets. They are all frustratingly absent.
From the outskirts of two capitals - Moscow and Minsk - come some songs designed to inspire. They discern a certain civic or ideological "emptiness" and hope to offer a consoling alternative.
Themes of transience come to the fore, either in terms of impermanent human achievements or the passing of the seasons. Once that universal flow is recognized, a sense of calm transpires.
Four Russian bands champion their chosen styles, from "garage revival" to "quarter-tone rock," based upon Middle Eastern traditions. Across them all, diligence hopes to drown out reality.
Two of these ensembles borrow from a folk heritage; the other two have their roots in recent rock music. The former pair manages to foster a sense of optimism; the latter falls to growing fatalism.
These five collectives have various ways of interpreting the future. It is viewed in terms of patience or a distant horizon. Others, less hopeful, prefer retrospection, psychedelia, and total despair.