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Changes: Carina Cooper, Nikadimus Experience, and A. Bashlachev
Three inherently acoustic traditions are subjected to a process of change. The more those variations come to light, the more they aid self-expression. The broader one's vista, the more subjectivity benefits.
Simple Songs: Pavel Chekhov, Karamazov Twins, Muha, and Amor Entrave
Given the crudity of loud mainstream songwriting, the appeal of modesty and understatement can grow quickly. These four projects, all with connections to Moscow, turn to a simpler register, no matter the loss of income.
A Sensation of Considerable Pressure: Siberia's Vovne Project
"Vovne" is a wide-ranging musical collaborative, centered in the Siberian cities of Tomsk and Kemerovo. Across considerable distances, a shared philosophy comes slowly into view, born of late Soviet experimentation.
Complementary Views of Liberty: Leningrad and Vintazh
The ensembles Leningrad and Vintazh represent two ends of mainstream pop and its promise of liberty. The former is overtly sexual and designed for visual display; the latter is grounded in freedom of verbal expression - and less hopeful.
A Search for Constant Values: New Songs from Leningrad and Rockerjoker
Leningrad and Rockerjoker (Minsk) have both published new albums. Across these recordings we find a desire to celebrate various small-scale, familial values - at a time of civic failure. Some of those values come in traditional liquid form
Three Degrees of Freedom: Nino Katamadze, Plum Bum, and Cabaret
The wonderful Nino Katamadze has published a new CD in her ongoing series of conceptually linked albums. The lasting importance of improvisation in that work has interesting historical precedents
Billy's Band: "Kupchino, the Capital of the World"
Yesterday a new album appeared in the mail, this time from St Petersburg outfit Billy's Band.  One of the phrases they often use to promote themselves is "Funeral Dixieland with an Eternally Happy Ending";  that slogan shows well the extremes embodied by the ensemble, both in theme and style. ...
Aleksandr F. Skliar: "Sailors' Songs"
Aleksandr Skliar's career has been anything but normal;  he remains of the great characters of Russian rock music, an enduring presence from the late Soviet generation.  An accurate sketch of his work should start before he even took the stage as a profesional.  For the first half of the 1980...
Karamazov Twins
With a name like "Karamazov Twins," this is an ensemble that will always be defined by negatives.  Their work and appearance have nothing to do with Dostoevskii's novel, nor are they connected to the well-established Ukrainian classic rock band of the same name. And they most certain...
Oleg Lifanovskii: Criminal Songs
Oleg Lifanovskii comes from very far away. He comes from Nakhodka, on Russia's Pacific coast. Closed for many years to any foreigners, it was a vital port for the Soviet navy. Living in Nakhodka would seem like exile to many people, and - suitably enough - Lifanovskii is an interesting pr...
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