Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
As Yungchen Lhamo and Anton Batagov promote a collaboration grounded in Tibetan prayers, other Russian artists have a different view of distant places. Hope and horror begin to alternate.
Four women from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Saratov offer new narratives on the ongoing struggle for self-determination. Those tales of increasing dignity stretch all the way to Los Angeles.
Moscow's Anise Project is fronted by Anna Volkova. She speaks of how adult experience tempers youthful fantasy. Some causes of that local fatalism are sought by other collectives in folklore.
The power of retrospection endures in new electronic recordings this week from Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Krasnoyarsk. Nonetheless, even those memories are subject to material demise.
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
As musicians from Murmansk and Moscow online encounter rudeness, disdain, or indifference, an alternative is needed to actuality. A reconsideration of '70s psychedelia does the job very nicely.
Two of Moscow's most important dance labels - Highway and Electronica - present new material that underscores the role of regional and even national pride. Signs of optimism are increasing.
St. Petersburg ensemble Iamthemorning have announced a new EP that builds upon some Ophelian motifs from prior recordings. The same symbolism of wistful demise appears in other towns, also.
Four instrumental producers from Minsk and St. Petersburg see their newest works as an alternative to frustrating, if not awful reality. The worse actuality appears, the more they fantasize.