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Time-Honored Anxieties as the New Year Approaches for Afisha and Colta
Afisha and Colta are arguably Moscow's two most influential music publications when it comes to finding or fostering new talent. As December begins, they both consider the musical year ahead - with some anxiety.
Despite It All: Cooper Phillip, Baikal, D-Pulse, and Grisha Liubit Grusha
Cooper Phillip, as readers of FFM know, is a Los Angeles-based singer of Slavic roots. According to some well-worn stereotypes, Russian pessimism falls away once her career blossoms on a distant shore.
Starting Again: Viljandi Guitar Trio, Alpha-Beta, Wols, and Nikita Bondarev
Four publications this month are dedicated to themes of transformation and metamorphosis. Despite their differing styles, they find common ground in a celebration of good-natured change.
Lyricism under Pressure: Naadya, Onuka, The Cancel, and KSKY
Four new publications from Russian and Ukrainian artists juxtapose the desire to sing or perform with a likely public response. In an unforgiving social context, dare one express private views?
Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know: Fancy Music's Lermontov LP
Moscow's Fancy Music has just released a lengthy compilation album, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of romantic poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)
Tales of Solitude: Inna Zhelannaia, Naadya, Evgeny Grinko, and Megapolis
Four new releases from Moscow artists look askance at the massed workings of modernity. As a result, songs of retrospection, solitude, and even isolation have an increasing appeal.
Happy55: "A Magic Word" (Voronezh, FFM25)
Happy55 are a jazz trio from the southern industrial city of Voronezh. Against that backdrop, and the weight of ailing history, these gifted performers find much value in improvisation and spontaneity.
Zimne: "Flying in Dreams and Daylight" (Novosibirsk, FFM23)
Novosibirsk's Zimne have released a second LP of metaphysical trip-hop. These new songs combine the core themes of earthbound romance, distant galaxies, and a painful gap between them.
Kubikmaggi (Saint Petersburg, FFM18)
"The band has trouble recalling specific dates. Its members instead neglect any chronology; in fact, they're barely able to count, giving all the time they've spent working with different time signatures"
Ameli na Meli (Aleksandra Obraztsova / Moscow, FFM14)
Aleksandra Obraztsova's intriguing stage-name is a play upon the title of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 feature "Amelie." Obraztsova authors her hushed, pensive songs using the alter ego of "Ameli na Meli."
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