These four new releases from Russia and Ukraine all lean towards a validation of smallness. There are various reasons not to be loud, arrogant, and self-assured. Local history is one of them.
Moscow's Fancy Music is announcing a range of new jazz recordings. Originating both in the capital and Novosibirsk, they give voice to a passionate defense of deviation, difference, and inclusion.
Two of these dancefloor projects are from the Russian capital; the others come from Vladivostok and Volgograd. Those more distant locations bring with them a specifically Slavic cultural baggage.
Two bands from Minsk and two from St. Petersburg give collective thought to issues of self-determination. In all four cases, there's an awareness that freedom and fate are tightly bound.
From St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, four lyrical songwriters consider the benefits of stagecraft over actuality. Imagination enjoys more freedom behind a writing desk or beneath limelight.
Moscow's Fancy Music encourages various trajectories: rock, jazz, electronic, and "contemporary." Some representatives of that final rubric establish a common worldview - from Siberia to New York.
On October 27, the Big Samhain festival will take place in Saint Petersburg. It gathers a wide range of folk traditions from Russia, Scotland, Ireland, and France - to name but four windswept lands.
The "Put' k Sebe" folk festival is held in Russia's Kaluga region each autumn. Some of the performers from this year's lineup suggest how ancient practice might correct various failings within modernity.
Faced by examples of heartless social "progress," these musicians from three Slavic nations embrace a slower, wiser credo. Downtempo styles are used to endorse a calmer worldview.
The Sketis organization continues to champion а crisscrossing of folk traditions. Not only is canonical practice forced to incorporate novelty; peripheral locations are also paid major attention.