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.
Downtempo, garage, and glitch-hop tracks this week are bound by their composers to forms of social skepticism. A sluggish, moribund world prompts a certain sound. Optimism emerges only slowly.
Moscow's Beryoza project releases another fine example of Slavic "ghetto" tracks, playing upon the meaning of provinciality in Russia and Ukraine. Humor and anxiety often coincide.
A collection of December recordings from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine ponder various alternatives to social reality. Hopeful glances are cast out to sea, into the sky, and through the doors of a church.
As musicians move away from a distant hometown, the web promises greater connectivity. If, however, technical obstacles inhibit the romance of digital interaction, what options then remain?
Seventeen promising DJs, performers, and producers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia come together in order to improve the general atmosphere of collaboration. A common worldview transpires.
An overview of five acclaimed Slavic rap projects shows a decreasing similarity with Western fashion. Many aspects of Western rap are overshadowed by a unique and very local philosophy.
"The Baltic Scene" has just published an LP bringing together producers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The result does much to emphasize both individual modesty and collective hope.
Several electronic publications look back on a fledgling, post-Soviet internet with nostalgia. The sounds and graphic art of the 1990s recall a time when kinder, more inclusive networks might replace ideology.
Some leading exponents of Russian electronica publish a range of EPs that overlap philosophically. They all, to some degree, consider the nature of desire - and whether the best dreams never come true.