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New from Ultra Vague: Mamanet, Awesomatic, Sable Beats, and KØL¥∆
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 Phoenix: Five Eyes (IIIII), Ganju, Wit Chu, and MLICK
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.
An Outsider Soundtrack: The Beryoza "Old New Year Compilation"
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.
New Congregations: Oligarkh, Diamos Roll, and Mad-Hop (Vol. Seven)
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.
Wider Vistas: WuMeiGui, Pixelord, BWWWOYS, and Illuminated Faces
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 Smiles: Ashnikko, Edgars Zilde, Kask, and Sander Mölder
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.
A Beautiful Insignificance: Some Social Concerns of New Russian Rap
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.
Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues: The Baltic Trail Compilation
"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.
A Better Congregation: BWWWOYS, Kulakostas, 21 Outside, and Kodek
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.
A Vague, Distant Promise: Aleph, 813, Valotihkuu, and PCのMuseum
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.
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