As a series of new recordings take inspiration from the melancholy romance of Soviet pop music, the question arises: what about tomorrow?
The future can be unpredictable in Eastern Europe. Four new recordings visualize tomorrow as a road movie, a winding or rocky passage, and a dead end. Hope is needed.
As a number of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian artists consider their future plans, it transpires that the most hopeful songs grow from the greatest failures. Frustrations breed aspirations.
One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
For reasons both social and philosophical, four Russian projects release new recordings with zero promotion. The logic of material wellbeing is sidelined in favor of a quieter worldview, hinted at in quotations.
Ambient and lo-fi publications from four northern addresses all ponder the meaning of solitude. It does not lead to melancholy; in fact it offers a productive liberty from the awfulness of social existence.
Faith in social spheres is a theme discussed in new material from Moscow, Kiev, and a range of Estonian towns. Not everybody shares an optimistic view of audiences and other noisy collectives.
As we conclude a third and final overview, the "NG 15" album appears in Moscow. Twenty-six performers are gathered together in order both to consider the meaning of New Year and help a children's charity.