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Friends and Distant Family: FPRF, Oligarkh, The HIK, and Gnoomes
Surrounded by a series of failing support systems, be they social or financial, four Russian ensembles turn to themes of family. In difficult times, thoughts of friends and colleagues grow more important.
Soundscapes: Imandra Lake, Yana Blinder, Magnetic Poetry, and Harajiev
All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
A Growing Importance of Things Local: The Stereoleto Festival 2014
The Russian music festival Stereoleto is about to start in Saint Petersburg. We examine some ideas behind the event's success and endurance. A link between diligence and dreams quickly emerges.
2muchachos: "A Forest Is Not What It Seems" (Cherepovets, FFM20)
2muchachos, based in the town of Cherepovets , turn the crackle and rustle of a tape-music aesthetic into the soundtrack for small-scale botanical bustle.
Chikiss: "Without Oxygen" (Saint Petersburg, FFM17)
The next release from FFM is a republication - of a wonderful, rarely recognized EP from Galya Chikiss. "Without Oxygen" is full of northern folklore, but has direct connections to the here and now.
The Owl: Fairy Forest (Novosibirsk, FFM10)
Darya Shakhova (aka The Owl) Novosibirsk: "I like all music… except completely idiotic styles, of course! I even like high-quality pop stuff. If something is made with heart and soul, then you'll feel it..."
Distant or Elusive Aspirations: Clonki, x.y.r., SiJ, and More Oblakov
Within a number of Slavic electronic recordings this week, desire is an enduring theme. Alternatives to dull actuality are sought in local forests, on distant shores, or within classic literature of the Nineteenth Century.
A Gentle Light: Kai Engel, Poostosh, Vorobushek, and Be Smooth
Four electronic publications from Moscow and Yekaterinburg express concerns over the noise and crudity of present-day experience. As a result, retrospection and nostalgia both have appeal.
Reflection: Sohight & Cheevy, Lowkarma, Malish Kamu, and Zh. Kukoverov
Four very different recordings - spun from a lo-fi lyricism, '80s synth-pop and abstract beats - all look askance at the future. Various kinds of reflection and retrospection seem increasingly appealing.
Somewhere Else: The Just, MOGU, Satellite Dreams, and More Znaet
A lyrical strain runs through some Russian rock releases this week. It begins with wistful dreams of leaving home - and moves with increasing satisfaction to distant planets or a bottomless ocean.
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