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.
Four melancholy releases all find solace by imagining a grander, quieter realm. Private anxieties fade away. The same consoling process is evident in new folk recordings, born of a parallel experience.
One of the more enduring assumptions or stereotypes regarding Slavic songwriting would be that of sadness, if not misery. When melancholy does indeed make an appearance, what form does it take?
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
The Estonian label Ounaviks continues to produce a wide and wonderful range of folk reinterpretations for a new generation. From within that antique heritage comes a reconsidered worldview.
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.
The passage of time leaves its mark on the work of many performers, especially during the transition from youth to adulthood. These recordings try to hold keep those changes at bay.
As some new electronic releases focus on the passage of youth, various ideals appear both fleeting and ineffable. They are, say these performers, better captured visually than verbally.
As professional pressures increase around young artists, three responses transpire: look fondly to the past, adopt a new onstage identity, or plow adamantly onwards...
The well-respected MP3 blog Motherland has been asked to compile regular playlists by Moscow's Afisha magazine. Even among the first artists, a collective worldview starts to take shape.