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A Great Escape: Magnetic Poetry, Kompakt–Katya, SiJ, and King Imagine
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.
Moderation and Reticence: Siba.Pro, i Delfiny, Honey, and Capo Blanco
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.
Constant, Creative Seclusion: BAIKAL, Ocean Shiver, x.y.r., and Lemonday
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.
Safe in the Sky: Cepasa, Alex Kelman, and the New Õunaviks Compilation
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.
Holiday Highs and Lows: The Afisha "NG 15" Compilation (Part Three)
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.
Words of Continuity and Comfort: Afisha's New Year Songs (Part Two)
The Moscow magazine Afisha continues to gather a wide range of songs celebrating the New Year. All of the performers involved juxtapose their individual hopes and dreams with the unlikely prospect of civic improvement.
Starting Again: Viljandi Guitar Trio, Alpha-Beta, Wols, and Nikita Bondarev
Four publications this month are dedicated to themes of transformation and metamorphosis. Despite their differing styles, they find common ground in a celebration of good-natured change.
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.
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