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The Light Inside: Sus Dungo, Moa Pillar, Malish Kamu, and 4 Pozicii Bruno
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.
The Basement Tapes: Arm Author, Seilarmoon, GLWZBLL, and Budzza
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.
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.
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