The St. Petersburg community known as "We Are Russians" is busy gathering electronic projects with a special fondness for the 1980s. The soundtrack to perestroika continues to have great relevance.
Interviews surrounding several new dancefloor publications focus on the creation of local scenes. It slowly becomes evident that the role of friendship and collaboration is key in nurturing regional optimism.
St. Petersburg has a new club - Heisenberg - which has grown from the local Squat Academy and iTech Sound System. Running the show are Sasha Kaktus, DJ Pitters, and their colleague Yuri Skiff.
Mira Iskhome in Krasnodar releases some new recordings that are tied to Russia's southern electronic scene. For three other dancefloor publications this week, location is equally important.
Fresh house compositions from Russia and Lithuania show some fundamental, even universal elements of a house tradition. They celebrate the longstanding inclusiveness of classic disco in difficult times.
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
Downtempo, garage, and glitch-hop tracks this week are bound by their composers to forms of social skepticism. A sluggish, moribund world prompts a certain sound. Optimism emerges only slowly.
A number of tech-house and dub techno releases this week speak fondly of solitude. Both isolation and introspection have a unique significance for those who work online.
Two of Moscow's most important dance labels - Highway and Electronica - present new material that underscores the role of regional and even national pride. Signs of optimism are increasing.
Moscow's Beryoza project releases another fine example of Slavic "ghetto" tracks, playing upon the meaning of provinciality in Russia and Ukraine. Humor and anxiety often coincide.