Moscow's FORMA festival just took place and - with its interdisciplinary celebration of modern Russian art - engendered some interesting views of creative "labor" among its many participants
The Boiler Room live sets have been streamed from Russia since last year. Although they aim to forge global connections, certain aspects of the Russian scene make it unique.
As an implicit reaction to the growing pomp and circumstance of primetime Russian media, four new releases look back to the sounds and stories of childhood. Not with sentiment, but with purpose.
Placed end to end, four new electronic recordings from Russia and Belarus advocate a retreat into silence. Nothingness holds more appeal than specificity.
The physical destruction in Donetsk is only one form of material failure encountered by Slavic musicians today. Together they head for digital realms instead.
A couple of northern projects look with fondness at Soviet culture, given the failings of the present day. More powerful than childhood retrospection, however, is the invocation of an ancient tradition.
Four new publications, stretching from provincial Belarus to Vladivostok, look askance at social existence. The more crudity and/or banality it manifests, the more self-reliance comes to the fore.
As the socioeconomic situation worsens in Russia, so do attitudes towards society. Civic activity promises less and less. Consequently, several artists speak in support of minimal interaction.
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
Moscow's Highway Records is publishing a collection of deep- and tech-house tracks from around Russia. One commonality between the participants is an endorsement of self-education and diligence.