Warm On is a hip-hop community on Moscow's northern edge. The group's members and colleagues operate in a wide number of Russian or Ukrainian cities. They all share a common philosophy.
As the Sochi Winter Music Conference prepares to advertise itself for 2014, a tone of fiscal confidence informs the PR materials. That same hope and optimism is infectious among participants.
From Kaunas in Lithuania, a couple of young producers use music as a form of immaterial, even ideal experience. Sound grants a sense of location and membership far from the material hassles of DIY enterprise.
Energun Records is a label from the Belarusian capital of Minsk, specializing in techno. Little by little, the dramatic stereotypes surrounding that style are cast aside in favor of a surprising optimism.
The Belarusian techno collective "Force Carriers" has published a new compilation album. Many of the performers involved look back with fondness to the stargazing romance of socialist industry.
Over the course of several electronic recordings from Perm, Krasnodar, Tula, and St. Petersburg, a fondness emerges for the lo-fi technology of the 1990s. Bad machinery recalls happy times.
Moscow's DAR Label is publishing some showcase albums of Slavic progressive- and tech-house. Despite the bold drama of those styles, they're tied to a melancholy reality.
Online collaborations have brought new professional options to many Russian DJs. Nonetheless, those digital connections - paradoxically - also underscore one's inability to be somewhere else.
Two new St. Petersburg recordings romanticize the homeless, aimless experience of cosmonauts. Even in Moscow, a related desire is audible, even among the most goal-driven musicians.
From a range of Russian cities, new hip-hop recordings transpire. They speak either to the value of collaboration - or simply to the importance of an audience. Friends help to foster courage.