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.
As the Subwise label in Saint Petersburg releases a new compilation album, celebrating ongoing success in the North, a new project emerges from Surgut. Both foreground the value of joint effort.
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.
The importance of silence and solitude appears in four new publications. They emerge across considerable distances, all the way from some lightless forests in Karelia to the quieter, cobbled streets of Ukraine.
As the New Year rolls around, a handful of Russian publications ponder the weight of history. Have regional events, in a number of different towns, led over time to a specific worldview or behavior, even?
Against a backdrop of civic unrest, several Russian and Ukrainian performers opt for a more restrained or "estranged" aesthetic. They begin with the cool, mechanical operations of an old Roland 303.
In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, and Krasnodar a range of programmatic statements emerge from disparate musicians with new work. They all champion the creative process over any crude, material consequence thereof.
Two new releases from FFM. One is Ukrainian, the other is Russian - and both are instrumental. The difference between them, genres aside, is in their attitude to the weight of the surrounding world.
One might think that a challenging social environment would lessen the appeal of romantic wistfulness among young artists. A hard life might breed resignation or greater pragmatism. Nothing of the sort.