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.
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
Kobra are a young and promising trio from Saint Petersburg: Pavel Doronin, Denis Korobeinikov, and vocalist Anna Lichko. Their first collaboration together evokes a specifically northern fantasy.
The thirty-ninth release from FFM Records was both conceived and recorded in Saint Petersburg. Four brief songs speak to the ongoing, even counter-productive effort needed to keep aspirations alive.
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.
The Los Angeles label Not Not Fun has just published a compilation of six female electronic artists. Resident in both Russia and Ukraine, they offer a peaceful, creative alternative to recent events.
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.
Grave Board Clan is a Belarusian collective of electronic musicians, founded ten years ago. They just published a major "Sample Pack," designed to showcase the GBC and encourage collaborations.
From a series of Russian and Ukrainian towns, four new releases investigate the benefits of solitude. Introspection leads to a different type of self-promotion, in which anonymity and silence are key.