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.
Various inevitabilities gather strength around three releases from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Minsk. In the face of diminishing liberties, a certain presentism emerges, celebrating the here and now.
Two recurring reference points in Slavic electronica are childhood and the open landscapes that symbolize an early liberty. Four new releases interweave these motifs, whilst mourning the clamor of modernity.
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.