As a number of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian artists consider their future plans, it transpires that the most hopeful songs grow from the greatest failures. Frustrations breed aspirations.
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
Four new dance releases from around the Russian capital seek an escape from the daily grind. Increasingly, however, a pessimistic view of the future makes prior decades an attractive reference point.
Two bands from Minsk and two from St. Petersburg give collective thought to issues of self-determination. In all four cases, there's an awareness that freedom and fate are tightly bound.
Several electronic publications look back on a fledgling, post-Soviet internet with nostalgia. The sounds and graphic art of the 1990s recall a time when kinder, more inclusive networks might replace ideology.
The Perm ensemble Dos Burtatinos has announced a retrospective collection of remixes. That reconstitution of eight years' work is likened to the sensation of being somewhere else entirely.
In the face of geographic, commercial, and industrial challenges, these Russian and Ukrainian artists manage to stay optimistic. They take faith from history, Soviet rockets, distant stars, and poetry.
It might seem obvious that anybody composing dance music would harbor thoughts of a busy environment in which he/she is eventually celebrated. These EPs, however, speak of quieter places.
The southern city of Krasnodar is home to several productive netlabels. Two of them announce new material in which the unavoidable solitude of digital culture is countered with something simpler.
As new dancefloor publications find themselves obliged to create promotional material, doubts emerge regarding its efficacy. Gradually hard work is validated over and above any hard sell.