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A Northern Minimalism: Zimne and Andrey Porubov (FFM46 and 47)
Two new releases from FFM originate in distant places: Novosibirsk and the Kola Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. In both cases, the musicians' address brings more benefit than inconvenience.
Aspirations and Anxieties: VOVA and Nik Snake F (FFM 43 and 44)
Two new releases from FFM originate in Moscow and Kiev. A couple of solo performers travel parallel trajectories from self-doubt to a less disconcerting state, somewhere on the edge of aspiration.
Sugar God: "Amanzi" (Moscow, FFM19)
Sugar God (Evgeny Pozdnyakov, Moscow): "I've tried to create the atmosphere of being in outer space, or of a bird's flight. It's a combination of romantic solitude and nostalgia"
Ameli na Meli (Aleksandra Obraztsova / Moscow, FFM14)
Aleksandra Obraztsova's intriguing stage-name is a play upon the title of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 feature "Amelie." Obraztsova authors her hushed, pensive songs using the alter ego of "Ameli na Meli."
Olga Glazova: "Water and Wind" (FFM1)
A student at Saint Petersburg's Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, Olga Glazova has won a wide range of competitions, both domestically and internationally. Her new album is released through FFM.
Four Understatements: Misha Mishenko, Maguett, Speck, and Sö
Humility and understatement color a number of Russian instrumental releases. Their audible modesty is prompted by childhood memories, an eco-aesthetic, and disorienting experiences online.
Constant Surprise: Jazzator, Sergei Zagny, Pol Stan, and Artiom Krikunov
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
Four Minor Scales: X.Y.R., A Glaza-To Dobrie, Pur:Pur, and Midimode
These four new releases from Russia and Ukraine all lean towards a validation of smallness. There are various reasons not to be loud, arrogant, and self-assured. Local history is one of them.
Music of Imagined Traditions: The Big Samhain Festival, 2013
On October 27, the Big Samhain festival will take place in Saint Petersburg. It gathers a wide range of folk traditions from Russia, Scotland, Ireland, and France - to name but four windswept lands.
Ezhevika: Fitzzgerald, That Sky, Constant Current, and Hamlet His Highness
The Minsk netlabel "Ezhevika" (Blackberry) helps to confound any stereotypes about Belarusian electronica. There are no connections to civic or political issues. Instead we find a creative maximalism.
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