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Simplicity: Ewert and the Two Dragons, Vihrea, Pur:Pur, and Evgeny Grinko
Against the backdrop of recent geopolitical events, one might understand why minorism would have a marked appeal. Four collectives from Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia place smallness front and center.
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.
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