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Kings of Infinite Space: Matushka, Vmgnovenijah, Parc Hotel, and Anderson
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
Moving to Titan: Ink Twins, S3P, Empty Field, and The Alex Kelman Band
One of the most enduring reference points for Russian musicians over the last two decades has been outer space. The approaching New Year does little to encourage hope - and so distant planets still appeal.
Sansara: "Needle" (Yekaterinburg, FFM24)
This week we're republishing a classic recording from one of Russia's most important and consistently surprising bands. It comes together with English translations and a host of contextual materials.
Deviations: Polska Radio One, Another Mask, Poupee F, and Mars-96
Amid discussions of a museum celebrating the Leningrad Rock Club, four young rock bands from Russia and Ukraine publish new material that doubts those early, social goals. Civic plans are now private.
Slavic Noir: Serdceder, Fanny Kaplan, Parc Hotel, and Stone Submarines
Four new rock publications from Russian cities consider the likelihood of subversive song-writing in a culture where the weight of history seems great. Thoughts of sedition morph into acceptance.
Fortitude: Alabama Joe, The Toads, Galman Project, and Roundaround
A handful of new rock recordings include overlapping issues of isolation, impending poverty, and grim destiny. Considerable effort is needed in order to erase those feelings of diminished agency.
New Alliances: Red Deer, Plasticine and Surgery, Kvadrat, and Introsvet
As mainstream media offers young Russian bands little support, a couple of responses emerge among amateur ensembles. Romantic views of both solitude and friendship transpire.
Blankness: Neulovimye Mstiteli, Erotic on REN TV, Hypertoad, and Fuzzgun
A solo artist from Krasnoyarsk makes some dark quips about the tendency of life towards "misery and decay." Gradually, however, three simultaneous rock releases turn his humor into bona fide fatalism.
Transgression: WLVS, Bears Garden, Looch, and All Tomorrow's Parties
Four bands from Tashkent, Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, and Samara ponder the meaning of subversion. What defines a "rebellious" spirit and should it be directed against social failings?
Aspirations: Wild Pigs, The Seventh Floor, Silhouette, and Grand Astoria
The noisy garage rock of two young Russian bands is, unexpectedly, a reaction their anxieties. Some grand alternatives to despair - fantasy and boundless optimism - also run into various problems.
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