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Random Magic: The "She Knows More Than She Thinks" Compilation
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.
Travails: Pinkshinyultrablast, Loveburger, Slackers, and Vivienne Mort
Two new releases, both connected to Moscow life, declare the appeal of a slacker's worldview. A couple more, from Kiev and Saint Petersburg, have greater faith in the importance of hard work and daydreams.
A Private Choreography: Mayak, Bigudi, Kai Engel, and Absorb the Sun
From a series of Russian and Ukrainian towns, four new releases investigate the benefits of solitude. Introspection leads to a different type of self-promotion, in which anonymity and silence are key.
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.
Weightless: Lomovolokno, Xuman, Mars Needs Lovers, and Neon Lights
In Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, and Krasnodar a range of programmatic statements emerge from disparate musicians with new work. They all champion the creative process over any crude, material consequence thereof.
Subversive Sentiments: Torba-na-Kruche, Kurara, OPAL, and Scofferlane
Against the backdrop of a Russian tradition of politicized rock songs, four collectives in 2014 look for alternative values. They tend to be immaterial, in the best - and most romantic - sense of the word.
Time-Honored Anxieties as the New Year Approaches for Afisha and Colta
Afisha and Colta are arguably Moscow's two most influential music publications when it comes to finding or fostering new talent. As December begins, they both consider the musical year ahead - with some anxiety.
Lasting Influences: Glintshake, TSUFA, 5 Vymir, and Bungalow Bums
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
Despite It All: Cooper Phillip, Baikal, D-Pulse, and Grisha Liubit Grusha
Cooper Phillip, as readers of FFM know, is a Los Angeles-based singer of Slavic roots. According to some well-worn stereotypes, Russian pessimism falls away once her career blossoms on a distant shore.
Four Labors of Love: Komba Bakkh, Napo, La Vtornik, and Uplotnenie
For all these artists from Russia and Lithuania, new publications are possible only after much effort. The daily grind and social indifference do their best to make creative work maximally difficult.
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