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Endless April: Oleg Kostrow, Secret Avenue, Inna Pivars, & Respublika Palina
In four new recordings from Russia and Belarus, thoughts of the future predominate. As tomorrow looks unpredictable, childhood and adolescence gain a special importance.
Wind, Sand, and Stars: Yuka, Foresteppe, x.y.r., and Race to Space
One of the most enduring motifs of Soviet culture within Russian popular music has been the so-called "Space Race"––the competition between Moscow and Washington to explore the cosmos.
Lessons of the Past: Trud, Jaunt, Kirov, and Bicycles for Afghanistan
Several new rock recordings, all the way from Saint Petersburg to Simferopol, express doubts about grand spectacle. Better, smaller forms of interaction are found both in memories and on stage.
Amity: Wednesday Morning, Young Adults, Kate in the Box & Platya za 130
Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.
Decaying Sound: Half Dub Theory, She Bit Her Lip, Lumberjack, and ANH
Various professional challenges emerge in these Russian recordings; most of them have connections to outside, social realia. It's only beyond the border––in Estonia––that civic pressures ease.
Friends and Family: Esthetix, Eugene Dolz, Phil Gerus, and Gillepsy
New dancefloor publications from both solo artists and ensembles this week underscore the importance of support systems, either in childhood or when professional obstacles loom later on in life.
Post-Perfectionists: Vhore, I Silovye Mashiny, Suvital, and Starcardigan
Various forms of escapism are encountered in modern Russian music, all the way from storied space rock to garage hedonism and masochistic decadence. Examples of them all transpire this week.
From Ambitions to Anxiety: Red Deer, Starpowers, Phooey!, and Materic
Rock recordings from St. Petersburg and beyond fall to a growing sense of fatalism. Destiny seems to accompany the gradual, grim transition from hope into hopelessness.
A Great Escape: Magnetic Poetry, Kompakt–Katya, SiJ, and King Imagine
In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
Effort as Transcendence: Doyeq, OMMA, Heavenchord, and Skajite Michilu
As a range of obstacles, both private and professional, stop musicians from working uninterrupted, diligence acquires a new significance. It becomes a form of transcendence, far above material woes.
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