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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.
Fleeting Youth: Vstrecha Ryby, Trud, Devushka Shkol'nika, and Jack Wood
The innocence of youth is treated with bittersweet retrospection in some new songs from Chelyabinsk, Tomsk, and Moscow. All of these artists imply that childhood's naivety and hope are unlikely to survive for long.
Lyricism under Pressure: Naadya, Onuka, The Cancel, and KSKY
Four new publications from Russian and Ukrainian artists juxtapose the desire to sing or perform with a likely public response. In an unforgiving social context, dare one express private views?
Nowhere in Particular: Biblioteka, EIMIC, February, and Blackpaperplanes
Through their use of other languages, employment overseas, and various forms of Wanderlust, these four bands work hard to ignore domestic culture. Anywhere - and anything - looks better than home.
A Retrospective Gaze: Dza, Mujuice, ZOLOTO, and Race to Space
Four new dance releases from around the Russian capital seek an escape from the daily grind. Increasingly, however, a pessimistic view of the future makes prior decades an attractive reference point.
Soundscapes: Imandra Lake, Yana Blinder, Magnetic Poetry, and Harajiev
All the way from Tallinn to Kazan, a selection of new recordings consider the value of escapism and/or imagination. A growing disappointment with the here and now only makes fantasy work harder.
Considerable Noise from Tomsk, Siberia: Jack Wood (FFM32)
This Siberian trio comes from the city of Tomsk. The local scene is not promising, yet that brings a strange advantage. In a place where there's nothing to gain, there's also nothing to lose.
2muchachos: "A Forest Is Not What It Seems" (Cherepovets, FFM20)
2muchachos, based in the town of Cherepovets , turn the crackle and rustle of a tape-music aesthetic into the soundtrack for small-scale botanical bustle.
Hellspin: Two (Moscow, FFM7)
"There's no point trying to drag some super-cool concept from our music. That's not what Hellspin is about. The band is about an emotional high. It's about feelings - and the fact that sometimes you just feel f***ing wonderful."
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