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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.