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.
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.
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?
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.
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.