Various recordings this week explore the traditional nature of lyricism in Russian songwriting. History has never made self-realization an easy issue.
The Belarusian magazine Experty.By has compiled a series of Top Ten lists, cataloging the best bands and recordings of last year.
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
Fantasy and the imagination are key aspects of these new recordings from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Their joint celebration of oddity simply highlights an ongoing disappointment with normality.
A well-established Moscow hardcore outfit insists that now is the time to sing in Russian. Local political problems require a local response and register. Not everybody agrees, however.
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
In a world of adult responsibilities, urban anxiety, and other challenges, the spontaneous nature of childhood experience can seem very appealing. Four new recordings look back to a simpler time and place.
The Sketis label is announcing a series of new albums from both Russia and Latvia. They, in turn, draw upon a melange of folk traditions, ranging all the way from Siberia's criminal past to the Balkans or Tajikistan.
January LPs from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg show some general tendencies in how Russian rock sees itself today. Grand civic themes of prior decades are now absent.
On October 27, the Big Samhain festival will take place in Saint Petersburg. It gathers a wide range of folk traditions from Russia, Scotland, Ireland, and France - to name but four windswept lands.