From snowy Siberia to the medieval towns of Belarus, a range of new recordings are directly informed by their melancholy setting. A folk ensemble from Saint Petersburg pushes back––with a smile.
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.
Although small, the town of Nalchik in southern Russia lies in a vitally important region. It sits at the bottom of the Caucasus Mountains, not far from Beslan. Here we find Ored Recordings.
Marxist rhetoric, when addressing social change, likes to codify the passage of quantitative civic changes as qualitative. Four new recordings from Russia and Lithuania adopt the same spirit.
From Kiev, Yerevan, Moscow, and Kazan, a range of new publications all turn to distant objects of desire. Whether that distance is temporal or spatial, it always implies dissatisfaction with the present.
Faith in social spheres is a theme discussed in new material from Moscow, Kiev, and a range of Estonian towns. Not everybody shares an optimistic view of audiences and other noisy collectives.
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.
Four publications this month are dedicated to themes of transformation and metamorphosis. Despite their differing styles, they find common ground in a celebration of good-natured change.
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.
Four new releases from Moscow artists look askance at the massed workings of modernity. As a result, songs of retrospection, solitude, and even isolation have an increasing appeal.