The importance of folkloric narratives and a premodern ethos endure for some Russian and Estonian performers. In each case, the allure of yesterday is imagined as some vaguely perceived source of light.
A recording from Leonid Fedorov and Vladimir Volkov examines how St. Petersburg's cityscape changes over time. The baroque trajectories of music outdo the linear passage of urban "progress."
Despite a rich tradition of social protest in Russian rock music, some recent recordings have found such entrenched lacunae within local life that other themes transpire. Escapism replaces subversion.
Three inherently acoustic traditions are subjected to a process of change. The more those variations come to light, the more they aid self-expression. The broader one's vista, the more subjectivity benefits.
St. Petersburg's Podsnezhnik Festival is about to take place, interweaving the heritage of Slavic folk with distant reggae. Those two traditions come together for important, enduring reasons.
The Belarusian electro-folk ensemble Rusya is publishing some reconsiderations of pagan song in a modern setting. That same yearning for some lost fruitfulness appears in very different places.
Various thematic emphases cause four new recordings to opt for an understated hush. The passage of time, noisy modernity, and other problems make quietness both wiser and more appealing.
Echochorus, a one-man project from Riga, has published a new soundtrack to the 1924 silent feature, "Aelita." Some core concerns from that recording emerge in other locations, far from the Baltic Sea.
Four bands from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Yekaterinburg all speak to the importance of direct, live performance. Their reasons are artistic, financial, and philosophical.
From St. Petersburg and Kharkiv come new works by the wonderful Kubikmaggi and Andrey Kiritchenko. Those same tracks embody a paradoxical call to shun formal constraints - on the model of some rapidly forgotten traditions.