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Happy55: "A Magic Word" (Voronezh, FFM25)
Happy55 are a jazz trio from the southern industrial city of Voronezh. Against that backdrop, and the weight of ailing history, these gifted performers find much value in improvisation and spontaneity.
Kubikmaggi (Saint Petersburg, FFM18)
"The band has trouble recalling specific dates. Its members instead neglect any chronology; in fact, they're barely able to count, giving all the time they've spent working with different time signatures"
Constant Surprise: Jazzator, Sergei Zagny, Pol Stan, and Artiom Krikunov
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
New from Ultra Vague: Mamanet, Awesomatic, Sable Beats, and KØL¥∆
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
Three Odysseys: Live People, O. Bogussevich, R. Stolyar and V. Luchansky
Moscow's Fancy Music is announcing a range of new jazz recordings. Originating both in the capital and Novosibirsk, they give voice to a passionate defense of deviation, difference, and inclusion.
Mescaline and Magic: Galun, Mutaforiya Lili, 1ste One, and Aesthesys
Various alternatives are suggested to dull and industrial typicality. They include looping retrospection towards childhood, bold surrealism, the open vistas of imagination, and major drug usage.
The Paradox of Joyful Anticipation: Fancy Music's Jazz Recordings
Fancy Music is a discerning Moscow label, publishing both jazz and contemporary classical recordings. Some of those jazz projects form a collective worldview of willing risk and anticipation
From a Distance: L. Fedorov, V, Volkov, Martiini, Iduvigik, and Normandy
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."
A Fine Impermanence: Boring Room, Iazik Kowki, Blagodat, and Ifwe
Starting in the Pacific city of Khabarovsk, four introspective recordings consider the name and nature of perfection. Some values or virtues seem to benefit from being eternally out of reach.
Surreal Domains: Smoke Moth, Doe's Mess, Itchy Sky, and Heyoka
Several new electronic recordings paint an increasingly dark picture of social realia. The most persuasive response to civic failings and their dubious logic appears to be "transcendental surrealism."
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