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Distant Stars: K.A.T.Y.A., Cricket Captains, Shuma, and Misha Mishenko
As a number of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian artists consider their future plans, it transpires that the most hopeful songs grow from the greatest failures. Frustrations breed aspirations.
Some Bittersweet Pleasures of Provincialism: The Berezoviy Srub LP
Moscow's "Beryoza" community has published a second compilation reconsidering some Russian pop-songs of the 1990s. From provincial quarters comes a genuinely national worldview.
New Mixes and Masks: Wols, Micromusic, Neon Tiger, Bajinda, and I-Y-A
As professional pressures increase around young artists, three responses transpire: look fondly to the past, adopt a new onstage identity, or plow adamantly onwards...
Scouring Distant Peaks: Driezhas, Moa Pillar, .At/On, and Membranoids
Sounds emerging from the Baltic shore and Eastern Ukraine this week turn to nature for inspiration. The best way to channel something better than urban experience is, apparently, to cast language and logic aside.
Fantasy as Hope: Clover Club, Kira Lao, Hospital, Dead Boy's Girlfriend
These new songs from Kiev, Minsk, and Moscow all draw upon themes of mental whimsy. Their leaning towards flights of fantasy - if not absurdity - is designed to counter the limits of dull actuality.
A Kind of Moscow Melancholia: Jet Plane, Inna Pivars, and Catzilla
On a day of widespread social romance in Russia, we look at three different kinds of reverie and the "dreamy" genres used to express them. They come from Bryansk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg.
Dancing the Bossa Nova to Bollywood: Indie-Ya and Quinta Toka
The musical styles of Quinta Toka and Indie-Ya differ a great deal. Nonetheless, they share a connection to distant climes - one that originates in a common experience of the 1950-'60s
Air Goatika: Bold Indian Traditions and Post-Industrial Chillout
Air Goatika is an offshoot of Moscow's Goatika Creative Lab and defines itself as a "joyous, energetic musical project, full of light and positive vibrations." Flexible in its lineup, the band's current members are Boris Nazarov (keyboards), Pavel Mikhailuk (bass guitar), Victor Netesov (horns) an...
The Cheshire Strangler: French Decadence and Chinese Sneakers
Not long ago, an anonymous member of the Russian public attended a concert by St Petersburg outfit The Cheshire Strangler. A few brief comments appeared online as a result: "This was the first band on stage. The atmosphere and tunes were really similar to The Cure, circa the 'Disintegration' album...
The OpenSpace "Record v2.0" Project: A Brief Guide to the Entries
The Moscow online culture journal OpenSpace recently launched a competition to find new, talented artists in the field of Russian popular music. One could immediately argue that these contests are a dime a dozen nowadays; the more cynical among us would even counter that any such open-format, in...
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