As an implicit reaction to the growing pomp and circumstance of primetime Russian media, four new releases look back to the sounds and stories of childhood. Not with sentiment, but with purpose.
New LPs from Minsk, Izhevsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow ponder sources of consolation and comfort. One suggests that the greatest consolation is found in one's own domestic "cultural baggage."
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
Moscow's Highway Records is publishing a collection of deep- and tech-house tracks from around Russia. One commonality between the participants is an endorsement of self-education and diligence.
A Moscow EP and a Kiev LP together offer a dancefloor philosophy in troubled times between Russia and Ukraine. The five artists involved suggest that private virtues might improve public norms
For all these artists from Russia and Lithuania, new publications are possible only after much effort. The daily grind and social indifference do their best to make creative work maximally difficult.
Sergey Shyam runs a Moscow label called "Simple Things." Its core beliefs in collegiality and understatement are mirrored in other house and tech-house cuts this month, all published very far away.
The extremely gifted producer known as Vtgnike has been arrested and imprisoned in Vladimir. We consider the situation, describe his current scene, and offer some ways in which people can help.
ABC Galaxy (Roman Skarednov, Izhevsk): "The 'Captain Eureka' album is an attempt to combine motifs of euphoria, pleasure, panic, and horror. There are parallels with the current economic state in Russia"