This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
From Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, four new releases appear, all inspired by a hip-hop tradition. They also voice a connection to other musical events of prior decades - together with their social impact.
As a handful of new recordings play upon elements of Western hip-hop, 8bit, chill-out, and other styles, one constant theme remains. No matter the desire to sound globally aware, a local focus endures.
As a range of obstacles, both private and professional, stop musicians from working uninterrupted, diligence acquires a new significance. It becomes a form of transcendence, far above material woes.
Several new Russian electronic recordings display an increasing gratitude for both solitude and silence. The further one happens to be from clamorous modernity or a capital city, the better.
Various dissatisfactions emerge in new recordings from Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Nizhny Novgorod. They all lead to a yearning for better values - represented by distant places or prior experience.
New drone and industrial recordings from Russia and Ukraine turn their attention simultaneously to anxiety and depression. Both, perhaps, indicate dissatisfaction - and therefore a burgeoning hope.
New electronic material from Ukraine, Russia, and Estonia touches upon the demise of military, industrial, and economic rhetoric. Their shared insistence is countered with a love for nothing in particular.
Four solo electronic projects from different Russian cities display varying degrees of displeasure with actuality. As faith in civic promise dwindles, the need for wistfulness to provide a valid alternative grows.
Several beatmakers in and around the Moscow DOPE90 collective are working hard to resurrect the sound of 90s' boom bap. The main reason they sample old US instrumentals is found at home.