Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.
Alexander Zaitsev's new instrumental recording refers to modern spirituality as a faint, flickering light in a tunnel. Some other Russian electronic releases this week concur.
The Belarusian label Ezhevika has just published a compilation album, "I MIRACLE." It gathers nineteen recordings from towns both near and far; together the tracks create a workplace philosophy.
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
New dancefloor publications from both solo artists and ensembles this week underscore the importance of support systems, either in childhood or when professional obstacles loom later on in life.
One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
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.