Faced with a wide range of social obstacles, some Russian and Belarusian rock bands find strange solace. Unable to build a career with ease, they are nonetheless to restart failed projects.
Despite a rich tradition of social protest in Russian rock music, some recent recordings have found such entrenched lacunae within local life that other themes transpire. Escapism replaces subversion.
Mineguide come from the ancient town of Smolensk. Peace, quiet, and ancient history all help the band plot their future career. That same need for a pre-urban expanse appears with other post-rock outfits.
The superb Estonian collective Imandra Lake have just published a wide-ranging series of remixes. The botanical metaphors used in that "flourishing" enterprise are found far and wide.
Following a three-year hiatus, Zemifra has produced a new solo album. Although it comes after an extended silence, its core philosophy is found by the local press in other, more active bands.
According to Russian law, online portals bear no responsibility for what they host. The amount of available media, legal or not, is bewildering. In the middle of that mess, MP3 blogs start to establish order.
As Moscow's InWhite produce a debut album, their reliance upon supportive crowdfunding is evident. A related degree of civic faith, however, is sometimes less manifest in the work of other artists.
Four rock ensembles discuss their new work in terms of mutual support and family faith. The larger or more daunting one's home nation, the more important those tiny, trusting expressions of empathy can be.
The new film from Renata Litvinova and Zemfira involves much discussion of death as a tantalizing passage. For other artists, far from Moscow, physical distances take on an equally striking metaphysical air.
A couple of new rock recordings find lyrical inspiration in the traditions of Soviet science. Other related publications look back further into the past, either to more introspective or theological themes.