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Sounds from the Edge: Pill for Doll, No Party, Hello Gonzo!, and Creepy Lily
A handful of new lo-fi or DIY recordings leads to a discussion of "peripheral" enterprise, far from any center of national media. For all the problems that causes, there are also discernible benefits.
A Liberating Negation: Sonic Death, Cockamamie, Mokroshelky, and KSI
Despite assumptions that Russian noise- and garage rock might might be interested in a range of social agendas, some new recordings suggest that an apolitical stance means more.
Blankness: Neulovimye Mstiteli, Erotic on REN TV, Hypertoad, and Fuzzgun
A solo artist from Krasnoyarsk makes some dark quips about the tendency of life towards "misery and decay." Gradually, however, three simultaneous rock releases turn his humor into bona fide fatalism.
A Welcome Surrealism: The Retuses, Vihrea, 3000 Run, and AWOTT
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
Transgression: WLVS, Bears Garden, Looch, and All Tomorrow's Parties
Four bands from Tashkent, Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, and Samara ponder the meaning of subversion. What defines a "rebellious" spirit and should it be directed against social failings?
A Precious Spontaneity: BosaeSonca, AloeVera, ExCitrus, and P.L.U.S.
Some new recordings from Belarus and Russia endorse a practice of impromptu creativity. Various things, however, stand in the way of any such freedoms: the allure of profit, habit, alcohol... and fate itself.
A Promising Emptiness: Mooncake, Motorama, Pill for Doll, and IWFYLS
These Russian collectives all invoke the theme of emptiness in their newest recordings. Beyond the limits of dull actuality lie other towns, countries, and even planets. They are all frustratingly absent.
Gallows Humor: Ilosthebalcony, Fanny Kaplan, Kul'tura Kureniia, and TBFW
Four young bands embody a spirit of protest, yet they're unnerved by the feeling that rebellion rarely changes anything. That combination of outrage and anxiety leads to a healthy self-irony.
Battling Emptiness: Detieti, For You Earth, Tlushch, and Kshettra
From the outskirts of two capitals - Moscow and Minsk - come some songs designed to inspire. They discern a certain civic or ideological "emptiness" and hope to offer a consoling alternative.
Trance-Like Effort: uSSSy, Euglena, The Tolstoys, and Nikola Tesla
Four Russian bands champion their chosen styles, from "garage revival" to "quarter-tone rock," based upon Middle Eastern traditions. Across them all, diligence hopes to drown out reality.
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