Harsh Noise

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Minor Harmonies: Akvalung, Otstoy, Army of Fragments, and Mars-96
January LPs from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg show some general tendencies in how Russian rock sees itself today. Grand civic themes of prior decades are now absent.
Broad Horizons: Ty23, 4 Pozicii Bruno, Gran+, Ayva, and Waterplea
The new releases from Ty23, 4 Pozicii Bruno, Gran+, and Waterplea are all considerations of the unknown. What lies beyond a visible, tangible world is understood in differing ways.
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 Reconsideration of Sonic Space: The Ukrainian Zikro Compilation
The British magazine Wire has just published a very important and impressive compilation of new electronic music from Ukraine. Entitled "Zikro," it has been curated by Andrey Kiritchenko.
Virtual Realities: The Uchpochmak, IHNABTB, Zhenya Kukoverov, and Ili-Ili
А sneaking suspicion that actuality is increasingly loud and intolerant leads to the search for other options: quieter love songs, wanton surrealism, or an escape into the realm of virtual bands.
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.
A Beautiful Insignificance: Some Social Concerns of New Russian Rap
An overview of five acclaimed Slavic rap projects shows a decreasing similarity with Western fashion. Many aspects of Western rap are overshadowed by a unique and very local philosophy.
Chiaroscuro: Miru Water, Buddhist & Silence, T.Bird, and For Lunar Dust
The MNMN label from Kostroma does much to promote the philosophically anxious end of Russian electronica. These four projects yearn for silence and solitude, but "fate" has other plans.
Hidden: Ales Tsurko, Appolinaria Lovegood, Blotto Tapa, and J Milto
Electronic and electroacoustic releases from Moscow, Samara, and Minsk pay attention to a range of hidden significances. Some lie within tiny objects, others lurk on the edge of burial sites.
Monasterio: Zabelin, Oid, Yuka, PRCDRL, Unbalance, and Woo York
The Monasterio Club in central Moscow is situated within the walls of an old and famous textile factory. The history of that building and the hopes of its residents find new voice in Monasterio.
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