One might think that a challenging social environment would lessen the appeal of romantic wistfulness among young artists. A hard life might breed resignation or greater pragmatism. Nothing of the sort.
Various professional and social difficulties lead four electronic musicians from Russia and Belarus to celebrate solitude, peace, and quiet. A distance from social life appears to produce superior sounds.
Four new publications from Russian and Ukrainian artists juxtapose the desire to sing or perform with a likely public response. In an unforgiving social context, dare one express private views?
Four new LPs from the wonderful Fuselab label compare two different experiences. They evaluate social potentials in 2014 relative to both nostalgic memories of the 1970s and the peacefulness of a non-urban address.
The work of Belarusian folktronica ensemble Shuma (Šuma) is defined with an intriguing turn of phrase: "digital archaica." A new collection of remixes helps to explain that bond of tradition and hi-tech.
Novosibirsk's Zimne have released a second LP of metaphysical trip-hop. These new songs combine the core themes of earthbound romance, distant galaxies, and a painful gap between them.
Alina Os is a young exponent of acoustic hip-hop from the edge of Moscow. Her songs, just like her address, promise a little peace, quiet, and dignity on the periphery of Europe's biggest city.
Some Russian recordings this week refer to their distance from the capital, directly or otherwise. Rather than fall victim to any stereotypes of provinciality, they instead see a benefit in remoteness.
As material constraints frustrate a number of young Russian musicians, thoughts turn to various kinds of ascent. Poems are dedicated to movement above the rooftops - and even into the stars.
A number of new recordings concern themselves with the passage of time. That central theme leads to a growing nostalgia, motifs taken from childhood, and various audible aspects of cassette culture.