The Boiler Room live sets have been streamed from Russia since last year. Although they aim to forge global connections, certain aspects of the Russian scene make it unique.
Several beatmakers in and around the Moscow DOPE90 collective are working hard to resurrect the sound of 90s' boom bap. The main reason they sample old US instrumentals is found at home.
As an implicit reaction to the growing pomp and circumstance of primetime Russian media, four new releases look back to the sounds and stories of childhood. Not with sentiment, but with purpose.
The Subwise label in Saint Petersburg remains as busy as ever. We have chosen seven new releases from Russian and Ukrainian artists, as proof that a common worldview is developing among them all.
The physical destruction in Donetsk is only one form of material failure encountered by Slavic musicians today. Together they head for digital realms instead.
A couple of northern projects look with fondness at Soviet culture, given the failings of the present day. More powerful than childhood retrospection, however, is the invocation of an ancient tradition.
Various inevitabilities gather strength around three releases from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Minsk. In the face of diminishing liberties, a certain presentism emerges, celebrating the here and now.
Four new publications, stretching from provincial Belarus to Vladivostok, look askance at social existence. The more crudity and/or banality it manifests, the more self-reliance comes to the fore.
As the socioeconomic situation worsens in Russia, so do attitudes towards society. Civic activity promises less and less. Consequently, several artists speak in support of minimal interaction.
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.