Criticism of professional options in Russia and Ukraine is countered with a series of alternatives: psychedelia, fantasy, emigration––and virtual reality.
Two of Russia's most significant independent labels––Electronica and Full of Nothing––have begun the New Year with simultaneous compilation albums.
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
Moscow's Hyperboloid label has a New Year's compilation to announce, including six tracks from Raumskaya, Cadeu, Koloah, Fisky, A.Fruit, and Baked Milk.
All the way from Moscow to the villages of Siberia, a common idea finds voice in a handful of dance floor publications. In four of these releases, the romance of nostalgia and happy stasis proves most persistent.
The Belarusian label Ezhevika has just published a compilation album, "I MIRACLE." It gathers nineteen recordings from towns both near and far; together the tracks create a workplace philosophy.
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
From Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, four new releases appear, all inspired by a hip-hop tradition. They also voice a connection to other musical events of prior decades - together with their social impact.
In an allegedly post-commercial environment, where hard work in the studio is no guarantee of a salary, the value of labor is often debated. The responses range from diligence to full-blown decadence.