These four new releases from Russia and Ukraine all lean towards a validation of smallness. There are various reasons not to be loud, arrogant, and self-assured. Local history is one of them.
A range of new electronic releases from Russia and Ukraine this week endorse a hushed and understated aesthetic. There's a shared conviction that greater insight lies within less noise. The quieter, the wiser.
New recordings from the Subwise label, together with a Stoned Boys EP, romanticize the surrender to something better than drudgery. That potential may be on a dancefloor, in drugs, or in charity.
The dark, dense forests of Karelia lead the Petrozavodsk duo Love Cult to conjure an entire universe of alternative dimensions. This tendency to prejudice dreams over urban actuality is found elsewhere.
Three solo projects from Russia and Ukraine touch upon a common issue. What is the relationship of hard work to creative success, if artistic "verity" is viewed in terms of something ineffable or fleeting?
Against the backdrop of a happy, productive hip-hop community in Latvia, some new publications by Russian artists take a dark view of group membership. Kindness and collaboration are both absent.
Seventeen promising DJs, performers, and producers from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia come together in order to improve the general atmosphere of collaboration. A common worldview transpires.
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.
The Minsk netlabel "Ezhevika" (Blackberry) helps to confound any stereotypes about Belarusian electronica. There are no connections to civic or political issues. Instead we find a creative maximalism.
Several electronic publications look back on a fledgling, post-Soviet internet with nostalgia. The sounds and graphic art of the 1990s recall a time when kinder, more inclusive networks might replace ideology.