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.
Romantic metaphors inform these new recordings, all borrowed from discussions of open forests, boundless oceans, and "schizoid" thought. Daily life, however, stubbornly refuses to cooperate.
Interviews surrounding several new dancefloor publications focus on the creation of local scenes. It slowly becomes evident that the role of friendship and collaboration is key in nurturing regional optimism.
As performers make plans for the future, a tension arises between subjective desire and public crudity. The best way to foster hope (again) is to leave those heartless civic realms behind.
As Yungchen Lhamo and Anton Batagov promote a collaboration grounded in Tibetan prayers, other Russian artists have a different view of distant places. Hope and horror begin to alternate.
Moscow's Anise Project is fronted by Anna Volkova. She speaks of how adult experience tempers youthful fantasy. Some causes of that local fatalism are sought by other collectives in folklore.
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
Downtempo, garage, and glitch-hop tracks this week are bound by their composers to forms of social skepticism. A sluggish, moribund world prompts a certain sound. Optimism emerges only slowly.