Hip-hop

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Self-Reliance and Reflection: Elaflume, HKG Knights, (((О))), and Cortel
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.
Minor Interactions: Raumskaya, Control Light, and Festival Lounge
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.
An Enlightening Escape: Casey Cat, Tantsui, Jimmy Roqsta, and Moresebya
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.
Ideals from Nowhere: Suokas, Tram Drivers, Tsunadem, and Wick Blaze
The importance of silence and solitude appears in four new publications. They emerge across considerable distances, all the way from some lightless forests in Karelia to the quieter, cobbled streets of Ukraine.
Abstract Worlds: Ewan Limb, Filatique, Moonscape, and Phil Anker
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.
Kings of Empty Dancefloors: Korablove, Swaves, Luka, and Cao Sao Vang
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.
Lyricism under Pressure: Naadya, Onuka, The Cancel, and KSKY
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?
Fuselab Wistfulness: Galun, Nienvox, Frunk29, and Summer of Haze
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.
Antique Forms of Social Improvement: Šuma: "Zołak" (Minsk, FFM35)
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.
Zimne: "Flying in Dreams and Daylight" (Novosibirsk, FFM23)
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.
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