One of the biggest - and most basic - choices faced by a Slavic band today is that of language. The same choice is often dictated by assumptions of better job options, either abroad or at home.
Four Russian rock publications play upon aspects of a psychedelic heritage. They either draw directly from Western traditions or extend the meaning of psychedelia from its roots in the Soviet '70s.
A few days ago, the Belarusian magazine Experty.BY announced a series of awards, dedicated to the best domestic music of last year. A wide range of prizes were involved, defined in terms of format or genre.
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.
A new Moscow EP brings together four ensembles all fronted by women - in order to celebrate March 8th. More important than either love or romance, it seems, are a range of related social issues.
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
A couple of Saint Petersburg projects find common philosophical ground in two areas. Both are saddened by the woeful potential of actuality - and then turn to their hometown for some time-honored forms of reverie.
The thirty-ninth release from FFM Records was both conceived and recorded in Saint Petersburg. Four brief songs speak to the ongoing, even counter-productive effort needed to keep aspirations alive.
Two new releases, both connected to Moscow life, declare the appeal of a slacker's worldview. A couple more, from Kiev and Saint Petersburg, have greater faith in the importance of hard work and daydreams.
Several key reference points connect these projects. Some of them originate in Poland, while others take us to Ukraine. Bolder still, however, is the overarching desire of these performers to leave home altogether.