From snowy Siberia to the medieval towns of Belarus, a range of new recordings are directly informed by their melancholy setting. A folk ensemble from Saint Petersburg pushes back––with a smile.
Criticism of professional options in Russia and Ukraine is countered with a series of alternatives: psychedelia, fantasy, emigration––and virtual reality.
Two noise projects in Moscow see a connection between their recordings and the nation's social fabric. Similar ideas transpire far away––in Siberia's "Vovne" group.
Two of Russia's most significant independent labels––Electronica and Full of Nothing––have begun the New Year with simultaneous compilation albums.
Moscow's Hyperboloid label releases a new compilation, dedicated to the noisy residents of Russia's "cyberghetto." That neologism has several meanings, both local and international.
One of the most enduring motifs of Soviet culture within Russian popular music has been the so-called "Space Race"––the competition between Moscow and Washington to explore the cosmos.
Alexander Zaitsev's new instrumental recording refers to modern spirituality as a faint, flickering light in a tunnel. Some other Russian electronic releases this week concur.
As a British newspaper suggests that nostalgia in Russian popular music is inherently political, an alternative viewpoint arises. Many young artists fondly recall a time, rather than an ideology.
As a range of obstacles, both private and professional, stop musicians from working uninterrupted, diligence acquires a new significance. It becomes a form of transcendence, far above material woes.
Various dissatisfactions emerge in new recordings from Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Nizhny Novgorod. They all lead to a yearning for better values - represented by distant places or prior experience.