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The World Outside: Sunrises, Japanese Ash, Nearfield, and Atariame
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.
Virtual Trajectories: Oxxxymiron, The Erised, ABC Galaxy, and Vakula
Criticism of professional options in Russia and Ukraine is countered with a series of alternatives: psychedelia, fantasy, emigration––and virtual reality.
Sonic Protest: Pripoy, Ninja Glam, and Siberia's "Vovne" Community
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.
Convergence: Two New Compilation LPs from Electronica & Full of Nothing
Two of Russia's most significant independent labels––Electronica and Full of Nothing––have begun the New Year with simultaneous compilation albums.
Twenty-One Outsiders: The "Cyberghetto" Compilation from Hyperboloid
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.
Wind, Sand, and Stars: Yuka, Foresteppe, x.y.r., and Race to Space
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.
Open Your Eyes: Alexander Zaitsev, Ninja Glam, Dessin Bizarre & Jean Piere
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.
A Language of Hope: Life on Marx, Artek Elektronika, AMVI, and Acid Reich
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.
Effort as Transcendence: Doyeq, OMMA, Heavenchord, and Skajite Michilu
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.
A Fixed Gaze: Imandra Lake, TSUFA, Harajiev, and Pinkshinyultrablast
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.
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