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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.
Lessons of the Past: Trud, Jaunt, Kirov, and Bicycles for Afghanistan
Several new rock recordings, all the way from Saint Petersburg to Simferopol, express doubts about grand spectacle. Better, smaller forms of interaction are found both in memories and on stage.
A Tribute to the Past: Maxim Buldakov, Ilya Gerus, Inlensk, and Sugar God
All the way from Moscow to the villages of Siberia, a common idea finds voice in a handful of dance floor publications. In four of these releases, the romance of nostalgia and happy stasis proves most persistent.
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.
Amid a Crowd of Stars: The "I MIRACLE" Album from Ezhevika (Minsk)
The Belarusian label Ezhevika has just published a compilation album, "I MIRACLE." It gathers nineteen recordings from towns both near and far; together the tracks create a workplace philosophy.
Flying Far from Home: 813, Ewan Limb, Dave Pad, and Tram Drivers
As new recordings appear for dance floors across Russia and Ukraine, one would expect hedonism and jollity to predominate. The challenges of a touring musician quickly change the mood.
Contra: Vėjopatis, Autoisolation, Remember Your Name & Uncapitals Tour
Marxist rhetoric, when addressing social change, likes to codify the passage of quantitative civic changes as qualitative. Four new recordings from Russia and Lithuania adopt the same spirit.
Friends and Family: Esthetix, Eugene Dolz, Phil Gerus, and Gillepsy
New dancefloor publications from both solo artists and ensembles this week underscore the importance of support systems, either in childhood or when professional obstacles loom later on in life.
The Light Inside: Sus Dungo, Moa Pillar, Malish Kamu, and 4 Pozicii Bruno
One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
The Basement Tapes: Arm Author, Seilarmoon, GLWZBLL, and Budzza
This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
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