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From a Parallel Universe: Onuka, Zulya, Capo Blanco, and Liza Khegai
Amid four Russian and Ukrainian projects there emerges a telling view of lyricism in modern pop music. A three-minute, micro social narrative is more satisfying than society itself.
Lithuania's "Ritmo Kovos IV": Chaotic Sounds from a Hornets' Nest
A new and wide-ranging compilation of Lithuanian electronic producers has just appeared, entitled "Ritmo Kovos 4" (Beat Battle #1). It bears much social import.
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.
Songs of Strength and Simplicity: Five New LPs from Sketis Music
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
Major Projects in a Minor Setting: Bop, Nuage, Dissident/Kontext & KSKY
An interwoven network of musicians in Saint Petersburg unveils a series of publications––almost simultaneously. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they all share common ideas and convictions.
Twisting and Turning: Another Mask, Yawn Hic, WLVS, and Rivoli
Two rock bands from Samara join philosophical forces with new recordings from Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. Taken together, these four outfits fashion a worldview to counter cocky "progression."
We Hid in Dark Places: OBGON, Cassiopeia, Miyuki, and Gidropony
Across the varied contexts of cyberpunk narratives, trash TV, driving Moscow techno, and religious satire runs a common theme. The value of humility.
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