Four projects from three cities (Minsk, Moscow, and St. Petersburg) have new material to offer. In each case, a quiet register is the result of considerable humility before the past and/or inspiration itself.
For some electroacoustic artists this week, the role of material experience is twofold. It is seen both as lumpen tedium and as the world of leaden instruments - playing a better tune.
A number of house and chillout projects from Russia and Ukraine this week address the issue of hard work. In an unpredictable environment, what makes more sense: diligence or spontaneity?
Beginning with some references to a Sicilian martyr, these four Russian and Ukrainian bands search for an emotional alternative to tedium. As actuality grows duller, an "epic" option is required.
The importance of folkloric narratives and a premodern ethos endure for some Russian and Estonian performers. In each case, the allure of yesterday is imagined as some vaguely perceived source of light.
Given the challenges facing young Russian musicians today, the theme of risk often arises. The unknown - be it financial or geographic - both unnerves and intrigues.
Warm On is a hip-hop community on Moscow's northern edge. The group's members and colleagues operate in a wide number of Russian or Ukrainian cities. They all share a common philosophy.
The theme of transience appears in some new recordings from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vladimir, and Yekaterinburg. Somewhat strangely, a fleeting existence becomes synonymous with great beauty and potential.
Various electronic recordings this week from Kiev, Ulan-Ude, Ekaterinburg, and Gomel speak less of free creation than of the search for verity. Local experience, however, does not always help.
As the Sochi Winter Music Conference prepares to advertise itself for 2014, a tone of fiscal confidence informs the PR materials. That same hope and optimism is infectious among participants.