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.
From Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia, four new releases appear, all inspired by a hip-hop tradition. They also voice a connection to other musical events of prior decades - together with their social impact.
Faith is an integral part of Moscow's Gayana project, whose members are both grateful and committed to God. Other beliefs, however, transpire in releases from Ukrainian and Latvian musicians this week.
Several beatmakers in and around the Moscow DOPE90 collective are working hard to resurrect the sound of 90s' boom bap. The main reason they sample old US instrumentals is found at home.
New LPs from Minsk, Izhevsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow ponder sources of consolation and comfort. One suggests that the greatest consolation is found in one's own domestic "cultural baggage."
Four new publications, stretching from provincial Belarus to Vladivostok, look askance at social existence. The more crudity and/or banality it manifests, the more self-reliance comes to the fore.
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
Moscow's Highway Records is publishing a collection of deep- and tech-house tracks from around Russia. One commonality between the participants is an endorsement of self-education and diligence.
The importance of silence and solitude appears in four new publications. They emerge across considerable distances, all the way from some lightless forests in Karelia to the quieter, cobbled streets of Ukraine.
Afisha and Colta are arguably Moscow's two most influential music publications when it comes to finding or fostering new talent. As December begins, they both consider the musical year ahead - with some anxiety.