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.
Various professional and social difficulties lead four electronic musicians from Russia and Belarus to celebrate solitude, peace, and quiet. A distance from social life appears to produce superior sounds.
In a world of adult responsibilities, urban anxiety, and other challenges, the spontaneous nature of childhood experience can seem very appealing. Four new recordings look back to a simpler time and place.
Four publications this month are dedicated to themes of transformation and metamorphosis. Despite their differing styles, they find common ground in a celebration of good-natured change.
Moscow's Fancy Music has just released a lengthy compilation album, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of romantic poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841)
Happy55 are a jazz trio from the southern industrial city of Voronezh. Against that backdrop, and the weight of ailing history, these gifted performers find much value in improvisation and spontaneity.
"The band has trouble recalling specific dates. Its members instead neglect any chronology; in fact, they're barely able to count, giving all the time they've spent working with different time signatures"
Aleksandra Obraztsova's intriguing stage-name is a play upon the title of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 feature "Amelie." Obraztsova authors her hushed, pensive songs using the alter ego of "Ameli na Meli."
Alina Os is a young exponent of acoustic hip-hop from the edge of Moscow. Her songs, just like her address, promise a little peace, quiet, and dignity on the periphery of Europe's biggest city.
Who exactly is Ned Hoper? There's no such person in real life, even though the band members keep insisting upon the Australian roots of their legendary frontman. Their explanation is full of imagination and far from fact.