Argo Vals is an Estonian multi-instrumentalist and composer. His career can be traced back to 2006, when initial, DIY tracks morphed slowly into several Baltic ensembles. A reputation started to grow.
Marble Boy are a duo from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv: Anton Shatokhin and Maria Demenko. Recent events at home are tangentially reflected in the private emphases of a new EP, entitled "Notion."
Humility and understatement color a number of Russian instrumental releases. Their audible modesty is prompted by childhood memories, an eco-aesthetic, and disorienting experiences online.
A number of new recordings concern themselves with the passage of time. That central theme leads to a growing nostalgia, motifs taken from childhood, and various audible aspects of cassette culture.
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
As Yungchen Lhamo and Anton Batagov promote a collaboration grounded in Tibetan prayers, other Russian artists have a different view of distant places. Hope and horror begin to alternate.
Four women from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Saratov offer new narratives on the ongoing struggle for self-determination. Those tales of increasing dignity stretch all the way to Los Angeles.
Moscow's Anise Project is fronted by Anna Volkova. She speaks of how adult experience tempers youthful fantasy. Some causes of that local fatalism are sought by other collectives in folklore.
The power of retrospection endures in new electronic recordings this week from Kiev, St. Petersburg, and Krasnoyarsk. Nonetheless, even those memories are subject to material demise.
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.