A handful of new lo-fi or DIY recordings leads to a discussion of "peripheral" enterprise, far from any center of national media. For all the problems that causes, there are also discernible benefits.
Despite assumptions that Russian noise- and garage rock might might be interested in a range of social agendas, some new recordings suggest that an apolitical stance means more.
А sneaking suspicion that actuality is increasingly loud and intolerant leads to the search for other options: quieter love songs, wanton surrealism, or an escape into the realm of virtual bands.
A solo artist from Krasnoyarsk makes some dark quips about the tendency of life towards "misery and decay." Gradually, however, three simultaneous rock releases turn his humor into bona fide fatalism.
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
These Russian collectives all invoke the theme of emptiness in their newest recordings. Beyond the limits of dull actuality lie other towns, countries, and even planets. They are all frustratingly absent.
Four young bands embody a spirit of protest, yet they're unnerved by the feeling that rebellion rarely changes anything. That combination of outrage and anxiety leads to a healthy self-irony.
From the outskirts of two capitals - Moscow and Minsk - come some songs designed to inspire. They discern a certain civic or ideological "emptiness" and hope to offer a consoling alternative.
Four Russian bands champion their chosen styles, from "garage revival" to "quarter-tone rock," based upon Middle Eastern traditions. Across them all, diligence hopes to drown out reality.
Two of these ensembles borrow from a folk heritage; the other two have their roots in recent rock music. The former pair manages to foster a sense of optimism; the latter falls to growing fatalism.