In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
As a range of obstacles, both private and professional, stop musicians from working uninterrupted, diligence acquires a new significance. It becomes a form of transcendence, far above material woes.
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 new Russian electronic recordings display an increasing gratitude for both solitude and silence. The further one happens to be from clamorous modernity or a capital city, the better.
From downtempo lounge to broken techno and "psychoactive go-fi," a range of new Russian dance floor recordings prefer to celebrate private, rather than public effort.
New drone and industrial recordings from Russia and Ukraine turn their attention simultaneously to anxiety and depression. Both, perhaps, indicate dissatisfaction - and therefore a burgeoning hope.
Fantasy and the imagination are key aspects of these new recordings from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Their joint celebration of oddity simply highlights an ongoing disappointment with normality.
Moscow's FORMA festival just took place and - with its interdisciplinary celebration of modern Russian art - engendered some interesting views of creative "labor" among its many participants
Ambient and lo-fi publications from four northern addresses all ponder the meaning of solitude. It does not lead to melancholy; in fact it offers a productive liberty from the awfulness of social existence.
Headlined by Atom™'s 'Double Vision' live, Ricardo Villalobos, Pharmakon, Nina Kraviz, Rhadoo, and Daniel Avery, the Outline Festival will operate across three outdoor scenes and two arenas - inside some industrial buildings