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Self-Reliance and Reflection: Elaflume, HKG Knights, (((О))), and Cortel
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.
Aspirations and Anxieties: VOVA and Nik Snake F (FFM 43 and 44)
Two new releases from FFM originate in Moscow and Kiev. A couple of solo performers travel parallel trajectories from self-doubt to a less disconcerting state, somewhere on the edge of aspiration.
Being Social: Obe Dve, Auroraw, EXIT Project, and Maskeliade Street Studio
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.
Everything and Everyone: BG, Fedorov/Volkov, Bungalow Bums, and MLMW
An air of social disappointment hangs over these recordings, made primarily in Saint Petersburg. As adult experience appears to offer little, the importance of prior cultural landmarks only starts to grow.
Alternative Lifelines: Yayati, AWOTT, Albino Deers, and IC3PEAK
All the way from Rome to Moscow and Sochi, four new electronic recordings look askance at social convention. Some respite from tedium is found in a number of absurdist or even "terrorist" tactics
My Beautiful Laundrette: The "9:30" EP from Kobra (Saint Petersburg)
Kobra are a young and promising trio from Saint Petersburg: Pavel Doronin, Denis Korobeinikov, and vocalist Anna Lichko. Their first collaboration together evokes a specifically northern fantasy.
Far Out to Sea and Alone: The "Cheer" EP by Supervitesse (FFM39)
The thirty-ninth release from FFM Records was both conceived and recorded in Saint Petersburg. Four brief songs speak to the ongoing, even counter-productive effort needed to keep aspirations alive.
An Enlightening Escape: Casey Cat, Tantsui, Jimmy Roqsta, and Moresebya
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
Random Magic: The "She Knows More Than She Thinks" Compilation
The Los Angeles label Not Not Fun has just published a compilation of six female electronic artists. Resident in both Russia and Ukraine, they offer a peaceful, creative alternative to recent events.
Persistence and the Value of Collaboration: Subwise and Feedoptions
As the Subwise label in Saint Petersburg releases a new compilation album, celebrating ongoing success in the North, a new project emerges from Surgut. Both foreground the value of joint effort.
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