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The Light Inside: Sus Dungo, Moa Pillar, Malish Kamu, and 4 Pozicii Bruno
One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
The Basement Tapes: Arm Author, Seilarmoon, GLWZBLL, and Budzza
This week a handful of recordings in Lviv, Novosibirsk, and Omsk all struggle to remain optimistic. A number of material obstacles stand between a sunny view of the future and its realization in actuality.
A Language of Hope: Life on Marx, Artek Elektronika, AMVI, and Acid Reich
As a British newspaper suggests that nostalgia in Russian popular music is inherently political, an alternative viewpoint arises. Many young artists fondly recall a time, rather than an ideology.
Sounds of Our Environment: Dza, Valotihkuu, Vorobushek, and Talnik
As a handful of new recordings play upon elements of Western hip-hop, 8bit, chill-out, and other styles, one constant theme remains. No matter the desire to sound globally aware, a local focus endures.
A Great Escape: Magnetic Poetry, Kompakt–Katya, SiJ, and King Imagine
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.
Effort as Transcendence: Doyeq, OMMA, Heavenchord, and Skajite Michilu
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 and Fortune: Gayana, Internet Sushi, Beatowski, Taran and Lomov
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.
Disintegration Loop: Ovrkl, Bisamråtta, Moscillate, Garimastah & Tikhie Kamni
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.
Communication: Dima Ustinov, Triangle Sun, Ewan Limb, and SunMan24
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.
Dolor: 4 Pozicii Bruno, Endless Melancholy, SiJ, and Cosmonautics Day
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.
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