Neo-Soul

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Safe in the Sky: Cepasa, Alex Kelman, and the New Õunaviks Compilation
Faith in social spheres is a theme discussed in new material from Moscow, Kiev, and a range of Estonian towns. Not everybody shares an optimistic view of audiences and other noisy collectives.
Boom-Bap Redux: Boora, Mad Che, Smuff tha Quiz, and Aalon$e
Several beatmakers in and around the Moscow DOPE90 collective are working hard to resurrect the sound of 90s' boom bap. The main reason they sample old US instrumentals is found at home.
Sources of Comfort: Mana Island, Marina Nevgen, Karenin, & Amor Entrave
New LPs from Minsk, Izhevsk, Yekaterinburg, and Moscow ponder sources of consolation and comfort. One suggests that the greatest consolation is found in one's own domestic "cultural baggage."
Four Distinct Albums: Alina Orlova, Kira Lao, Cload, and Mars Needs Lovers
Four new albums from Lithuanian and Russian performers lead to different interpretations of an LP - and why that format even matters any more. The answers, it transpires, depend on location and genre.
Simplicity: Ewert and the Two Dragons, Vihrea, Pur:Pur, and Evgeny Grinko
Against the backdrop of recent geopolitical events, one might understand why minorism would have a marked appeal. Four collectives from Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia place smallness front and center.
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.
Holiday Highs and Lows: The Afisha "NG 15" Compilation (Part Three)
As we conclude a third and final overview, the "NG 15" album appears in Moscow. Twenty-six performers are gathered together in order both to consider the meaning of New Year and help a children's charity.
Words of Continuity and Comfort: Afisha's New Year Songs (Part Two)
The Moscow magazine Afisha continues to gather a wide range of songs celebrating the New Year. All of the performers involved juxtapose their individual hopes and dreams with the unlikely prospect of civic improvement.
New from Sketis: Vasilyev Vecher, Baraka, Voronovo Krylo, and Bubamara
The Sketis label is announcing a series of new albums from both Russia and Latvia. They, in turn, draw upon a melange of folk traditions, ranging all the way from Siberia's criminal past to the Balkans or Tajikistan.
Antique Forms of Social Improvement: Šuma: "Zołak" (Minsk, FFM35)
The work of Belarusian folktronica ensemble Shuma (Šuma) is defined with an intriguing turn of phrase: "digital archaica." A new collection of remixes helps to explain that bond of tradition and hi-tech.
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