Four new acoustic releases have roots in very diverse towns, all the way from Magadan to Kharkiv. What they share is a desire to hide from crude actuality.
Various recordings this week explore the traditional nature of lyricism in Russian songwriting. History has never made self-realization an easy issue.
A series of new publications from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and provincial Belarus all give thought to the slimmest of differences between matters "cosmic and comic."
Objects of desire move further from home in some new house, hip-hop, and bass releases. As fantasy becomes a behavioral norm, some artists discern a historical pattern.
Amid four Russian and Ukrainian projects there emerges a telling view of lyricism in modern pop music. A three-minute, micro social narrative is more satisfying than society itself.
From snowy Siberia to the medieval towns of Belarus, a range of new recordings are directly informed by their melancholy setting. A folk ensemble from Saint Petersburg pushes back––with a smile.
Five new albums from the Moscow folk label Sketis manage to interweave a wealth of different times and traditions. Those linkages grow in importance as society refuses to show the same inclusiveness.
Although small, the town of Nalchik in southern Russia lies in a vitally important region. It sits at the bottom of the Caucasus Mountains, not far from Beslan. Here we find Ored Recordings.
One of the most enduring motifs of Soviet culture within Russian popular music has been the so-called "Space Race"––the competition between Moscow and Washington to explore the cosmos.
Two all-female Russian outfits sing of human relations with bittersweet humor. Placed together with other releases this week, their knowing smiles become an overarching social skepticism.