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From Ambitions to Anxiety: Red Deer, Starpowers, Phooey!, and Materic
Rock recordings from St. Petersburg and beyond fall to a growing sense of fatalism. Destiny seems to accompany the gradual, grim transition from hope into hopelessness.
Modesty as the New Sincerity: Dikajee, Snakecharm, Srub, and VLNY
Over a series of new Russian recordings, feelings of self-determination lessen in the face of both history and modern likelihood. Modesty becomes the sincerest form of expression.
A Fixed Gaze: Imandra Lake, TSUFA, Harajiev, and Pinkshinyultrablast
Various dissatisfactions emerge in new recordings from Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Nizhny Novgorod. They all lead to a yearning for better values - represented by distant places or prior experience.
Pure Land: Parks, Squares & Alleys, Slackers, Businessman, and Kshettra
Disenchanted with their hometown experience, a number of rock outfits prefer imagination to actuality. Inspiration is found in bedroom solitude, post-Soviet gangster bravado, and even some Buddhist tenets.
A Period of Survival: Parc Hotel, Gorodok Chekistov, Vhore, and Kira Lao
New rock recordings from disparate towns together suggest a philosophical shift - away from the classic songs of late-Soviet protest towards tales of consolation and empathy.
Constant, Creative Seclusion: BAIKAL, Ocean Shiver, x.y.r., and Lemonday
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.
A Prior Humility: Long Arm, AL-90, SBPCh, and Information Ghetto
As an implicit reaction to the growing pomp and circumstance of primetime Russian media, four new releases look back to the sounds and stories of childhood. Not with sentiment, but with purpose.
New Names and Pain: Ploho, Srub, Zvezdi, Vhore, and Super Besse
In June a music event called "Pain Fest" will celebrate rock music from Serbia, Belarus, and - most importantly - Siberia. The bands from that part of Russia cultivate a link to the punk traditions of their home.
A Permanence of Change: Heinali, Kai Engel, Pole, & Gardner + Salnikov
Beginning with an improvised recording from London, these new publications all share a conviction that telling patterns exist in natural disorder. What's needed to discern them is dedication and hard work.
Retreat: Universe Inside, Cao Sao Vang, Low Orbit Satellite, and Radiokoala
Placed end to end, four new electronic recordings from Russia and Belarus advocate a retreat into silence. Nothingness holds more appeal than specificity.
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