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Four Understatements: Misha Mishenko, Maguett, Speck, and Sö
Humility and understatement color a number of Russian instrumental releases. Their audible modesty is prompted by childhood memories, an eco-aesthetic, and disorienting experiences online.
Constant Surprise: Jazzator, Sergei Zagny, Pol Stan, and Artiom Krikunov
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
New from Ultra Vague: Mamanet, Awesomatic, Sable Beats, and KØL¥∆
Ultra Vague is a Ukrainian netlabel that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Not surprisingly, overlapping themes of hard work and fidelity run through a number of releases.
Three Odysseys: Live People, O. Bogussevich, R. Stolyar and V. Luchansky
Moscow's Fancy Music is announcing a range of new jazz recordings. Originating both in the capital and Novosibirsk, they give voice to a passionate defense of deviation, difference, and inclusion.
New Syntheses: Baraka, Yagoda Galo, Bubamara, and Lampa Ladino
The Sketis organization continues to champion а crisscrossing of folk traditions. Not only is canonical practice forced to incorporate novelty; peripheral locations are also paid major attention.
A Mobile Sense of Home: WOMAD Russia 2013 and Non Cadenza
Some new recordings and live performances raise a couple of related issues. To whom does "Russian folk" belong and - once that dilemma is clarified - how we talk of similar couplings, such as "Russian soul"?
A Timely Wisdom: Non Cadenza, Mana Island, Auroraw, and 96wrld
A sense of time's passage hangs over four releases from Russia and Lithuania this week. Lessons learned in the past make chutzpah and cockiness very unlikely. A certain wisdom takes their place.
Common Enterprise: The Fantasticka "Get Together" Compilation
Moscow's "Fantasticka" collaborative actually represents a wide range of Russian locations and styles. Several members have now made an album together, singing the praises of common effort.
Different Volumes: Van, TV Maskava, Pivo Srakami, and Cao Sao Vang
Four very different recordings from Russia and Latvia ponder the meaning of a "provincial" location. Some of them fall to black humor or despair; others, however, discover rare comfort in romance.
Tradition: Komba Bakkh, Livelong, Miyuki, and PK Jazz Collective
These recordings all include observations on the importance of tradition. Some of the artists look to distant centuries for a better, more dignified code. Others look further still - towards myth and/or faith.
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