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.
Three new recordings make direct reference to Japanese history and habits. A distant nation fuels dreams of some alternative to local reality. The more actuality disappoints, the further desire travels from home.
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.
Across the varied contexts of cyberpunk narratives, trash TV, driving Moscow techno, and religious satire runs a common theme. The value of humility.
As a number of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian artists consider their future plans, it transpires that the most hopeful songs grow from the greatest failures. Frustrations breed aspirations.
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.
In four new recordings from Russia and Belarus, thoughts of the future predominate. As tomorrow looks unpredictable, childhood and adolescence gain a special importance.
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.
The Belarusian label Ezhevika has just published a compilation album, "I MIRACLE." It gathers nineteen recordings from towns both near and far; together the tracks create a workplace philosophy.
From Kiev, Yerevan, Moscow, and Kazan, a range of new publications all turn to distant objects of desire. Whether that distance is temporal or spatial, it always implies dissatisfaction with the present.