One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
As a British newspaper suggests that nostalgia in Russian popular music is inherently political, an alternative viewpoint arises. Many young artists fondly recall a time, rather than an ideology.
In the absence of a clearly structured marketplace, contemporary music in Russia is increasingly a form of self-expression. Social impact is neither easy, nor especially wanted.
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.
From Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania come four responses to the drudgery and dead weight of quotidian experience. The most satisfying among them involve looking backwards.
For reasons both social and philosophical, four Russian projects release new recordings with zero promotion. The logic of material wellbeing is sidelined in favor of a quieter worldview, hinted at in quotations.
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.
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.
The Ukrainian outfit known as Pur:Pur have just published five new songs, dedicated to issues of simplicity and amity. The inspiration for kindness today comes from a brief Soviet cartoon of 1976.
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.