One of the biggest - and most basic - choices faced by a Slavic band today is that of language. The same choice is often dictated by assumptions of better job options, either abroad or at home.
Against the backdrop of recent geopolitical events, one might understand why minorism would have a marked appeal. Four collectives from Russia, Ukraine, and Estonia place smallness front and center.
Various inevitabilities gather strength around three releases from Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Minsk. In the face of diminishing liberties, a certain presentism emerges, celebrating the here and now.
Two new releases from FFM originate in distant places: Novosibirsk and the Kola Peninsula, above the Arctic Circle. In both cases, the musicians' address brings more benefit than inconvenience.
Two new releases from FFM originate in Moscow and Kiev. A couple of solo performers travel parallel trajectories from self-doubt to a less disconcerting state, somewhere on the edge of aspiration.
Moscow's Anton Maskeliade has published recordings of his "Street Studio," in which passers-by are invited to perform whatever they want. These levels of social optimism are not widely shared.
The thirty-ninth release from FFM Records was both conceived and recorded in Saint Petersburg. Four brief songs speak to the ongoing, even counter-productive effort needed to keep aspirations alive.
The Los Angeles label Not Not Fun has just published a compilation of six female electronic artists. Resident in both Russia and Ukraine, they offer a peaceful, creative alternative to recent events.
As the Subwise label in Saint Petersburg releases a new compilation album, celebrating ongoing success in the North, a new project emerges from Surgut. Both foreground the value of joint effort.
From a series of Russian and Ukrainian towns, four new releases investigate the benefits of solitude. Introspection leads to a different type of self-promotion, in which anonymity and silence are key.