A number of publications this week display an interesting tension between grand romance and self-deprecation. By understating their heartfelt values, these artists stress a stubborn fidelity to a fading cause.
Four new recordings across Russia turn to the landscape for inspiration. While the natural world proves uplifting, mankind's invasion of the ecosphere - for material gain - ruins any fantasy.
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
As musicians from Murmansk and Moscow online encounter rudeness, disdain, or indifference, an alternative is needed to actuality. A reconsideration of '70s psychedelia does the job very nicely.
January LPs from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg show some general tendencies in how Russian rock sees itself today. Grand civic themes of prior decades are now absent.
A lyrical strain runs through some Russian rock releases this week. It begins with wistful dreams of leaving home - and moves with increasing satisfaction to distant planets or a bottomless ocean.
As a couple of Slavic rock bands admit a fondness for Bristolian trip-hop, the value of introspection is discussed elsewhere. It transpires that the same hushed lyricism - made public - still matters.
Four December rock recordings from St. Petersburg and Izhvesk ponder some markers of adult success, such as generic clarity and domestic success. With questionable romance, all are dismissed.
Despite assumptions that Russian noise- and garage rock might might be interested in a range of social agendas, some new recordings suggest that an apolitical stance means more.
Some new publications reflect a struggle with institutionalized hassles: the academy, journalistic dispproval, issues of copyright, and "grown-up" cynicism. An alternative is needed.