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Kubikmaggi (Saint Petersburg, FFM18)
"The band has trouble recalling specific dates. Its members instead neglect any chronology; in fact, they're barely able to count, giving all the time they've spent working with different time signatures"
uSSSy: "Unsharp Mask" (Moscow, FFM16)
uSSSy is/are an instrumental duo from Moscow: Artem Galkin (guitar) and Pavel Eremeev (drums). As Galkin calmly announces his departure from the band, a central theme of absence reappears.
Argo Vals: Oxymoron (Tartu, Estonia FFM5)
Argo Vals is an Estonian multi-instrumentalist and composer. His career can be traced back to 2006, when initial, DIY tracks morphed slowly into several Baltic ensembles. A reputation started to grow.
Deviations: Polska Radio One, Another Mask, Poupee F, and Mars-96
Amid discussions of a museum celebrating the Leningrad Rock Club, four young rock bands from Russia and Ukraine publish new material that doubts those early, social goals. Civic plans are now private.
A Grand Minorism: Xuman, Mendream, VLNY, and Powder! Go Away
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.
Outdoors: Volchok, SV Hutor, Lake Erie Lighthouse, & Show Me a Dinosaur
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.
Outwards: Elf & Puppet House, Argo Vals, Lucidvox, and A. Maskeliade
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
Deliverance: Polska Radio One, Snakecharm, Elecman, and Analog Sound
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.
Minor Harmonies: Akvalung, Otstoy, Army of Fragments, and Mars-96
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.
Somewhere Else: The Just, MOGU, Satellite Dreams, and More Znaet
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.
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