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.
One of the more enduring assumptions or stereotypes regarding Slavic songwriting would be that of sadness, if not misery. When melancholy does indeed make an appearance, what form does it take?
Ranging from lo-fi wistfulness to noise-rock, these four collectives all look askance at social life. The only way for them to make sense of the outside world is through recourse to senselessness.
Some new recordings from Belarus and Russia endorse a practice of impromptu creativity. Various things, however, stand in the way of any such freedoms: the allure of profit, habit, alcohol... and fate itself.