Faced with a wide range of social obstacles, some Russian and Belarusian rock bands find strange solace. Unable to build a career with ease, they are nonetheless to restart failed projects.
Beginning with some references to a Sicilian martyr, these four Russian and Ukrainian bands search for an emotional alternative to tedium. As actuality grows duller, an "epic" option is required.
A Moscow duo decides to cut itself off from the world, in order to protect two private voices from public intrusion. Other kindred groups view those same social forces in much darker terms.
Following a series of awards in the Belarusian press, we look at four projects from around the country. What has rock music meant to them and does it still have any connection to the past?
Some musicians from Russia and Ukraine speak of how they have formed new ensembles. Easy-going collaborations become an appealing alternative to various social pressures.
Baltic rock bands gathered recently at the Tallinn Music Week. Interviews and PR materials from all the groups suggest that the main target of today's rebellious songwriting is dull actuality.
Despite a rich tradition of social protest in Russian rock music, some recent recordings have found such entrenched lacunae within local life that other themes transpire. Escapism replaces subversion.
The Tallinn label Seksound offers another fine example of Baltic dream-pop, on this occasion from Picnic. Kindred fantasies are equally audible in three simultaneous publications from Russia.
A handful of ambient instrumentals from Yekaterinburg this month are inspired by a particular motif: the timidity of Russian foxes. That same symbol gradually moves far from its quiet point of origin.
Mineguide come from the ancient town of Smolensk. Peace, quiet, and ancient history all help the band plot their future career. That same need for a pre-urban expanse appears with other post-rock outfits.