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Sound Waves and Dark Spirits: VEiiLA, The Bajikans, Bright Falls, and Waltz
The Saint Petersburg duo VEiiLA uses some mythical figures to explain the power of sound over ostensible reality. Any ability of music to counter local misery, however, depends very much on one's location.
Pure Land: Parks, Squares & Alleys, Slackers, Businessman, and Kshettra
Disenchanted with their hometown experience, a number of rock outfits prefer imagination to actuality. Inspiration is found in bedroom solitude, post-Soviet gangster bravado, and even some Buddhist tenets.
Fictions: Mutaforiya Lili, Yankees of Moor, Schweinemaschinen, & Leonid Fedorov
Fantasy and the imagination are key aspects of these new recordings from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Their joint celebration of oddity simply highlights an ongoing disappointment with normality.
A Period of Survival: Parc Hotel, Gorodok Chekistov, Vhore, and Kira Lao
New rock recordings from disparate towns together suggest a philosophical shift - away from the classic songs of late-Soviet protest towards tales of consolation and empathy.
Romantic Imprecision: Cherepiho, Siberia*, Mandarinaduck, & Clever Clover
In a world of bewildering media and deafening jingoism, the appeal of noiselessness can be considerable. Just as attractive - in the face of fiscal or civic pragmatism - is the meaning of nothing at all.
Difficult Songs: Grand Astoria, Best Pessimist, Brave Men Run, and Pony
As the socioeconomic and political situations grow more challenging in Russia and Ukraine, new rock recordings turn away from civic actuality - towards introspection and psychedelia.
The Outlook from Home: Jars, IWKC, Theodor Bastard, and Vihrea
A well-established Moscow hardcore outfit insists that now is the time to sing in Russian. Local political problems require a local response and register. Not everybody agrees, however.
New Names and Pain: Ploho, Srub, Zvezdi, Vhore, and Super Besse
In June a music event called "Pain Fest" will celebrate rock music from Serbia, Belarus, and - most importantly - Siberia. The bands from that part of Russia cultivate a link to the punk traditions of their home.
Pirates of the Past: Mumiy Troll, Electroforez, Obitel Telema, and Serdceder
The new Mumiy Troll album is entitled "Pirate Copies." Although a clear reference to copyright abuse, that same phrase becomes a talking point for several recent publications and their collective view of the past.
Show Me a Dinosaur, Lucidvox, Karovas Milkshake, and Reserve de Marche
Four Russian rock publications play upon aspects of a psychedelic heritage. They either draw directly from Western traditions or extend the meaning of psychedelia from its roots in the Soviet '70s.
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