In the wake of a garage and punk festival in Moscow, the question has arisen of protest songs. Is that style, volume level, and its violence synonymous with hopes of civic change? The answer is surprising.
Various forms of escapism are encountered in modern Russian music, all the way from storied space rock to garage hedonism and masochistic decadence. Examples of them all transpire this week.
Rock recordings from St. Petersburg and beyond fall to a growing sense of fatalism. Destiny seems to accompany the gradual, grim transition from hope into hopelessness.
Over a series of new Russian recordings, feelings of self-determination lessen in the face of both history and modern likelihood. Modesty becomes the sincerest form of expression.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.