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.
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.
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.
Fading faith in modern life or politics leads these ensembles to look elsewhere for superior values. Better ideas are found in shamanistic culture, experimental drugs, and other distant realms.
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
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.
From Rostov-na-Donu comes psychedelic noise-rock that looks back with fondness to the earliest days of the Space Race. Heavy industry suddenly started to throw off the shackles of gravity.
In a range of new recordings from Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Chelyabinsk, aimlessness comes to the fore. These young musicians have scant faith in social progress: "uselessness" becomes their goal.
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
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.