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.
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.
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.
The superb Estonian collective Imandra Lake have just published a wide-ranging series of remixes. The botanical metaphors used in that "flourishing" enterprise are found far and wide.
The excellent St. Petersburg instrumental outfit Skafandr have recently used the metaphor of a "white rabbit." That image from Lewis Carroll - or "The Matrix" - travels far and wide.
The wonderful dream-pop of Estonia's Pia Fraus is celebrated in a new retrospective. Transferred to Russian soil, though, a related idealism adopts much darker tones.
Professional obstacles for an underfunded, overworked collective can lead to silence. It takes great persistence to build a career in Russian contemporary music. Only the dogged survive.
Two rock bands from Russia's Pacific coast speak of their location in terms of romantic, if not tragic isolation. Moving inland, other ensembles from the Volga region view "wilderness" in very different terms.
All the way from melodic britpop to psychedelia and math rock, these new publications question the appeal of wordy, social norms. Little by little, they mark a retreat from both language and polished grandeur.
Four bands from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tomsk, and Odessa reconsider the role of protest songs. Rather than call for overt social measures, they see the value of angry performance in increased awareness.