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Shouts across the Void: Shop Assistants, JUUR, Stoned Jesus & Saint God
New garage, stoner, and doom rock recordings express a growing tension between dreams and actuality. The responses range from desperation to indifference.
Loud Tunes for Dancing Bears: Serdceder, Otstoy, Mraz, and Smola
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.
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.
Beyond Bristol: Cats Park, Sweet & Sour, YesYes! and Atomic Simao
As a couple of Slavic rock bands admit a fondness for Bristolian trip-hop, the value of introspection is discussed elsewhere. It transpires that the same hushed lyricism - made public - still matters.
Gallows Humor: Ilosthebalcony, Fanny Kaplan, Kul'tura Kureniia, and TBFW
Four young bands embody a spirit of protest, yet they're unnerved by the feeling that rebellion rarely changes anything. That combination of outrage and anxiety leads to a healthy self-irony.
Lo-Fi Life: Shop Assts, Benzolnye Mertvecy, Yoro King, and 4 Dead Monks
A selection of lo-fi or garage recordings this week in Russia and Ukraine suggests a common worldview. Various social, economic, and even spiritual injustices lead to loud, amateurish discord.
A Love for Nowhere Special: Watu, More Oblakov, HimDom, and dsrtEgl
Some recent, ambient instrumentals from Watu (Minsk) led to angry debates over the finer points of post-Soviet geography. Over time, however, the importance of a concrete address fades away, no matter its name.
Energy Levels: Еlectroforez, The Bezzoommies, Wham Bam, and Kobyla
Two new recordings from St. Petersburg and Moscow reconsider Russian culture of the 1980s, plus a resulting fatalism. Two other releases take a different approach: they use noisy zeal in order to shun the weight of history.
Fifteen Positive Stories from Novosibirsk: "Garage or Culture"
A new album has appeared from Omsk in the "Garage or Culture" series. On this occasion it's dedicated to young performers from Novosibirsk; together they voice a range of alternatives to ostensible reality.
Mafia Wisdom: Brave Men Run, TGDM, Tony Soprano, and Tok Rukoo
Four young guitar bands - all the way from Kiev to Vladivostok - speak about the energy levels needed in their craft. As job pressures - and cynical audiences - take their toll, staying "vigorous" can be a challenge.
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