Several new Russian and Ukrainian recordings are framed by talk of professional difficulties. Failings in the outside world are countered with calm acceptance and an emphasis on introspection.
A number of publications this week display an interesting tension between grand romance and self-deprecation. By understating their heartfelt values, these artists stress a stubborn fidelity to a fading cause.
Several new jazz and instrumental releases find good reason to celebrate complexity or surprise. They all share a desire to avoid the predictable crudity of commerce, mass media, and modern politics.
The professional or profitable options available to today's musicians are small in number. And yet the amount of music moving online increases. The rationale behind that creativity is not logical.
Talaka.by is a Belarusian web portal: "We run a noncommercial platform that's designed to help people realize their socially useful projects - together." Those projects include music.
As mainstream media offers young Russian bands little support, a couple of responses emerge among amateur ensembles. Romantic views of both solitude and friendship transpire.
Several rock publications this week come from Moscow and its environs. Nonetheless, for all that potential, these bands toy with themes of decadence, paranoia, and even the apocalypse.
These four new releases from Russia and Ukraine all lean towards a validation of smallness. There are various reasons not to be loud, arrogant, and self-assured. Local history is one of them.
Some new publications reflect a struggle with institutionalized hassles: the academy, journalistic dispproval, issues of copyright, and "grown-up" cynicism. An alternative is needed.
One of the more enduring assumptions or stereotypes regarding Slavic songwriting would be that of sadness, if not misery. When melancholy does indeed make an appearance, what form does it take?