In these challenging economic times for musicians across Eastern Europe, the role played by optimism is vital. We look at four new recordings––and varying degrees of hope.
From Kiev, Yerevan, Moscow, and Kazan, a range of new publications all turn to distant objects of desire. Whether that distance is temporal or spatial, it always implies dissatisfaction with the present.
From downtempo lounge to broken techno and "psychoactive go-fi," a range of new Russian dance floor recordings prefer to celebrate private, rather than public effort.
For reasons both social and philosophical, four Russian projects release new recordings with zero promotion. The logic of material wellbeing is sidelined in favor of a quieter worldview, hinted at in quotations.
These five collectives have various ways of interpreting the future. It is viewed in terms of patience or a distant horizon. Others, less hopeful, prefer retrospection, psychedelia, and total despair.
New progressive house from distant Kazan and Kaluga speaks of "advancement" in terms of spaces conquered. The same symbolism, however, makes equal sense in Moscow's largest clubs.
Quiet, contemplative instrumentals from Omsk, Kazan, St. Petersburg and Moscow consider the limits of self-assurance. The size and sweep of the Russian landscape prompts a grandeur beyond chutzpah.
These five projects are fronted by six women - from a range of Russian and Ukrainian cities. Working hard within local show business, they find that professional experience colors the content of their love songs.
Three rock outfits from Kazan, Lipetsk, and Kursk take very different views of predestination. They embody romantic melancholy, decadent demise, and a hedonistic dismissal of fate... in favor of the dancefloor.
New recordings from Kazan, Nizhnii Novgorod, Togliatti, and Moscow offer very different views of the rock canon. Nonetheless, they all share an awareness that innovation and anxiety often go hand in hand.