For musicians working with minimal time and zero financial support, the role of teamwork is vital. Three new releases from Russia and Latvia celebrate joint effort.
One primary impulse in contemporary East European music is the desire for soundscapes to counter actuality. Four new recordings look askance at whatever is going on outside the front door.
The members of Latvia's "Dirty Deal Audio" collective have published a compilation album in order to celebrate their successes in 2013. The overarching spirit of shared enterprise is genuinely striking.
Against the backdrop of a happy, productive hip-hop community in Latvia, some new publications by Russian artists take a dark view of group membership. Kindness and collaboration are both absent.
Several electronic publications look back on a fledgling, post-Soviet internet with nostalgia. The sounds and graphic art of the 1990s recall a time when kinder, more inclusive networks might replace ideology.
Some fresh house recordings from Russia and Latvia show a surprisingly similar worldview. They all celebrate "naive" and spontaneous interaction in a world of increasingly gray pragmatism.
For some electroacoustic artists this week, the role of material experience is twofold. It is seen both as lumpen tedium and as the world of leaden instruments - playing a better tune.
Moscow's Datenbits label is announcing fresh material from Russian and Latvian electronic musicians. Working on both sides of a political divide, they champion an erasure of stylistic boundaries.
Echochorus, a one-man project from Riga, has published a new soundtrack to the 1924 silent feature, "Aelita." Some core concerns from that recording emerge in other locations, far from the Baltic Sea.
Two new synth-pop recordings draw upon the songs and electronic games of a Western childhood in the 1980s. Their combined attempts to rework some half-forgotten cheerfulness fade as we move south...