As a series of new recordings take inspiration from the melancholy romance of Soviet pop music, the question arises: what about tomorrow?
New dancefloor offerings from Russia and Estonia struggle with viable forms of optimism. "Escapism" becomes less a matter of hedonism and more a conscious response to unsatisfying actuality.
From Siberia to Moscow - and even Kiev - a series of new releases admit openly to the influence of Western music from prior decades. A dissatisfaction with the here and now prompts lasting retrospection.
From the outskirts of two capitals - Moscow and Minsk - come some songs designed to inspire. They discern a certain civic or ideological "emptiness" and hope to offer a consoling alternative.
Various freedoms, both social and emotional, are pondered in some new electronic recordings from Russia. As the pressures upon liberty increase, one of the artists coins the generic tag "drowntempo."
The Nizhny Novgorod band Hronop have persisted for 27 years. The outlook developed across that timespan is, in essence, absurdist. It's a worldview that appeals to younger Russian artists, too.
New publications from four Russian cities pose the question of a suitable style with which to reflect modernity. The answers range from "mild distortion" to wholesale disorder and some formless, collective subjectivity.
New techno, dubstep, electro, and darkcore recordings look at the romance of industry. In a Slavic realm where human enterprise so often leads to failure, machines have a local, very specific appeal.
Russia's branch of the Red Bull Music Academy has just just chosen ten young musicians to join its "Bass Camp" in Sochi. We take a look at some of the newer names, especially among the house and juke exponents.
Ned Hoper (St. Petersburg) and Wattican Punk Ballet (Moscow) both draw upon a rich vein of thespian wit. Once we move outside of those cities, however, music-making in the provinces has less time for fantasy.