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.
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.
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.
Some understated recordings from Riga, Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Sochi, and Sterlitamak all ponder the value of solitude. Is it a state freely chosen - and beneficial to reverie - or a product of civic indifference?
"Dirty Deal" is a Latvian collective of beats producers, bass music, and abstract hip-hop. A compilation album has just been published, showcasing eighteen of the nation's youngest talents. Between them all, a unique worldview takes shape.
Four bands from Moscow, Riga, and Minsk all work hard to avoid the limitations of language and other formal constraints. What lies beyond the security of tradition, however, is far from clear...