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Mapmaking: The New "Simple Things" & "Beryoza" Compilations
Three new compilation albums bring together dance tracks from Russia, Belarus, and Estonia. A range of producers from small towns and provincial cities join forces––in new networks.
Starting Again: Viljandi Guitar Trio, Alpha-Beta, Wols, and Nikita Bondarev
Four publications this month are dedicated to themes of transformation and metamorphosis. Despite their differing styles, they find common ground in a celebration of good-natured change.
Outwards: Elf & Puppet House, Argo Vals, Lucidvox, and A. Maskeliade
As magazines and festivals seek to promote young musicians, they speak of great promise and flourishing local scenes. The performers themselves are less sure.
Diligence and Wonder: Little Magic Shop, Tinavie, NV, and Argo Vals
Some new publications reflect a struggle with institutionalized hassles: the academy, journalistic dispproval, issues of copyright, and "grown-up" cynicism. An alternative is needed.
Landscapes and Loops: Pastacas, Iduvigik, Kago, and Mari Kalkun
The Estonian label Ounaviks continues to produce a wide and wonderful range of folk reinterpretations for a new generation. From within that antique heritage comes a reconsidered worldview.
Looping Motifs: Maarja Nuut, Alexey Chistilin, Aquascape, and Valotihkuu
Maarja Nuut is an Estonian fiddler, revealing psychedelic aspects within folk performance. That same overlap of sprawling nature and fantasy emerges in a number of Russian releases, too.
Psychedelia and Social Networks: Talamak, Arcus Superior, and Anderson
Three bands from Kiev, Moscow, and rural Estonia all invoke some rock traditions of the "psychedelic" '70s. Today, however, that adjective plays a very different role, one closer to social networking than to anything chemical.

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