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Outdoors: Volchok, SV Hutor, Lake Erie Lighthouse, & Show Me a Dinosaur
Four new recordings across Russia turn to the landscape for inspiration. While the natural world proves uplifting, mankind's invasion of the ecosphere - for material gain - ruins any fantasy.
A Sense of Place: Toxez, Grace in Space, Mr Morek, and Cucumbers
Two of these dancefloor projects are from the Russian capital; the others come from Vladivostok and Volgograd. Those more distant locations bring with them a specifically Slavic cultural baggage.
Songs of Fate: Leonid Fedorov, Trud, Polska Radio One, and Mud
Four unrelated releases from Russia find a stable common ground - in their attitude towards fate. Citing a number of "inevitable" issues within Russia's past or present, they toy with fatalism.
Warmth and Weightlessness: Nikomu, Aurora, Ekam Sat, and Autism
The transition from physical to digital media can be traumatic. Anything becomes possible, in a creative sense, but grabbing public attention is tough indeed. Four new recordings view these challenges very differently.
Resolute: Zelmershead, Just Aum, Ashot Danielyan, and Pavel Chigarskikh
From a range of industrial locations come varied responses to material existence - and endeavor. Some musicians ponder alternatives to the loud, zealous production values of their hometowns.
Nachalo Veka: Saving a Folk Tradition from Angry Ethnographers
The new album by Volgograd folk-rock outfit Nachalo Veka was released online today. It does an admirable job of giving modern relevance to some traditional folk themes - and burying them in Nietzschean musings!
DJ Cross Fire: Tales of Provincial Labor and the Odd Benefits of Big Trouble
In the world of Russian dance music, some genres are considered more "provincial" than others. Trance, rightly or wrongly, is often assumed to be one of the styles most likely to fill lop-sided village halls in distant locations. Comedy shows and parodic cinema will certainly make use of trance...
"Then It Hit Me" and Love-Fine: Degrees of Confidence on the Volga
In the minds of most Russians, the southern city of Volgograd is - to this day - associated with its epic battle of 1942-1943, when the loss of two million lives began to turn the tide of WWII. Months of horrific street-to-street fighting and bombardment from afar finally made victory seem a dis...
New 8-Bit Music from Two Southern Towns
In talking about 8bit music or chiptunes in Russia, some useful parallels can be drawn with animation.  After the end of the Soviet Union, Russian cartoons were swamped by CGI and other digital forms of drawing.  Not only did poorly-sketched, computerized animation overwhelm kids' TV; shorter...
8-Bit Music: Fond Memories of Robots and Rockets
Electronic music is often accused of sameness, of reducing national differences.  Here's an exception.  The sounds of Russian 8-bit or chiptune recordings, taken from old Dendy or Sega computer games, underscore the cultural differences between East and West during the Soviet Union's slow demi...
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