Tag Archives: Ukrainian

The Sounds of Ukraine

vysokyj_zamok

Ever since I was the first time in Ukraine in 2005, I fell in love with the country, its people and its language. It was so different to everything I knew before. The normative basis is not unity, but diversity. Add a rich history with lots of glorious, but also painful moments, add the right amount of poetry and melancholy. Add some music. While most of this music belongs to the pop and folk sector, in the recent years alternatives are on the rise.

Let me introduce to you some alternative bands from Europe’s biggest – yet to many unknown – country.

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Skryabin / Скрябін

kuzma

A week ago I have been to L’viv, Ukraine, to visit my dear friends, who I did not see for a long time then. When I saw people gathering on the Shevchenko square lighting candles, I thought it had something to do with the war in the east of the country. Only later I found out that the legendary musician Andriy Kuzmenko, founding member and front-man of the band Skryabin, had died on February 2nd in a car accident in Dnipropetrovs’k. Wanting to contribute to the condolences I am going to introduce you to one of the best musical groups of Eastern Europe. Read More →

An Alternative Christmas Playlist 2013

zmaj

Christmas is approaching and also some snow fell today. I appreciate neither nor. The most annoying thing on Christmas is not its superficiality, let alone the mindless consuming. No, you somehow can escape that – somehow. What bugs me even more is ‘Christmas music’. Fortunately, I am sitting now in a coffee-house, where some bright side of the 80’s is playing. Everything’s better than ‘Last Christmas’ and Bowie’s ‘Drummer Boy’. However, soon it is over.

I tried to make an alternative to the usual Christmas swamp. The following list consists of songs, which in my opinion would also hit the Xmas mood, without being pathetic. Read More →

L’viv · City of Many Names

All my journey I could not wait to get to the Western Ukrainian “capital” of L’viv. No city in Eastern Europe I spent more time in than here. L’viv is alternative, uncomplicated and full of energy. It has also a very intriguing and colourful history.

Львів (L’viv), Lwów, Lemberg, Leopolis, לעמבעריק (Lemberik), Լվով (Ilov)… these are all names for the same place. But, depending on what you see or feel, it doesn’t always mean the same. When you walk through the city with open eyes, you can find something Ukrainian, Polish, Austrian, Jewish or Armenian. On the splitting point between the ideological constructs of West and East L’viv (as well as the whole historical region Galicia) was traditionally multi-cultural. Out of this it was also the birth place of five different literary narratives. Read More →

Top 10 East-Central European Post-Punk/New Wave

ivanovdown

This time I wish to introduce you to some post-punk/new wave gems from East-Central and Eastern Europe, focusing on songs not sung in English. All these bands contributed and contribute to form the aesthetics that we appreciate. From Polish coldwave over Ukrainian Novaya Scena to contemporary Hungarian minimal wave, you will find it all here – in no particular order. Read More →