Friday, November 18, 2011

Haydamaky: Ukraine Calling (2006)

Recently, I discovered a new Ukrainian jewel. Haydamaky combines an excellent blend of Balkan style music with rock, Reggae and ska music influences.
The band was formed in the 1990s and grew in popularity during the Ukrainian orange revolution in 2004. The band specializes in combining the Ukrainian musical heritage with modern sounds.
As I've learned from Wikipedia the band name originates from "haidamakas" (Гайдамаки) meaning "to pursue" in Turkish. These were paramilitary units in the 18th-century Ukraine. The haidamak movement was formed mostly of local Cossacks and peasantry (kozaky and holota), fighting against the Polish nobility in the right-bank Ukraine.

The album was originally published 2005 with the title Perverziya and was republished a year later by the German Eastblock label with a new title and artwork.
Besides classical rock instruments the record features a flute and an accordion together with a really great voice. My recommendations are "Nemae Hliba - Spivai!" (Sing, Even If You Got No Bread!) and the absolutely amazing "Lystopad 2004" (November 2004).

Ukraine Calling is a very strong musical statement and I fully support the band's frontmen Olkesandr Yarmola with a statement he made at a concert:
"Romania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine it doesn't matter where you come from anymore - Eastern Europe is the driving force of Europe the west is no more the best!"