When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Ukraine started to breathe the fresh air of independence again. At that time, during the early 90’s, a group of students set up the band Aktus, which quickly made itself a name in the underground Kyiv music scene. Aktus turned to the sounds of reggae, ska, and punk. With the addition of vocalist Olexandr Yarmola and accordionist Ivan Lenyo, both well-known and respected in folk circles, the band increasingly incorporated elements of Ukrainian folk music into their compositions.
At the start of the new millennium the band realized it was time to establish an even firmer tie to their own culture, and changed their name to Haydamaky, in honor of the historical Haydamaky’s rebellion, which took place in Ukraine in the 18th century. The music of Haydamaky is inspired by various ethnic sounds from around the world, especially from various regions of Ukraine. The band calls their music Carpathian Ska. Haydamaky’s hope is to forge an inherently Ukrainian popular music style, which looks back on its own heritage and traditions as a source for inspiration. Their self-titled debut album was released in January 2002. Since the time of the album’s release the band has participated in various festivals and also played a club tour in Western Europe. Their colourful live shows are unique, displaying bright costumes, special light settings and, of course, the pure mountain energy and musical mastership of the band.
The second album Boguslav (released in April 2004) developed into a very eclectic mix of ska, dub, reggae, punk and, of course, Ukrainian melodies. The band had finally found their very own style. After the band had staged concerts in support of the Orange Revolution in their home country, Eastblok Music released a song by Haydamaky for the first time on the compilation ‘Ukraina – songs of the orange revolution’. ‘Boguslav’; became one of the most favored songs and got airplayed on many alternative radio stations. One song was also included in the successful compilation ‘Russendisko 2’.
The quality of their third album, finally, enthralled us to such an extent, that we decided to sign this band and introduce them to the Western World. Haydamaky play a unique mixture, which has not been heard so far on our shores. Albeit the fact, that the Ukraine lies in Europe and we are virtually neighbors, this country still is a sleeping beauty. Haydamaky manage to build bridges and combine Ukrainian roots, which spring in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains, and Western production standards. They fit this mixture into tight arrangements, which are only let loose in their fierce live experience. Their music live and on record is characterized by turbulent energy and a rollercoaster of tempo and moods. Even without understand the lyrics, you will be filled with the music from top to toe and feel the passion.
1. Love (To Ada Cytryna) / Kokhannya (Adi Cytrini)
2. Achtung?! / Chuesh?!
3. Sing, Even If You Got No Bread! / Nemae Hliba – Spivai!
4. November / Lystopad
6. Heavenly Trembita / Bozhestvenna Trompita
7. Along The Valley / Dolynov, Dolynov
8. Dismal Holy Night / Sumnyj Svyatyj Vechir
9. Seven Sorrows / Sim Bid
10. On The Other Shore / Na Tomu Botsi
11. At The Window / Pid Oblachkom
12. Ukraine Calling / Tsentr Ukrainskoyi Kultury Bonus track: Behind Our Barn / Za Nashov Stodolov