10 Years Eastblok Music – Bandinfo


 vopli neu

Vopli Vidopliassova can surely be called a cult band. Everyone knows them in the Ukraine. The unique mixture of jazz, folk and punk of Vopli or VV, as they are also called, is instantly recognizable. Vopli’s singer Oleh Skrypka, who also organizes his own folk festival, is a true star and can be regularly seen on Ukrainian TV.
taken from „V.A. Ukraina – Songs of the Orange Revolution (2005)


Mahala Rai Banda is a gypsy band from Bucharest. Their roots lie in the traditional Romanian lautari music. But from the start they have left the frames of violins and accordion, pimped up their sound with a brass section and were open to remixes. Since the release of their first album in 2004 they have become one of the leading Balkan beats’ bands.
Balkanbeats is the most successful compilation series on Eastblok Music, compiled in cooperation with DJ Robert Soko.
taken from “ V.A. Balkanbeats” (2005)


Messer Chups is the most famous Russian surf band. Set up as a side project of Russian band  Messer für Frau Müller at the end of the Nineties, Messer Chups combine surf with sound collages from vampire and monster B-movies. They are regularly on tour in Western Europe. This song here is the key track on our compilation of Russian easy listening Café Sputnik.
taken from „V.A. Cafe Sputnik – electronic exotica from russia“ (2005)


The record deal with Little Cow was virtually signed by the campfire. Every child in Hungary knows this band. Well, at least the cartoon figure of the same name (in Hungary the band is knows as Kistehen), which was produced by the singer of the band László Kollár. Little Cow mixes a bit of Manu Chao with playful singer-songwriting and dashes of Hungarian gypsy sounds.
taken from „I’m in love with every lady“ (2007)

 fotografie de Cosmin Bumbut

Shukar Collective is the  brain child of a DJ team from Bucharest together with gypsy singers from the Romanian mountains. The Roma minority there, called Usari, is famous for their scat singing  and their spoon percussion. This combined with electronic sounds creates a worldwide unique sound. HBO even did a documentary about them.
taken from „Rromatek“ (2007)


Haydamaky is one of the few Ukrainian bands, people know in Western Europe. They have been touring here regularly since the Nineties (back then still under the name ‘Aktus’). The band is a strong supporter of Ukrainian culture, as can be seen in language, instrumentation, melodies and stage outfits. But they combine this with western styles like ska, dub, reggae or punk. Both albums released on Eastblok Music have been in the European world music charts for weeks.
taken from „Kobzar“ (2008)


Slavic Soul Party! is a New York Balkan brass band. They combine classic Balkan with Klezmer and New Orleans funk and jazz. ‘Opa Cupa’ is still one the biggest hits of our Balkanbeats series on any party.
taken from “ V.A. Balkanbeats vol. 3” (2008)


Watcha Clan hails from Marseille and combines folks sound from different cultures with reggae, dub, electronica and jungle. Its charismatic singer Sista K sings in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, Jiddish, French and English. World Music in its best and most progressive sense. Another Balkanbeats classic.
taken from “ V.A. Balkanbeats vol. 3” (2008)


„Fez Club“ by Figli de madre ignota was the first album on Eastblok Music by a band not directly from Eastern Europe. These Italians sound more balkanized then most of their Eastern neighbours. Figli di Madre Ignota means Sons of an unknown mother. That’s exactly how they sound. We call it spaghetti Balkan!
taken from „Fez Club“ (2008)

 La Minor2

La Minor from St. Petersburg have been Eastblok favourites long before we finally managed to release one of their albums. For ten years now they have been touring Western Europe almost every year. They have their own style of reviving Russian gangster chansons from the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1970’s with double bass and accordion. This works perfectly for tango rounds in a smoky bar, as well as for pogo dancers on a street festival.
taken from „Oboroty“ (2009)


Psio Crew that’s nine people in a band who combine folk music from the Gorals people in the Polish mountains with drum ’n’ bass, electro and ragamuffin to a unique sound. In their live performance Goral dances meet break dance and the DJs wear traditional costumes. This track is taken from our compilation ‘Polska Rootz’, compiled together with the specialist for Eastern sounds Alexander Pehlemann.
taken from „V.A. Polska Rootz“ (2009)


Dunkelbunt is a Hamburg boy that lives in Vienna. He is one of the pioneers of fusing southern European folklore, Klezmer and swing with electronic music. From being a DJ dunkelbunt has evolved to be a musician with a full-blown band. This track illustrates the trend when Balkan Beats became even clubbier. We now called it Balkan Grooves.
taken from „V.A. Balkan Grooves“ (2010)


Kiril or Dzajkovski, as he calls himself now, is one of the most successful DJs from the Balkans. The Macedonian has been mixing Balkan sounds with pumping beats for some time now. This track has it all –  featuring Jamaican MC Ras Tweed (formerly of Rockers Hi-Fi), as well as the legendary queen of Gypsy music Esma Redzepova.
taken from „V.A. Balkan Grooves“ (2010)


Markscheider Kunst is a world music band from St.Petersburg. We think they are some of the best musicians you can find in Russia. Noone else manages to combine the sunniness of Cuba or Jamaica with Russian soul as Markscheider do. Since the late Nineties this had made them regulars on Europe’s stages.
taken from „Utopia“ (2010)


Lyapis Trubetskoy is the most famous band from Belarus. In the Nineties they were renowned for their fun punk. Later their lyrics and image became more political, which got them banned at home, but made them fill stadiums in the rest of the Slavic world where they became one of the most popular alternative bands.
taken from „Agitpop“ (2010)


Parov Stelar is the moniker of Austrian Marcus Füreder who began his career as DJ and producer more than ten years ago. He is considered to be the most successful pioneer of electro swing.  Now he performs successfully all over Europe with a full-blown live band. His latest album went to No. 1 in the Austrian charts.
taken from „V.A. Swing Diskoteka“ (2011)

 shazalakazoo Foto 3

Shazalakazoo is the classic case where we signed a band based on the success of their tracks on our compilations. The two Belgrade DJs usually invite original Gypsy musician to their studio to lay down the melodies which they then pimp up with deep beats. They all it folk step. These Serbs are internationally connected and often feature several singers and MCs from the Balkans or Southern America.
taken from „Karton City Bomm“ (2011)


Megapolis has been considered for almost 30 years to be one of  the most mature and intelligent Russian indie bands. Its mastermind Oleg Nesterov is a star in Russia, a regular on TV, he writes books and teaches creative writing and composing at university in Moscow. Their albums usually follow a certain concept and top critic’s lists.
On our compilation ‘Lunapark’ we wanted to show how Russians are also capable of writing superb indie and alternative pop.
taken from „V.A. Lunapark“ (2012)


Skazka Orchestra is our first signing from Berlin. Skazka was an obvious choice as the band consists partly of Russians and Germans. Mostly they sing in Russian, accompanied by double bass, accordion, guitar, drums and a brass section. They have a strong following all over the country.
taken from „Kalamburage“ (2012)




In 2012 a quarrel broke out among the band members of Haydamaky. Subsequently, singer Oleksandr Yarmola got together new musicians and continued under the name Haydamaky, while the rest of the gang started calling themselves Kozak System. Now Ivan, the accordionist, already a sort of co-front-man in Haydamaky, is singing. Musically, they are as deeply rooted in Ukrainian folklore, which they spice up with a fresh crossover of rock, ska and pop. They have already released two albums.


The new Haydamaky of singer Sasha and Vanya’s Kozak System have been releasing their albums almost at the same time since 2012. This competition proved to be rather productive. Both bands are successful in their home country and in Poland. Haydamaky prefers it a bit harder musically. Still Ukrainian culture is the identifying factor for both bands. Both have been actively supporting and promoting Euromaidan and Ukrainian identity.


The same story as with Haydamaky at almost the same time happened to Little Cow. The singer Lazi continues as Little Cow (Kistehen in Hungary) and the rest of the band now calls itself Intim Torno Illegal. This spin-off turned out to become even more successful. They write hits with mature lyrics and happy music that appeal to old and young.

 little cow neu klein

Lazi Kollár-Klemencz is still one of Hungary’s most charismatic artists. His new Little Cow (Kistehen) sounds more like British indie rock. They sing in English and Hungarian. Lazi is also politically active in support of freedom of speech and against censorship. This song (‘When I go, I’ll take everything with me’) was popular on demonstrations in Hungary.


Mov.Sessian Project is the brain child of Shukar Collective’s master mind Dan Handrabur a.k.a. Dreamdoktor and Armenian clarinet player Claudine Movsessian. It is their intention to breath new (electronic) life into the music of peoples like Jews, Armenians or Roma, who had to suffer a lot in their history.

 St Petersburg SkaJazz

In 2001 musicians from St.Petersburg bands Spitfire (who also play in the legendary band Leningrad) and Markscheider Kunst set up the project St. Petersburg Ska Jazz Review. Here they indulge in old school ska and jazz standards. In the beginning they mostly played instrumentals and classics. Now they write most songs themselves. And they sing in English, although the singer is Russian.


Tresmuchachos & Companeros is another side project of Markscheider Kunst. Here they indulge less in ska, but more in Latin sounds. The Markscheider guys are just specialists for everything that grooves. Here they move the old Russian standard ‘The dark night’ to a Cuban beach.


Lyapis Trubetskoy announced their friendly split up to happen on 1 September 2014. On the same day two new projects were born. The singer Sergej Mihalok set up the band Brutto. The rest of Lyapis continued under the moniker Trubetskoy. At first glance there is not so much difference between Brutto and the old Lyapis – great videos and hits. Just now they come across even more form-fitting and masculine. Holligans of all countries unite!


Di Meschugeles is one of the bands where Valentin, the gifted accordionist of Skazka Orchestra is also playing. The Berlin band is fully dedicated to klezmer music and plays the old Jewish songs in exciting new arrangements. This one is a classic from Odessa.

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