A shadowy procession to the pounding of drums, to the murmur of a cello, morphs into an anthem, an invocation, a wild and wacky breakdown. Drones and beats, crimson beads and towering black lambs-wool hats all serve as a striking backdrop for an unexpected, refreshingly novel vision of Eastern European roots music. This is the self-proclaimed “ethno-chaos” of Ukraine’s DakhaBrakha, a group that feels both intimately tied to their homeland, yet instantly compelling for international audience.
The quartet does far more than introduce Ukrainian music or prove it is alive and well. They craft stunning new sonic worlds for traditional songs, reinventing their heritage with a keen ear for contemporary resonances. With one foot in the urban avant-garde theater scene and one foot in the village life that nurtured and protected Ukraine’s cultural wealth, DakhaBrakha shows the full fury and sensuality of some of Eastern Europe’s most breathtaking folklore.
The name is original, outstanding and authentic at the same time. DakhaBrakha means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language. DakhaBrakha was created in 2004 at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art “DAKH” by the avant-garde theatre director –Vladyslav Troitskiy. Theatre work has left its mark on the band performances – their shows have never been staged without the scenic effects.“We decided to create a new style of music that consists mainly of our native Ukrainian folk motifs, with some African-styles added in. We also combine Arab, Bulgarian and Hungarian ideas.
DakhaBrakha collects the components of its repertoire during our expeditions. We go out to villages, pitch our tents and visit local babushkas and ask them to sing their folk songs. We record them and use them in our compositions,” – says the band. DakhaBrakha is still somewhat of a cult phenomenon in Ukraine, appealing to a discerning audience of knowledgable fans who like their aggressive sound, which involves a lot of ritualistic tribal rhythms and frenzied, sometimes caterwauling, vocals.
They believe that Ukrainian culture has enormous potential that should be explored and retained.As well as performing gigs as a band in their own right they are also the ‘house’ band for the Dakh Theatre company . Dakh Theatre is known throughout Europe as one of the leading production houses of avant-garde theatre combining live music from DakhaBrakha with theatre and dance to create some intense productions.
Their series of Shakespeare interpretations has brought them to many of Europe’s leading venues including London’s Barbican in January 2007. DakhaBrakha are unique in their versatility – they could play both at small clubs, little theatres and in front of one hundred-thousand-strong audience.The music of DakhaBrakha is used in more than 10 films and is in the new film of famous Iranian director Mohsen Makmalbaf.
This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Sunday, 26th June 2016 | 20:00 CET
Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte